I have no problem with food piled onto a large, circular form that is then tucked and rolled into a cylindrical shape: I love burritos; I grew up less than 100 miles from the Mexican border. I love crepes; I love dosas; I love Swedish pancakes (Lingonberry jam and breakfast sausage, mmm).
But what I can’t stand is that American invention, the “wrap,” wherein a bland, pasty tortilla, often a red or green color (why?), is stuffed with traditional, “healthful” sandwich goods (“tuna salad wrap,” “Caesar salad wrap”). There’s just something fundamentally wrong about the wrap phenomenon.
Then there are the rolls at Kati Roll Co. — they are everything the “wrap” wishes it could be, but will never, ever achieve.
For starters, the Indian wrap is so delicate, so thin it’s translucent and tears apart like a crêpe. (A majority of the rolls come with a scrambled egg patty, which sets into the wrap almost perfectly and offers some structural support.)
The homemade wrap is heated on an old, cast iron grill before being stuffed with savory, Indian-spiced proteins — chicken, beef, paneer cheese, minced lamb kababs are the options — topped with sliced red onion and doused with a zingy, bright green cilantro sauce. Wow.
Since I was only having one (they’re often eaten in pairs), I went for the big one: an Unda Shami Roll, with egg and two spicy minced mutton kababs. One was substantial: There was certainly a hamburger’s worth of lamb meat inside.
Finally! After a rocky start to food today, I found harmony: The heat of the roll, balanced by the sweet of the mango juice drink; the heat of the day, balanced by the cool shade of Bryant Park; the stress of work momentarily forgotten.