Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Best Shwarma in town

I did a brief exchange program in Bourges, France back in 1988; when my program finished, I headed to Paris for a week and then toured Europe for about a month. While in Paris on my first day, a fellow student took me to Feyrouz Deli where I experienced my very first Chicken Shwarma sandwich. I can still remember sitting on a bench under the elevated subway eating it. It was awesome and every day after that I had one while I was in Paris. It was just down the street from the little hotel where I was staying. I went back to that same deli in 1998 and it had grown to a full service restaurant.

I love Shwarma's and I make it point to know all the good ones in Houston. I have tried them from many different places in Houston and have narrowed my favorites down to 3.

My absolute, bar none, shut my mouth and slap your grandma favorite is at Aladdin's Mediterranean Grill on the corner of Montrose and Westheimer. I don't know what they do to the meat there, but it's awesome. I'm not a big fan of their Hummus, unless it's been in my fridge for a day, then it tastes better.

My close second would be Pheonician's Deli on Westheimer between Kirkwood and Dairy Ashford, across from Luby's. It's their garlic yogurt sauce. The garlic sauce is balanced by the roasted potato they include. They actually have extra amounts of it in their condiments bar and it is soooo yummy, you pump it into a little plastic cup like the ones you see for ketchup at MacDonalds. I like to dip pita bread in it.

And then lastly, Cafe Lili's at Chimney Rock and Westheimer, west of James Coney Island. I love their Hummus and they put pickled veggies in their Shwarma. I like to sit and eat there. It's a family owned restaurant and the father likes to walk around the restaurant offering turkish coffee to the guests. He's a very sweet older gentleman.

Ok, my friends, there you have it. If ever you are in Houston or Paris, now you know where to go to get a good Chicken Shwarma sandwich.


~Krystyn~ said...

OMG- I too LOVE LOVE LOVE chicken shwarma, but even more so I love hummous. My grandfather was Lebanese, which I guess means I'm @ least 1/4 Lebanese and we would always have grape leaves & hummous on holidays - LOVE THE STUFF.

If you ever come to Knoxville, let me know - I'll take you to the local yummy shwarma place I found. :-)

Guess what I want to eat now?

A Girl From Texas said...

Krystyn, Didn't you say you lived in Houston? Did you have a favorite place when you lived here?

Freebird said...

Never had (or heard of ) shwarma before. Will have to tell John about these places.

When it comes to food, I tend to stay within my comfort zone. Drives him nuts, but he's gotten me to try a few things that I now enjoy. Maybe shwarma will be next.

A Girl From Texas said...

Freebird, I promise, you will not be disappointed. If you're not a garlic fan, then I wouldn't start with Phoenician Deli.

You must tell me what you think.

~Krystyn~ said...

GFT-no, I lived in Dallas. If you're up there, try Fadi's.

Amy said...

What is a shwarma? I have never heard of it and there are NO mediterranean type restaurants up here so unless they do a special shwarma episode on the food network I shall remain clueless.

Nora David is just like you regarding food. You can name a restaurant and I can tell you what he always orders, and can generally pick off a new menu what he'll order. Although he said he got lamb when he was in Seattle which I wouldn't have guessed.

A Girl From Texas said...

A shwarma......

The meat is cooked on a rotisserie and sliced off in strips. The sliced meat is placed on soft pita bread and they add pickled veggies, some yogurt/garlic sauce, and other herbs. Then they roll it up and wrap it. Some places add roasted potatoes. Shwarmas come in lamb and beef, too.

They do not taste like Gyros, which is the Greek version.

doggybloggy said...

New York has a ton of swharma places but I do rememeber the nice ones in Paris on the Rue De San Michel...I have it at least once a month from this place called Yatagan, I have been going to this place for years so they make mine nice and fat I also load it up with the hot oil.

Freebird said...

Amy, when it comes to food I'm not adventurous at all. If it doesn't look right, smell right or is a funky color - nope, not gonna happen. This is especially true for Indian & Chinese food.

A while back John had dinner with his dad at Outback Steakhouse. I was able to tell him exactly what he ordered from appetizer to dessert and I even got what type of beer he had.

Cathy said...

I had my very first chicken shwarma in Paris. It was 1987, I was only there for a day and only had the one sandwich. It was the best part of Paris and that day for me. YUMMY! I loved it!! Since then I've only had chicken shwarma when we went to Seattle. I hear there is a place in Nashville that is good but haven't made it there yet to give it a try.