Country 004 – Trinidad and Tobago (Leela’s Roti & Doubles)

Location: 900 Rathburn Road West, Unit 1, Mississauga

Well, that was disappointing.

I’ve never tried a double before (a doubles?  Does it have to have the S?), and I’d certainly heard good things about Leela’s.  Trying something new?  At a reasonably acclaimed restaurant?  Yeah, I was excited.

And the place was packed — so packed that I couldn’t even eat in the restaurant (I ate in the car, which is always fun).

If nothing else, it’s crazy cheap.  I got a double ($1.25), an aloo pie ($1.50), and a bottle of Trinidadian soda ($2.00), and the whole thing came up to just over five bucks.  And it was a fairly substantial amount of food, I should note.

I tried the double first.  A double, for the uninitiated, is essentially a chickpea curry sandwich made with a special type of fried bread.

It was actually pretty bad.  It probably didn’t help that it had obviously been sitting around for quite a while, giving the bread a mushy, unpleasantly sodden texture that was really unappealing.

The filling is essentially bland curry mush. It’s just kind of there, without any real personality: a gentle, ineffectual poke to your tastebuds.  Nothing about it pops.

It also had an unpleasant undertone that I can’t quite put my finger on. The closest thing I can compare it to is particularly ripe boiled cabbage. That flavour wasn’t too strong, fortunately, but it was definitely there, and it was definitely off-putting — to me, at least. I think it’s safe to assume that, in the process of updating this blog, I’ll be eating dishes that would be classified as acquired tastes. So I don’t know if this was just a bad version of a double, or a taste I simply haven’t acquired.

The aloo pie was clearly the superior of the two items. Featuring a spiced potato filling surrounded by a crispy fried pastry shell, it was nothing particularly mind-blowing, but it was tasty at least.

The filling is essentially like a smoother, less dense version of what’s in a samosa.  It tasted okay, but again, it was kind of bland.  It was spicy, at least, which helped give it some personality.

The fried pastry shell had a crispy exterior and a pleasantly chewy bite, but it also tasted very strongly of stale oil.

So no… not a fan.  But if you’re looking to get full on very little money, then sure, come here with a few bucks in your pocket and go nuts.  Just don’t expect anything that great.

Leela's Roti and Doubles - the menu board Leela's Roti and Doubles - double and aloo pie