Mr. Chicken Shawarma

As soon as I saw there’s a place called Mr. Chicken Shawarma, I knew I had to go there. I could hear Mr. Chicken Shawarma’s call. Unfortunately Mr. Chicken Shawarma is in the East End, and I never go to the East End. But sometimes the winds of fate blow a strange way. Sometimes you find yourself in the East End arguing with an HVAC supplier for not selling you furnace parts because you’re not “licenced”. And sometimes that happens a week after your wife gives you a Mr. Chicken Shawarma “gift card” (envelope of cash). And so I found myself at Mr. Chicken Shawarma.

Mr. Chicken Shawarma seems to have been around for a while. The sign outside is faded and battered after years of singing its siren song in the Giant Tiger parking lot. It’s a quaint place, tucked in a nook between a bank and a Bulk Barn. There’s a much flashier and colourfully signed shawarma place on the other end of the strip mall, more on them another day.

I arrived to find a gentlewoman already working on someone’s order. I don’t think she was Mr. Chicken Shawarma. She plugged away at the order, with no apparent urgency. She seems to have done this for a long time. I saw her preparing a chicken and rice order by starting with a pan of onion and a squeeze of hot sauce. I like that. She eventually took my order and asked what I’d like on the shawarma. There was quite a few of choices and when I said “no pickles” she began to add each and every other thing.

Okay, first off, this is a massive shawarma. Easily a foot long. For about 9 bucks, that’s a good deal. I started to bite my way through the cacophony of ingredients: lettuce, tomato, onion, sautéed onion, cucumber, turnip, black olives, green olives, some kind of parsley mix, hummus (?), hot peppers, hotter peppers, and probably some more I’m forgetting. It was a lot.

The pita was fairly tough and hard to bite through. The whole thing could have used some grilling in my opinion, but it got none. The sauces were good, well balanced, the sorts of hot and white sauces that come to mind when you hear those words. The chicken was hard to pick out amongst the rest, it almost felt shredded. I’m not sure it was really shawarma, I didn’t see a spit there. The giant shawarma got messier and messier as I ate it and eventually I have to tap out 80% through.

Mr. Chicken Shawarma didn’t deliver on it’s name. Perhaps I’d have better luck coming back when the man himself is working? It seems to be more of a chicken and rice place, I think I’ll try that next time. Or lamb shawarma, they have lamb shawarma. But as is, this wrap was a disappointment, I’m sorry to say. 3/10.

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