Avêsta Restaurant

Avêsta Restaurant is both highly acclaimed and nobody knows about it at the same time. Also known as Avêsta Pizza & Grill, they seem to refer to themselves as both interchangeably. They serve Kurdish cuisine, which is pretty cool. I don’t think the Kurds are well known for shawarma (or pizza), but it’s on the menu so let’s check it out.

After spending a literal 10 minutes trying to turn left on Upper James, I arrived at Avêsta. It looked tiny from the outside, but, upon entry, I was surprised to see how spacious and well decorated it was. I noticed the back corner was set up with some traditional carpet and a kneeling table set up. Cool!

I set out to find some staff to place my order. A lady came out from the kitchen, looking surprised to see a customer.

“Hi, I’m looking to order some takeout.”

“Some takeout?”

“Yes, some takeout.”

“Oh. What do you want?”

I would have appreciated a menu at this point. Thankfully, I already knew what I wanted.

“Chicken shawarma wrap.”

“Chicken shawarma wrap?”

“Yes, chicken shawarma wrap.”

“Chicken shawarma?”

“That’s right.”


“That’s right.”

“Okay, give me 20-25 minutes.”

And she immediately headed into the back. Surprised to have just committed the next 20-25 minutes of my life, I found a place to sit in the empty restaurant and found some time to think. “There’s so many tables and chairs. This must be a sit-down restaurant with servers. But there are no servers. And no customers. What time is it? 5:00? That’s dinner time. Weird.”

10 minutes after placing my order, another gentlewoman came out of the kitchen and asked what I’d like on my shawarma. She had trouble remembering what the options were, but listed a few things that all sounded agreeable. I phoned some loved ones over the next 10 minutes, which maybe I should do more often. Finally, my food was ready. After 5 minutes of the staff team figuring out the debit machine, I was off.

They say hunger is the best sauce, and boy is that true. Delighted, I took several big bites before remembering to turn my critical eye on. The chicken was delicious, the veggies well distributed and softened nicely on the grill. The bread claims to be naan, but not like naan I’m used to. It almost reminds me more of a markook bread than anything. It was good, but tore a little too easy. A bit too light on the sauces, but they were good. All in all a fine shawarma.

The time commitment to get this shawarma hurt it for me. As I sat down to write this, I learned you can order takeout ahead on their website, which is great news. That takes care of the three big challenges I had at Avêsta: talking to the staff, waiting for my food, and paying with debit. With that in mind, I’m able to recommend Avêsta! If you know you’ll be on the mountain in half an hour, check them out. 8/10

2 thoughts on “Avêsta Restaurant

  1. I really enjoyed reading this one. It was the perfect amount of suspense and thrill. I am so relieved that the shawarma didn’t turn out to be a dud. That would have been tragic!


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