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Restaurants & Bars 4

Trini food in Baltimore

baltoellen | Feb 2, 2005 08:19 PM

During my travels, the food in Trinidad has beat out every other cuisine in terms of being unexpectedly great. I think of going back often, after having been twice, mainly to eat. I'm always on the lookout for Trini food in Baltimore, and happy to report that Kyle's Trinidad on 628 N. Chester (near NE Mkt) lives up to the great tradition of remarkable food from that island.

First, I must say that I make a fairly regular pilgrimage out to the Caribbean Food Store, in Woodlawn (I think; address is in a strip mall at 7408 Windsor Mill Rd.) for their fantastic doubles and roti. The place is carry out mainly, where there's about 2 tables, an assortment of condiments and desserts from the island, maps of Trinidad, a tv playing VCRs from Carnivals past or an old cricket match. Anyway, their doubles ("fry bread" with heavenly spiced chick peas) are remarkable. Their rotis are always excellent. And, the owner is fun, friendly, and funny. (In short, like a lot of the Trinis I've met.) Everyone I've ever dragged there for rotis and doubles has seen the light.

That said, I almost didn't want to like Kyle's, but it's so amazingly close to my house, that I thought it would be good for a quick Trini fix. Well, it well worth going for its food, not just its location. While the Windsor Mill Rd. store only has one type of wrapper for the rotis, the NE one had my favorite, a type made with pounded lentils. I'm a sucker for goat rotis, and am happy to report that it was there that I had the best goat of my life. It was truly incredible. The doubles, while good, didn't quite live up to their cheap and messy counterpart around the beltway. (Which, I must admit, made me kind of happy. When I went to Kyle's, I felt like I was cheating on my beloved Woodlawn hole-in-the-wall.)To say that Kyle's had no atmosphere would be an understatement. It also didn't have any tables.

And, they are both cheap. If you've not had the pleasure of chow from Trinidad, the melding of the foods of India (from the indentured servants the Brits brought over) mixed with tropical fruits and veggies should produce something, in the chowish world, just short of nirvana.

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