Ali’s Roti Shop in Brooklyn, NY- Doubles, Buss Up Shut and Dhalpuri

Thanks to my Trinidadian friend, Shawn, I was introduced to Trinidadian roti in Ali’s Roti Shop on Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn. It was absolutely sensational. Roti, the common street food, is fulfilling and filled with yummy ghee, channa (curried chick peas) and cumin. I gained an appreciation for roti and loved the new education that came with eating it.

As I was taught, there are three types of roti that are commonly eaten in Trinidad for breakfast or anytime really (things have changed from eating roti only on special occasions to eating roti daily for breakfast) :

  • Doubles: a sandwich made with two bara (flat fried bread) filled with channa (curried chick peas), eaten with spicy and sweet sauce. This is a food that was pioneered by a Trinidadian entrepreneur.   We started with Doubles, almost like an appetizer.
  • Buss Up Shut or Buss Up Shot (Busted-up Shirt): A lighter version of the Indian Paratha roti made to look like a busted-up shirt. I asked Shawn to repeat his explanations since I was surprised to learn of the colorful description. The texture was like shredded thin paper bread that is both airy and chewy. Here is another explanation of Buss up Shot by PRI.
  • Dhalpuri: My commoner explanation of this is that it is a roti with the channa filling in a pocket and folded up to look like a regular roti. So you eat until you are surprised with the present in the middle – kind of like a toy inside of a cereal box.

Apple Cinder and Solo Kola are the quintessential beverages to accompany our roti brunch.
A Doubles when we first got it.    A Doubles revealing its middle.
Voila! This is what a Doubles looks like when opened!  Busted-up Shirt, Buss Up Shut or Buss Up Shot. Sorry for the terrible photo that doesn’t do it justice . Dhalpuri
 Dhalpuri with curried goat and curried chicken. Curried goat and curried chicken. We slathered so much tamarin sauce and spicy sauce on top of these stewed and meat-falling-of-the-bone dishes, eaten with either the buss-up shut or Dhalpuri. It was unreal. It was messy but good. We were using our fingers to dig in and I felt like a child! It was a sensational treat for the mouth and the stomach. It was fulfilling. While I was eating, I kept on thinking how many miles I have to run to burn all the calories off. This is a food fit for the physically active.
Ali’s Roti Shop is funky, with neon lights for the ceiling and walls and red leatherette booths and ottoman. Em, fyi, the lights were running during a sunny October afternoon while the owner’s young daughter (maybe 5-year-old?) was moving from ottoman to ottoman, playing with her Barbie. This is definitely Brooklyn, NY.

Thank you, Shawn, for indulging my food and cultural desires.  This is friendship at its best. I love learning from friends. #BussUpShot

Lastly, this is my December challenge of 4 of 17, writing a post a day until I leave for vacation, along with the Runner’s World Holiday 37-Day Challenge (running one mile a day from Thanksgiving until New Year’s.) #RWRunStreak Seems like a very tall challenge now, coming down with a cold.

This experience took place at

Ali’s Roti Shop
589 Flatbush Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11225
(718) 462-1730

Kávé Espresso Bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn NY- The Most Perfect Cup of Caffè Latte and Vibe

I was introduced to Kávé Espresso Bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn NY. I had the most perfect cup of Caffè Latte that made me very content and happy. Never thought it could be so thoroughly satisfying. I felt my energy circulating through my body, settling me down and calming me.  The experience was both vivid and perfect.  It would be best described by photos and music.  I believe the words would fail to capture the essence.

2015-01-03 Kave Espresso Bar Banana Bread

2015-01-03-3 2015-01-03-4

What the experience says to me sounds like this in classical music, specifically from minute 1 to minute 2:

In Jazz, it sounds like this (Let’s Face the Music and Dance):

In other music:

This experience took place at

Kávé Espresso Bar
1087 Flushing Avenue #121
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(718) 360-8685

Provence En Boîte in Brooklyn, NY- A French Bistro with Average Food 

I was stuck on this post for more than one week, partly due to laziness but partly because there just isn’t that much to say. This feels like blasphemy for Provence En Boîte owned by chef Jean-Jacques Bernat. This is a small French bistro known for the chef and its desserts.


Escargots: snails, “beurre persille” Decent – almost as good as that of my ex French mother-in-law. This is proof that one doesn’t need to be a chef or own a restaurant to make good escargots.


Potato and Leek Soup: this is one of my favorite soup and this dish tonight was satisfying and authentic.

Burger and Fries: this was mine. I was in the mood for red meat and unfortunately it was just ok. It was technically proficient but not highly engaging for me.

Merguez Sandwich: merguez is one of my favorites – no, it is my most favorite sausage. But this merguez is not spicy nor terribly tasty. In fact, this was not the first time I had the merguez at this restaurant. The last time I was there, my ex husband argued with the chef on how this merguez is not authentically Algerian. Of course, the chef thought he knew better.  See what a good merguez sandwich really should be like, click here.


No name fish with ratatouille – this meal happened in the beginning of May and I didn’t take notes. Sorry!

Overall, this meal was average. I would return if I lived in the neighborhood or have a function to attend. Otherwise, it is not worth the trip.

This experience took place at

Provence En Boîte
263 Smith St,
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 797-0707