Falafel February: Tigris Shawarma

Recommended reading: Venice Beach Pizza, Wings & Shawarma

Dear friends and readers of hamiltonshawarma.com, let’s take some time this month to talk about the falafel. For the uninitiated, it’s a delicious little fried ball of ground chickpeas found in every shawarma shop. Fantastic on its own, or in a sandwich shawarma-style, this really is a top option, especially for our friends who don’t eat meat.

Today we’re visiting an old acquaintance. Tigris Shawarma is the new name of Venice Beach Pizza, Wings & Shawarma. They’re stepping away from the pizza game as they ease themselves towards retirement. Which is a bit odd, because it was basically the only pizza place in the neighbourhood, but I don’t eat pizza so that’s fine by me.

It was much quieter and more open than my last visit here. The gentlewomen tended to business at their usual pace, greeting me at the counter relatively soon after entering. I ordered my falafel sandwich and was told it will be a few minutes. There was some movement in the back, were they cooking my falafel at the time of ordering? An encouraging sign!

Several minutes later, they emerged from the back with a carboard dish with 3 falafels on it. They were disc shaped and almost perfectly circular. Suspiciously so even. I made my ingredient selections, and chose some sauce from a bizarrely large selection and my sandwich was ready, wrapped up in bonbon fashion.

Let’s start with the reason we’re here: the falafel. It’s cooked very well, with a light crispiness on the outside, and fluffy insides. It’s a bit light on the seasoning and flavour side, maybe counting on other ingredients and sauces rather than trying to stand out on it’s own. The rest of the sandwich is what I remembered from my trip here last year: okay selection of veggies, sauce that is alright, and a bread that is too tough for the task at hand. It all combines to make the falafel mostly invisible and an all around sub-par sandwich.

Another sandwich from Tigris/Venice, and another mild disappointment. I’m reminded of my desire to try the chicken and rice, literally every other customer there ordered it. But that’s for chicken and rice month, and no month alliterates with that, so who knows? Should you try the falafel? Probably not. 4/10.

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