It’s not practical to fly out to TT which stands for Trinidad & Tobago or drive out to Brooklyn, Queens, New York for Curry Goat Roti every time I have a craving. So when I stumbled upon Trinbago Roti in New Jersey for local trini food, I was in Roti heaven. Goat, you say? Roti? Yes! When I have a craving for some Trini food while I should attempt to make it myself, it’s easy to find a local spot. Besides my sada roti’s come out shaped like Trinidad & Tobago versus the perfectly round or rectangle shape. I’m going to continue and practice making Sada Roti until they are beautifully round and fluffy. Although I roll out the dough, so far they are NOT round shaped. Anyway enough about my first few attempts at making Sada Roti.
Back to Trinbago Roti in New Jersey and their food selection. Trinbago Roti is located at 169 Main Street Orange, NJ and you almost can miss it because it’s on a fairly busy street. In case you’re driving too fast and miss the restaurant, here’s their exterior signage sporting the Trini colors for easier identification.
The 6 tables Trini spot is an unassuming and low-key place to eat. We’re not talking white table cloth fine dining, rather it’s home cooked food by REAL Trinis so the dishes are sure to please a Trini, West Indian and Non West-Indian food fanatic. When a hamburger or hot dog won’t do and you’re up for culture, head to Orange, NJ for some grass roots Trini food fare.
If you’re looking for Doubles, Dhal puri, Buss-Up Shot or Sada Roti you’re in luck—they have all of that here! Pastries like Currant Roll and Coconut Roll are great dessert or afternoon treats. Breakfast lovers will be happy to know that they serve up bake & salt fish, bake & shark, and even Provision (green fig & cassava). Bake is fried bread (almost like a fried dough/dumpling) and can be served with jams, jellies and in this case a salt fish. For non West Indian readers, it may seem like an uncommon combo, but be brave and give it a try. Provision is typically root vegetables like sweet potato, taro, green fig, cassava (yuca) and yam.
I walked into Trinbago Roti with a craving for doubles, curry goat and sorrel. I saw the menu and almost ordered too much! What I ended up with was a helping of Curry Chicken Roti and Curry Goat on the side with some tamarind (sweet sauce) and hot chili. They didn’t have any home made sorrel (not in season) but offered me peanut punch which I declined this time. Let me tell you the chicken and goat was beyond tender, often times I admit other restaurants overcook their meats but not Trinbago Roti. I may not be Trini, although I’d like to think I’m a “Honorary West Indian” for being a huge fan of the food and can appreciate good flavor. Here’s the thing though, they may have gone a little lighter on salt (which I appreciated) but they prepared with less “heat” or hot pepper. Nevertheless it was STILL good. I also spotted some other sweets, pastries and caramel wafers.
Overall, Trinbago Roti in New Jersey is a place to check out if you’re in Essex county New Jersey and want to save a trip to New York. Buss-up Shot for under $4, I’m up for it! True, having a home cooked meal is always better, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised that the owners cook with a lot of love. What do you think? Have you been there and if so which is your favorite entree?