The Best Roti in Brooklyn are at Glenda's

The Vegetarian Option

Dining out meat-free.

Glenda's in Crown Heights cooks up superior Trinidadian fare. [Photographs: Lauren Rothman]

As a resident of Crown Heights much of my diet is made up of great, cheap Caribbean food, and my absolute favorite meal is a roti: a thin, stretchy, buttery whole-wheat wrap filled to bursting with savory stew. A great roti is filling, delicious and inexpensive, usually costing around $6 to $8 for a meatless option.

I've eaten roti all over Brooklyn, and the most exemplary version I've found is served at Glenda's Roti Shop, a ramshackle little joint right off Nostrand Avenue. A few bare-bones tables and chairs sit in front of a pane of bulletproof glass at the counter, behind which Glenda Henry, a soft-spoken, middle-aged woman from Trinidad, works her magic.

Mixed vegetable roti.

Most days, Glenda's offers two vegetarian roti (if you're lucky, you'll arrive on a day when a third option, pumpkin, is in stock). On a recent visit, I started with Mixed Vegetable ($6), a deeply flavored curried mélange of tender potatoes, soft green cabbage, shredded carrots, and hot and sweet peppers.

Channa and potato roti.

Next up was the classic combination of Channa and Potato ($6), a thick, flavor-packed stew of chickpeas and potatoes that's heavy on the garlic, onions and fresh ginger.

Glenda's fillings are excellent, but the real draw here is the roti itself: it's thin, well-seasoned and perfectly tender. Lesser roti can often be tough, dry and tasteless, but that's a pitfall I have yet to experience at this beloved neighborhood spot.