Roti Mediterranean Positions Itself As Healthier Street Meat Alternative

When last we visited Roti Mediterranean Grill on Pearl St. (at Cedar), it was a soft opening, the food was free, the lines were long and I was undecided as to whether I liked this place or not. That was back in May, and since then, every time I’ve walked by there’s been a line out the door (or they’ve been closed. That’s seemed to happen a lot too), and that’s a lot to say with so many lunch options on the same block.

So, I decided to actually purchase some food this time and see if it was better than what I got when they were doing staff training. My thoughts on healthified street cart fare straight ahead.

While the first time I ate at Roti Mediterranean I got the chicken shawarma plate, this time I went vegetarian and got a falalafel laffa wrap ($8.45). I’d tried a sample falafel on my first visit and it was nicely done with a strong taste of cumin. I was curious how that flavor would hold up in a sandwich.

The laffa wrap was placed in a press like a flour tortilla would be, then was layered with the roasted vegetables that are standard whether you order a pita sandwich, salad, plate or wrap. then came four falafel balls, hummus, my add-on choice of red cabbage slaw, sh’ug and some sumac onions. Then it was wrapped up like a burrito with one end left open.

So, basically this thing was a burrito with falafel and hummus in it. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but you have to be OK with some soggy falafel balls to eat this, as all of the moisture from the vegetables, sauces and hummus takes a toll on them. That being said, the flavor is still there and I really liked that there were Brussels sprouts and kale in there to add some textural contrast to an otherwise mushy situation.

I would say the falafel may be better utilized in the pita sandwich, salad or platter where there isn’t moisture taking it to sog city coming in from every direction. If you’re OK with eating a different kind of wrap/burrito for lunch, you’ll probably like this vegetarian option.

Roti Mediterranean Grill, 100 Maiden Lane (entrance at Pearl & Cedar streets), 


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