Chapati & Karak

several sources have recommended a place in Katara called Chapati & Karak that only serves…well, chapati and karak (what many call the unofficial official drink of Qatar).

and yes, it’s as popular as this time out review says. in the middle of a weekday there were cars lined up in the parking lot getting waited on through the passenger side window.

there’s not much to it — they don’t have a menu:

me: “can i get a menu?”

waiter: “we only have tea and bread, sir.”

me: “uhh, i’ll take both!”

but damn, the tea is great!

photo (3)

it’s a very sweet chai with a strong hint (to me) of dates — it recalls this steamed milk thing my grandmother used to make when i was a kid that IIRC had dates to give it flavor? whatever. i’m a fan of sweetened tea of any sort. i couldn’t stop after one cup — had to order a second. (note they also sell bottles of water.)

the chapati i got, though, was unimpressive. i think you’re supposed to dunk it in the tea, which i didn’t know until after i was done, so maybe it’s better if you do it that way.

but wait, there’s more! i overheard some people speaking english at the next table over and i turned and told them what the waiter told me about there being no menu. almost right away one of the ladies turns around and goes, “it’s JON!” O_o. it was someone i met from Toronto on the Star Alliance MegaDO last fall! what a small world!!! though i guess when you’re part of a travel freak community that goes where the flight deals take you, you’re bound to meet up with someone sometime.

the point of that (other than it was hella cool) is that her travel buddy ordered the sweet chapati, which unlike the rolled-up regular chapati, comes flat and is slightly sweet — i tried a bit and we both agreed that it tastes just like chinese pancakes. in any case, a better option in my opinion than the regular option.

i can totally see now why people would line up for this drink — i sure would! if you’re in Katara, GO. this place is located right next to the Friday Mosque and the three-tower Pigeon Tower (not the two-tower one).

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