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Boston Area Shawarma

The Shawarma Place, Davis Square, Somerville


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The Shawarma Place, Davis Square, Somerville

smtucker | Feb 4, 2014 05:50 PM

Tonight, I wanted someone else to cook for me so I convinced Mr. SMT to try this new spot in Davis Square. I never stepped foot into this space when it was WingsToGo, or whatever, so I have no idea if any decorating occurred. I suspect that any decor modifications were minimal since there really isn't much in the way of decor. There are four tables, each with 3-4 chairs, though one of the tables was taken by what appeared to be a family member doodling with pen and paper. I was expecting take out only, so was pleasantly surprised by being able to eat in.

I ordered a lamb and beef shawarma sandwich and a cup of lentil soup. He got the same shawarma as a plate. We should have ordered different things, but that didn't happen. We were greeted warmly by both the cashier, and then by the person actually cooking the food. When asked, we both told him to make our meal the way he would enjoy it. Ordering is done at the food station, and then we sat and waited for our food.

I was a bit dismayed when I saw that he was using a microwave. Turns out that was just for my soup. The soup was a huge portion in a real, ceramic bowl. The lentils had collapsed and the spices were a little spicy, but not quite. It was a really delicious bowl of soup, though just a bit of fresh lemon would have been a nice addition. The soup spoon was plastic.

Our dinners arrived, along with some complimentary falafels. [He was handing out falafels to anyone who walked in.] These are worthy falafels indeed. Very crunchy exteriors with a soft interior. Different style than Amsterdam's down the street, and very good.

My sandwich was filled with lots of meat, and all the traditional toppings, plus cornichon. Are green pickles traditional? I don't believe I have ever had them on shawarma before. The spices and herbs were all very understated; subtle undertones of a complex blend. If one flavor stood out it was cardamon. I think you would have to really like this spice to enjoy this sandwich. I found the sandwich too big, and about 1/3 of the way through, opened up the bread to eat the insides out.

While we were eating, I noticed that the second man in the kitchen was constantly refilling the ingredients in the hotel pans. He must have refilled the salad mix, and cucumbers three or four times. They were making about 8 falafels at a time so they never sat out for more than a few minutes.

I thought this food was very tasty, though I would prefer a smaller sandwich so I could have other flavors on the plate. They suggested that next time I tell them exactly what I would like, and they would make me a plate that reflects this.

The plate dinner came on real plates. My sandwich came on paper. Silverware for the two dinners were stainless. I like real silverware and plates.

Since I am not a shawarma expert, I don't know if the flavors are what one should expect with an Arab version. Certainly there was no grill char, just softness with no fat or gristle. I am really looking forward to some reviews from folks who have had more versions of this dish.

Me? I am going to go back and try the Foul Mudamas and the Mujadara which both sound fabulous. I brought a paper menu home. Photos are attached.

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