Roti's Moroccan rice bowl with chicken by Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post
A summer jaunt to the Mediterranean to gorge on everything olive oil-soaked sounds appetizing. But the whole volcanic-ash-disrupting-flights thing and hit to your recession-weary wallet could leave a bad taste. Luckily, the Mediterranean has come to you.

Roti Mediterranean Grill serves up freshly made regional specialties such as falafel, pita bread and baba ghanoush, for breakfast and lunch.

“It’s basically a scratch kitchen — everything’s made fresh every day,” says Peter Nolan, Roti’s marketing director. “The flavors are very interesting. It’s not your typical turkey sandwich.”

The restaurant’s name refers to its rotisserie style of cooking meats on 1,000-degree spits and to its homemade pita bread (called roti in South Asia). For diners, that translates into flavorful dishes kept simple, such as hummus made of chickpeas, garlic and lemon juice; and the Capri Cous-Cous Salad, a mixture of Israeli large semolina pasta, spices, peppers, mandarin oranges, currants and chopped parsley.
Roti has four locations in other states and was drawn to D.C.’s eclecticism. “It’s a very sophisticated food town,” Nolan says.

Roti’s signature dish is the chicken or steak roti sandwich on laffa, a whole-wheat wrap or pita. Toppings include Spanish eggplant, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, red pepper aioli and tahini.

If you’re not in the market for meat, try the salmon kabob with rice and tomato-and-cucumber salad, or the spinach salad.

Breakfast options range from heavier sandwiches like the Conquistador — chicken sausage, eggs, avocado and feta — to lighter fare including Greek yogurt with granola and fruit.

Whatever you decide, get there early. The line can stretch out the door, Nolan says.

» Roti Mediterranean Grill, 1747 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 202-466-7684. (Farragut West)

Written by Express contributor Stephanie Kanowitz
Photo by Gerald Martineau/The Washington Post