Shawarma Bandwagon: The Kebab Shop
Here’s the thing: I hate staying until the end of the credits after a long movie. My butt often hurts and I’m just aching to get out and stretch my legs despite Paul’s pleas to wait just a bit longer. I’m so glad I did after “The Avengers.” I was rewarded with a scene paying homage to one of my favorite foods: shawarmas!
And shawarmas are blowing up. Literally. Immediately after the release of the movie a few weeks ago, several restaurants in L.A. specializing in shawarmas has business going through the roof. For us in San Diego, there’s only one place I trust for my Middle Eastern food fix: The Kebab Shop.
The Kebab Shop recently opened up its fourth location in Little Italy on the corner of Beech and Union. The other three locations are in Encinitas, Mira Mesa and East Village near the ballpark.
All locations are essentially the same. For an outstanding meal — something that will be hard to diverge from once you have it — go for either the shawarma or doner kebabs.
Their shawarmas and doner kebab wraps ($6.79 each) are packed with your choice of filling (lamb, chicken, falafel or mixed meat), folded with a salad mix (lettuce, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and mint) and topped with their addicting sauces (I highly recommend the garlic yogurt). The difference between the shawarma and doner kebab wrap is whether you want the extra carbs or not.
Those who order the shawarma are rewarded with a thick, crusty bread with a generous filling. But the flat bread wrap is nothing to shirk at either, coming in at 10 inches. Yes, size does matter when it comes to something this good. Every bite is a harmonious combination of all the ingredients –- something that can’t be replicated with the plates.
Both are hefty meals in itself, but if you insist on a side there’s a selection of fresh salads ($3.99-$8.99), french fries ($1.99-$2.58), saffron rice ($2.59) and falafel ($1.99-$2.59). The salads are displayed in the case and all the hot sides are freshly cooked. But for those who want more than just a salad, go for falafels— seasoned ground chick peas formed into balls and fried. Where other places overcook their falafels, The Kebab Shop’s are cooked perfectly with a tender crust that are complimented by their sauces.
Regardless of location, all four shops have online ordering for those on the go or just wanting to fulfill a craving after seeing “The Avengers.”
The Kebab Shop
630 9th Avenue (downtown)
9450 Mira Mesa Blvd. (Mira Mesa)
127 N. El Camino Real #127-E (Encinitas)
303 W. Beech Street (Little Italy)