I've been hearing some rumblings about quality schwarma from Duzans on Steinway and Astoria Blvd. and the fam finally made it there a few days ago. Very clean and new looking location. It's kinda outta place in the area it's so 'finished'. The place and their menu's make it look like a chain, which it is not. Maybe the owners have chain aspirations.
From the quality of the food I ate there, they have a chance. They are on a odd stretch of Steinway, but more restaurants keep appearing so the business must be making it's way to this stretch of 'little Egypt'. The owners are Palestinian, and the food reflects this heritage. The menu consists of beef or shx schwarma, kofka, kebabs, schnitzel, falafel and fries. They also do a number of hummus's with different toppings. They also have a pickled salad bar to add more goodness to your schwarma. And to top it all off they make their own pita bread to order. This makes all the difference.
I got the chx schwarma sandwich, extra salad ($1), and a garlic/pine nut topped hummus. The schwarma took a good ten minutes, but due to the fresh pita that was being made for it. Stuffed with two cabbage salads, tahini and very flavorful chix, the pita bread was the perfect delivery mechanism. A bit thicker than inferior pitas, soft with amazing hole structure, but solid enough to hold the chicken, sauces and salads without any sogginess all the way till the end. They serve it with three sauces, each very different from each other and providing a different experience depending on you mood. The green hit you first with a strong lime flavor that gets overtaken by the significant raw garlic minced into the sauce. Love it. The second was and orange sauce with an almost gooey consistency. Sour and then curry flavor were the flavor notes here, and this sauce was my favorite with the chx. The red, hot sauce has a good kick but was a bit to heavy on the sour note for me. The green sauce was my favorite with the Hummus I ordered.
The hummus was different than any hummus I can remember. It had a strong toasted note that I couldn't place. Hummus is such a straight foward dish, I find it's either heavy on one of the four ingredients that make it up (bean, tahinni, lemon or garlic). The toasted note in this hummus was something different. At first I was not happy, but as I ate more I enjoyed the flavor and super smooth texture more and more. This place is a great find.
One thing I want to mention is their take out menu's. They have these long narratives printed on the front and back that had me laughing out loud. You'll have to see one for yourself, but they are just taking themselves a bit too seriously for a schwarma joint. And with terrible sentence structure to boot. But they can write whatever they want if I'm consistently fed chicken schwarma as good as I had the other night.
ps. sorry for the spelling. I don't have the energy to go through and correct.
24-11 Steinway St, Queens, NY 11103