Looking for a nearby Sunday lunch option that Marie would enjoy, I finally pulled Tassa Roti Shop from the rainy day list, even though it was a bright and beautiful mid-October afternoon without a cloud in the sky. A co-worker is from Trinidad and she recommended it quite some time ago, although she says that a place on the southeast side of town, International Roti Shop, is even better. That’s high praise, indeed, because Tassa, which is on Powers Ferry Road in Marietta, is really good.
Roti is unleavened bread, similar to the chatpatti that you can get in some Indian restaurants. It is a very common side dish in the Caribbean and the West Indies, and, in the small converted house that is home to Tassa – this stretch of Powers Ferry was originally zoned residential, but you can see insurance agents and political offices lining the road today – guests can serve themselves roti from a cooler next to the buffet. The buffet typically has three meats, two styles of rice and seven vegetables, along with at least two sauces. On our visit, we found one of the “sauce” bowls taken by a hot cucumber chutney. I had to fight the temptation to just take the entire bowl to our table. Man alive, that is incredible!
We enjoyed quite a few things from the buffet. A sweet corn dish was pretty good, and made even better with some tamarind sauce. Curried chicken was pretty good, a very, very spicy jerk chicken even better. We really enjoyed sampling callaloo, a creamed spinach dish, which neither of us had ever had before. That was delicious.
Tassa Roti Shop has a very small dining room and patio, and not a great deal of parking, either. They opened a second store on Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta with substantially more seating, and room to host events, like a big shindig this past summer to benefit Go Eat Give, which you can read about here. Me, I’ve always been sort of ambivalent about Caribbean cooking, neither loving it nor ever being disappointed before. The flavors at Tassa, however, are really complex and everything tasted very good. I’d love to visit again someday soon, and I gave myself a solid kick in the rear for turning down an opportunity to attend that event at the Alpharetta location. We missed out on a great meal!
You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s a terrific resource for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!