Lazeez Shawarma

Apologies dear readers, but this shawarma isn’t very Hamilton. I was simply looking for shawarma and went to the first place I saw, Lazeez. It turns out this is their one Hamilton location, and they have a bazillion in Mississauga. (Side note: is available for 10 bucks a year).

Located in lovely Westdale Village, Lazeez is smartly placed to attract universary students eating out on borrowed money. They’re open late, making them a good walk home option after the pub, which is the best kind of shawarma in a lot of ways. Lazeez has a beautiful restaurant, spacious and clean, with a fireplace and skylights.

Ordering is hip and new, just like their customers. There’s technology all over: TV menus, computers for ordering that relay the order to an iPad at the food prep area, and cashless payment. Despite all that, they needed to post two paper signs at the register, one listing their toppings, and one defining how spicy their hot sauce is. I was happy to see my old friend cucumber on the menu, and placed my order.

Why yes, that is Labatt 50

The chicken was tasty! Nicely seasoned and tender. The pita was nice and soft too, maybe a little too soft, it was tearing before too long and completely fell apart by the end. Not great for walking home from the pub. The hot sauce was well balanced between spice and flavour, it wasn’t evenly applied however. The garlic sauce was mild in flavour, and was hard to even notice in the final product.

The biggest thing I noticed, however, was the onions. The onions were applied liberally, giving the shawarma some pungency, as well as hurting the texture. My colleagues didn’t experience this, so I’m willing to excuse this as a fluke. We all make mistakes, in fact I burnt my roast last night because my thermometer had been switched to Celsius. It was still good, slow roasted meat usually is, but I could have done more with such a nice cut of meat.

Lazeez is a nice enough place. I’ll have to come back, the chicken was good and I have a feeling their chicken and rice would be great. I’m going to have to dock them a point for the onions, but hey Lazeez: I’d be willing to accept a free shawarma if you want to take another crack at it. Check it out if you’re in the area, maybe do some skating at Cootes Paradise, it’s beautiful this weekend. 6/10

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