Sunday, April 06, 2014

A First Time at the Palace of Shawarma

Shawarma Palace on UrbanspoonI have a foodie confession to make, today was my first time having the Middle Eastern dish of Shawarma.

With that out of the way, I had to do some research before going on the "trying this new dish to me adventure."  What is Shawarma? And of course, where in Ottawa has the best Shawarma?  and wha

The first part was the easiest, as Wikipedia gave a good description found here.

The Globe & Mail's Queen's Park Columnist Adam Radwanski in July 2013 asked on Twitter about where Ottawa's best Shawarma was located.  Shawarma Palace (464 Rideau Street, Ottawa) came back from the Ottawa Citizen's City Hall Reporter David Reevely and many others.   Over on Urbanspoon, the same thing, a 92% rating.   Seemed like a pretty safe bet.

I ventured out to Shawarma Palace for lunch and arrived at 12:30 P.M. to find the restaurant moderately busy.  There was no line but several customers enjoying their plates of Shawarma.

I walked up to the long counter with various vegetable containers spread out like at a Subway sandwich shop accompanied by three spits of meat slowly turning in the background.  I placed my order with the smiling gentleman behind the counter.

The Order: 1 Beef Shawarma and 1 can of Coke.

He inquired if I would like a sandwich or a meal?

um....I stood there a second dumbfounded.  "Sandwich," I replied hoping this would turn out how I wanted.   I wanted it in a wrap style similar to a pita at Pita Pit.   Sandwich seemed to fit what I wanted.

Out came pita looking bread and the next question came:  "Would you like everything on it?"

"Yes please!" came my enthusiastic reply, not knowing what "everything" meant but was game for the adventure.   After three toppings added, I noticed the container of hot peppers. Would he? Thank goodness he skipped the peppers.  A little taziki here and there, shavings of the beef and a quick wrap and I was good to go.

I walked along Rideau Street to return to downtown.  While walking, I opened up the Shawarma "sandwich" and got a good taste.

The wrap was delicious pita bread that was not too dry but not soggy either.  The wrap was wrapping paper to the delicious composition inside of taziki, beef and loads of fresh tasting vegetables.  The best part was nothing went to waste as the pita was not overstuffed or too gooey.  Just perfection in each bite along with no topping spillage.  

Overall, the Shawarma Palace was a great experience.  At $6.00 and change for a large wrap filled with delicious goodness and a can of pop it is also economical.  The only downfall is the decent walk from downtown along Rideau Street.  This area is an up and coming area but still shows, around the edges, it seedy side with run down buildings and the odd interesting character. But the Shawarma Palace shines as a beaken of hope for not only the area but for good food.
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