Monday, June 4, 2012

Shawarma, Anyone?

 For anyone who reads this blog and happens to still be living under a rock, there happens to be this wildly successful superhero movie called The Avengers, that has broken all kinds of box office records, raised the bar to an insane level for superhero movies, and took Joss Whedon from being a cult favorite to a household name.  The sustained level of praise for The Avengers is unprecedent for a film of its kind, and it's won over fans and critics alike with its winning combination of high-octane action, dynamic storytelling, and deft characterizations.  It is also, probably unsurprisingly, my favorite film of the year, so far.

Right now, I'd like to talk about a small, almost throwaway, part of the film, though, that has had a noticeable impact on sales for a particular food.  Namely: shawarma.

If you're anything like I was, you probably left The Avengers wondering what the heck shawarma was, even after watching the post-credits scene.  Google searches for the delectable Arab dish shot up shortly after the film hit the United States, and apparently sales have received a serious bump due to its fairly prominent mention.  I had never had it before, and was finally introduced to it this weekend by my girlfriend, who's eaten it many times and was happy to broaden my horizons.

I've since had it again, and have to say, that while the presentation and flavors may vary by individual restaurants, shawarma is so far proving to be very tasty in any iteration.  It's a delicious spiced meat preparation (the meats themselves can vary; the preparation of slow-grilling the large hunk of meat and cutting the shavings off the hanging meat are what distinguish it as shawarma), served in a pita with a number of vegetables and sauces.  I'm always glad to try something new in the foods realm, and this food is certain to become a staple of my regular dining repertoire.

Amusingly, if not unexpectedly, shawarma has been making other appearances on the Internet.  Quite a few of them are taken directly from the post-credits scene in The Avengers, while another amusing iteration has popped up in the Marvel: Avengers Alliance game I'm still obsessively playing.  While I can't stock up on it yet due to other considerations (trying to unlock Mockingbird and all the resources that entails), I grabbed a couple of them once they became available and have found them a very useful in-game power-up.   I'll be adding as much of it to my stash as soon as possible, once I've taken care of other in-game business.

For anyone who has yet to try this tasty dish, I would highly recommend it.  I know a lot of my friends out there will actively avoid trendy topics and things that are popular for the moment, but this is one indulgence you shouldn't avoid.  It's highly enjoyable, there's likely more than a few places that serve it nearby, and it's always good to try new foods, if only to be sure you don't like them.  I highly doubt that will be the case here.

Anyway, you've read this far.  Here's a small reward: me, eating shawarma, looking exhausted, in a lame impression of the heroes at the end of The Avengers.  Enjoy, and feel free to laugh at my expense.


  1. Thanks for this post Tony! I used to get this in a hole in the wall in Florence (with french fries in it!) but always called it kebob. When I saw this movie I was like "what's shawarma?"

    I didn't know it was already one of my favorite fast foods.

  2. I know! The name just sounds exotic to me, but I was surprised at how widely it's served here in Houston. I'm glad to have discovered it.