A&A Bake & Doubles Shop
The self-proclaimed “Doubles King” makes a mostly positive, if extremely messy, version. The channa was a little wan here, but kicked up by the hefty pour of vinegary hot sauce, which had slivers of pepper floating around in it. The mango chutney was hard to detect by eye but lent a nice sweetness overall. The key at A&A, which is about the size of a shoebox, is to time your order to a fresh batch of piping-hot bara (they come out every few minutes), as opposed to the chewy, limp room-temperature ones.
481 Nostrand Ave; (718) 230-0753; $1.25
Ali’s Trinidad Roti Shop
Just around the corner from A&A but four times larger and with the added benefit of seats, this grocery/lunch joint gives the Doubles King a run for its money. Their bara had a distinct yellow hue and was served hot, with a gently sweet aftertaste. The channa had slivers of shado beni peeking out and came gently spiked with a not-so-hot hot sauce, though sadly, no mango chutney.
1267 Fulton St; (718) 783-0316; $1.25
A bright and cacophonous steam-table restaurant, Trini Gul’s bara is soft and puffy, if a bit more petite than some of her neighbors. The channa, full of plump whole chickpeas and shado beni, is revved up with spoonfuls of mango and cucumber chutneys, which provide a sweet-cool contrast to the hearty stew. Strongly recommended.
543 Nostrand Ave; (718) 484-4500; $1.25
Royal Bakery & Roti House
Royal is part Chinese restaurant, part bakery, and part Trinidadian restaurant. It’s a funky combo, but it works—their doubles arrive on hot, fluffy bara, tinted yellow and gently sweet. They pile less filling in, but more variety: hot sauce and tamarind, plus mango chutney and a finely chopped cucumber chutney imbued with a sinus-clearing dose of raw garlic. NB: no seats, so be prepared to scarf your doubles on the street.
618 Nostrand Ave; (718) 604-0200; $1
There are three Gloria’s along Nostrand, but the other two are destined for a future trip. III’s doubles were one of the easiest versions to eat, with little spillover thanks to the thin, dense bara that held all of the pleasantly spicy channa in. If you want chutneys, be sure to specify when you order, or else you’ll end up with an unadorned sandwich like the one you see here.
764 Nostrand Ave; (718) 773-3476; $1.50