Nio’s Trinidad’s Dinners Are No Match For Their Roti

We’ve won some and lost some in the Caribbean food options in the Financial District lately. The standbys of Trinidad & Tobago and Veronica’s Kitchen carts are still around, and lately Sunrise Grill and Nio’s Trinidad Roti trucks have been parking near each other on a stretch of Broad St. between S. William and Beaver. However, R. Retha’s cart seems to be on its way out, although I’ve seen it still parked at the spot at S. William and Beaver with a “For Sale” sign taped in the window. That’s still a pretty solid lineup.

I’d tried the namesake roti at Nio’s and also their doubles which many of the FiDi places don’t offer. What I hadn’t tried was the dinners with peas and rice that they have on offer, so one day on a whim I went up to the window and ordered just that.

While I’m sure their stewed meats are just fine, I wanted to check out their vegetable dinner ($7). You don’t get to specify what goes into that plate, but that was fine by me. I’ve found that much like Indian food, Caribbean cooks are kind to vegetables and know how to cook and flavor them right.

The plate included some pumpkin, stewed chickpeas and some curried potato along with the more standard cabbage and carrots. The potato and chickpeas were the winners for me in terms of flavor, but I liked the pumpkin as it was more on the sweet side and added another dimension to the mix. The downfall of the dinner came with the peas and rice which tasted more like a pilaf and contained lentils instead of the more common red beans. This is why I say it might be best to get the vegetables in a roti rather than over rice as that does not seem to be Nio’s strong suit.

Regardless, you get a lot of food for $7 and it was a nice meatless change of pace on a hot day from the heavier, meatier fare on offer.

Nio’s Trinidad Roti Truck, Monday to Friday on Broad St. near S. William 


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