Roti Mediterranean Grill was founded about four years ago by two investors looking to create a healthy Mediterranean fast casual concept in Chicago. Today, they have locations throughout Illinois and also in Virginia, DC, Maryland, and New York. They've been in DC for about a year and a half, but I had never heard of them until now. Their marketing company contacted me to see if I would be interested in a complimentary meal and I happily obliged.
The Roti located at 13th and F Streets looks like your typical downtown cafe with inside and outside seating. My friend and I met the Manager, Glen, and he walked us through the menu. It is a very simple concept and the menu is very easy to understand, which I really appreciate. You basically choose a sandwich, rice plate, or salad. Next, you choose falafel or roasted vegetables (vegan options). Then, you choose your toppings, sides, and sauces.
I figured it would be easy to choose because there often aren't many vegan choices at this type of restaurant. Boy, was I wrong. There were TONS of vegan options. In fact, most of the menu is vegan! And the sides look incredibly fresh. I was so excited.
So, I ordered a sandwich with the wheat laffa -- a flatbread. Based on Glen's recommendation, I chose the falafel over the roasted veggies. I know--I don't normally go for something that is deep-fried, but I wanted the full experience so I made an exception just this one time. Next, I chose my sauce. The S'hug and Tahini are vegan. I went with the spicy S'hug. Then for the sides, he told me I could have as many as I wanted in the wrap. Wow! And for no additional cost! So, I loaded it with hummus, tomato and cucumber salad, sumac onions, mixed greens, and kalamata olives.
The wrap was pretty big and I immediately felt gluttonous when I bit in, but it was so darned good. This was a great wrap. The falafel, although fried in vegetable shortening, was not overly oily and was seasoned just right. The tomato and cucumber salad was made with ripe tomatoes and fresh parsley. The sumac onions were tangy and fresh. And the olives were just perfect. Best of all, was that S'hug sauce that really was spicy! Oh, and the hummus was super creamy and delicious.
I also ordered sides of the vegetables, which were good, but a bit too oily, and the Israeli couscous with scallions and currants. I loved the couscous.
In fact, the only sides and toppings that weren't vegan were the eggplant and feta cheese. You can find a full list of their vegan friendly options under the Nutrition - Allergen Information section on their website. My friend ordered a huge plate of sides including the cabbage. Her meal looked amazing.
The best part is that the sandwich is only $7 and the unlimited salad plate is only $8. I don't think you can beat this price for high quality, quick food anywhere else in DC. I mean the falafel is 100% organic, though I don't know about any of the other sides; almost everything including the bread is made in house; and the sides are made with 100% olive oil. They say it is food that loves you back. Well, I love this food. And I now have a new favorite quick lunch spot downtown.
Roti (7 locations in DC)
1311 F Street
Washington, DC 20004