Since 2003, Café Roti has been wowing patrons with traditional, gourmet Indian-Pakistani dishes in Lakeland, FL. Last year the restaurant found a new home, just one block south of Munn Park in the downtown district. The new location is spacious and a few window seats offer exceptional views for people watching during lunch and dinner.
My coworker, Laura, and I stopped in for a weekday lunch and I let our server, Betsy, know it had been a few years since my last dining experience at an Indian restaurant and would have more than a few questions before ordering. After explaining that I would preferred a vegetarian meal, Betsy described my options in each section of the menu. She really wanted to make sure we enjoyed whatever we ordered.
Café Roti Lunch Specials
Café Roti offers two types of lunch specials: the Executive Lunch and the Lunch Combo Special. The Executive Lunch comes with one appetizer, one entrée with naan, and a dessert for $17.00 while the Lunch Combo Special comes with an entrée served with basmati rice and naan for $11.00 (vegetarian) or $12.00 (chicken or beef). Regular menu options include seafood entrees and Dhal.
Laura and I both ordered the Executive Lunch because... dessert, of course.
The Executive Lunch
We loved the presentation! In the photo above, my meal is Paneer and mixed vegetables with Vindaloo sauce (vinegar, potatoes, ginger, garlic and masala). Laura’s is Chicken with Tikka Masala sauce (ghee, diced peppers and onions). We both ordered the Vegetarian Mix Platter appetizer and agreed that the Samosa (pear shaped fried dough with vegetables inside) was THE BEST of the trio but all were very good.
Each meal served at Café Roti is cooked to order with a savory blend of ancient Indian spices so be sure to let your server know just how much spice your stomach can take. I asked for medium while Laura requested mild. We were pleased with the results and enjoyed our meals.
A Vegan Dessert
Just look at that dessert! The Forbidden Rice Pudding with Coconut Gelato is worth every calorie and, according to the menu, it’s good for you too. What is forbidden rice pudding? It is a rare-find black rice (high antioxidant) cooked in coconut milk and served with homemade baby coconut ice. Other offerings include Chocolate Samosa with Kerlan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Himalayan Stream (warm toffee pudding with Darjeeling chia foam) and Crème Carmel Custard.
Café Roti is Family Friendly – the Kid’s Menu
Each kid’s meal comes with a drink and ice cream. Options include Butter Chicken with basmati rice, Chicken Nuggets with fries, Grilled Cheese with fries, and Mac and Cheese.
Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture
After lunch, Laura and I headed over to the Sharp Family Tourism and Education Center at Florida Southern College. The College is home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright designed structures in the world - thirteen structures.
The Tourism and Education Center is home to the GEICO Gift Shop and is where visitors begin guided architecture tours. If you’re planning a day trip to Lakeland, be sure to add Florida Southern College to your itinerary.