Pleasant, clean, airy and well-lit is what comes to mind as one walks into this shawarma joint. To add to the authenticity there is a small arabic grocery section hidden towards the back and also an abundance of various sizes of shisha pipes. The aroma of grilling meats fills the air as you near the counter and a clearly written menu presents one with options which cover the standard lebanese cuisine. On a back wall there is also a picture-menu to assist the newbies.
We ordered the lamb platter, chicken shawarma and the mixed (lamb and chicken) shawarma.
The lamb platter was superb (seen to the left). Freshly shaved off the rotating grill, it was moist, tender and delicious. The platter came with lebanese style potatoes, deep fried, slightly spicy with dollops of very good garlic sauce and the always welcome hummus. Dip a cube in either sauce and enjoy. The lamb was drizzled with tahini and went very well with pita. A small simple salad on the side with some parsley helped reset the taste buds every time you remembered it was there. The one draw back was the rice was slightly undercooked but even that was devoured with the lamb. Make sure you eat the lamb while its still hot as it tends to toughen as it cools.
The chicken shawarma sold here is the closest to a Montrealesque shawarma I’ve had in Calgary so far (I love Montreal shawarmas). The ingredients are fresh, right down to the pickled turnips, whose vinegary flavours really compliment the rest of the stuffing. There are two sizes but the smaller size (medium) is substantial and the meat portions are generous. The chicken is very flavourful and is not lost amongst the various veggies and sauces in the pita. I personally prefer hummus and garlic sauce over the sweet sauce in the chicken and lamb shawarmas.
It was also unanimously agreed that the napkins were thick, very soft and a joy to use.
On the way out I noticed he was not using the standard superstore pita’s but a larger, thinner and definitely tastier looking pita. It was about 3ft wide when whole and he used quarters to wrap his donairs and shawarmas. Maybe this is his secret.
The experience was enjoyable and has the potential to become a regular lunchtime outing.
Shawarma Knight, 1512 14 St SW, (403) 244-3999, Map it.