Monday, October 31, 2011

The Shawarma Scramble

After weeks of fish, chicken and pasta dinners and basic lunch sandwiches made at home - the day I became "Fatou"  (click here for post) - all that bargaining built up an appetite -  so Manning and I went for a Shawarma (in French "Chawarma").  I can't tell you how tasty, yummy and delicious it was - a complete change of pace!!  They are quite popular here given the Lebanese population and influence that does exist.  A shawarma is a middle eastern sandwich like wrap (burrito style) with either shaved bits of lamb, chicken or beef (maybe even goat here but we haven't seen that on the menu). You can't beat seasoned meat slowly rotating on a spit all day.  Throw in some cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, parsley, dressing and some french fries all rolled up and held in place with the lavash bread. DELICIOUS!

We've managed to hone in on two places - our first at Le Bristol  after the fabric negotiations

Le Bristol
 and another spot called Ali Baba's that we've tried as well. On our way to Ali Baba's a guy asked us where we were headed and he seemed to give us the thumbs up on the choice when we told him. I have to say though that Manning has eaten a few more times at Le Bristol and he's pretty sure despite Ali Baba's popularity - Manning is leaning toward the  'littler' guy.

Ali Baba's

I'd like to point out a few things at the corner of Ali Baba's (one of those clandestine photos using Manning's cellphone).  One, Do you see the guy standing on the corner with the shirt held open. He is an example of just one of many people block after block who walk along the street selling just one thing.  Two, you'll see a  guy standing in front of the silver car, he's washing it and that is one job people do for a living. Actually calling it "a living" might not be the right word. Perhaps it's more like a way to earn some money.  And we see alot of cars being washed on the streets.  In fact it occurred to me why we see empty buckets or the empty 10L mineral water jugs (cut in 1/2) while we walk along the streets. These empty buckets are carefully placed outside in spots to capture the condensation that comes from the air conditioners. This is the water that is used to wash the cars. Lastly, you'll see the guy on the motorcycle with no helmet.

TASTY (at Ali Baba's)

As I mentioned Manning likes Le Bristol so recently he went and picked up 3 shawarmas and brought them home thinking Parker and Addison may join the fold but alas, this food was not for them. They did try it.  So what do you do with one uneaten wrapped shawarma the next day (microwaving it is out of the question) - you throw it into the frying pan, get it back to a crispy state even though it is kind of falling apart -- and you call it a shawarma scramble!!


  1. Thanks for all your posts. I love to read them and this food makes me very hungry... Keep enjoying and sharing your experience. Happy Halloween. Emma

  2. The photos look so yummy I can taste it. I will tell Clovis about the delicious Lebanese food, he will be jealous.