Roti means many things to many people. Sometimes it just refers to the round, flat, flaky bread made in South Asia; other times, like in the West Indies, roti describes a wrap with some variety of meat stew. Roti wrap shops have been spreading across the country’s downtowns like wildfire, since wraps are easy to eat for lunch, usually cheap, and can be easily adapted to house the curries common to a wide belt circling the globe just north of the equator.
Well, a branch of the aptly named, Palatine-based Roti has opened in the West Loop with a broad array of largely Middle Eastern and Mediterranean wrap options (protein choices include chicken, steak, salmon, tuna, lamb and chickpea), customizable with a selection of vegetables and sauces. In order to not scare away customers with alien specificity, Roti also offers these things in pitas, on platters, and with salads. While we have a preference for places that serve one thing and do an extremely good job, this cuisine lends itself well to multiple forms of packaging without losing its sense of self. And by that we mean…sometimes we don’t even know what we mean. Anyway, if you work around there, get a lamb roti with “very” spicy roti sauce ($8.50, comes with cous cous salad), and tell us it isn’t at least interesting and different.