Have you ever walked past your local Middle Eastern eatery and noticed gigantic hunks of meat turning on a vertical spit? Have you ever been intrigued, but a little intimidated to go inside and ask what it is? You needn’t be! That tantalizing meat is for shawarma, a Middle Eastern sandwich composed of meat and a variety of accoutrement (we’re fond of making it with hummus and lettuce) inside a pita. Once you try shawarma, it’s easy to get obsessed. It’s the perfect fast food: hot, cheap, and satisfying. Yesterday’s Dig piece about falafel got us in the mood for our favorite Middle Eastern treat. Below, four of the restaurants in the Hub that do it best.
•With apologies to the very good Shawarma King, the area’s true emperor of shaved meats is Rami’s. The shawarma at Rami’s is, to the best of our knowledge, the only in the area made with turkey. As promised on their menu, it melts in your mouth.
•Although Boston’s Middle Eastern places are filled with delicious and fairly inexpensive food, most leave a little to be desired in terms of atmosphere. Cafe Jaffa, located just off Newbury Street, is your best bet for enjoying shawarma in style. Their sandwich comes loaded with chicken or lamb and beef, fresh veggies, and plenty of tahini sauce.
•At Redneck’s Roast Beef BBQ in Allston, shawarma goes Italian in the form of a calzone packed with beef shawarma, onions, tomato, and mozzarella served with tzatki sauce on the side. Traditional? No. Tasty? Indeed.
•The stuffings elevates the shawarma at Andre’s Cafe, which comes filled with chicken, lettuce, tomato, red onion, picked turnip, and tahini sauce for a mere $5.50. You won’t find a better bargain.