Food Porn: Shish Kabab Express

I have to give credit where credit is due, I had absolutely no idea that Shish Kabab Express existed until I read Rachel Fix Dominguez’s review on Buffalo Spree’s website this week.  I’ve been dying for a good Shawirma (no thats not a typo, that’s how it’s spelled on their menu) since returning from Europe and hearing that Shish Kabab Express was serving a pretty authentic meal and it was less then $4 for a sandwich, I was sold.  So as a celebration of my last day at my old job, Alli and I decided drive down to Hertel Ave to get some Middle Eastern cuisine.

Quick Info:

While Shish Kabab Express has a nice menu of Middle Eastern classics (Kabab’s, Falafel, Beef/Chicken Tikka, Baklava), Alli and myself decided to keep our dinner cheap and each order a Shawirma.  You’ll immediately notice the the simple “diner” like atmosphere and decor when you walk in; you’re not going to be won over by how “pretty the inside is”.  Not to say that Shish Kabab Express is dirty or even unappealing, but I’m sure one of the reasons their prices are so cheap is because they’ve spent almost no money into making the place look attractive.  However, when you serve really good food you can get away with a lack of interior design.

Our server quickly came over and asked for our drink orders (they offer free self serve tea) and recommended to Alli that she have her shawirma on an Iraqi Samoon roll instead of the pita.  She told us the rolls are delicious and baked fresh by the restaurant. Going off our servers recommendation we both decided to order our shawirmas on Samoons (Alli ordered the beef, I ordered the chicken).

I’ll admit that our pictures do not do the food justice, however the roll (and the rest of the food) was fantastic.  The Samoon roll is a hard, crunchy roll with a thin but soft interior that perfectly held the large amount of chicken, lettuce, onion, garlic sauce, pickles and tahini that was stuffed inside.  Very often when we order rolls/pitas from Greek/Middle Eastern restaurants the main problem is how messy they can get as the outside falls apart.  With this large sturdy roll we didn’t have to worry about spillage or getting garlic sauce all over our clothes.  The roll worked wonders and as we finished our meals the remaining bites soaked in the extra garlic sauce and juices from the meats.

Yes, I realize Alli’s beef doesn’t look that appetizing but believe me when I say it was delicious, after I devoured my Chicken Shawirma I finished the rest of hers.  While all you see is the chicken in the picture above, underneath was where the lettuce/pickles/onion/sauces hid.  It took a couple bites for me to get past mouthfuls of just chicken to get to the full experience.

I’d like to say I’d go back to Shish Kabab Express to try the rest of their menu but our meals were pretty damn good on their own, so for only $4 I see myself ordering their Shawirma sandwiches on Samoon rolls for a long time before I tried anything else.  If you find yourself looking for cheaper dinner options, I highly recommend taking a stroll down Hertel and stopping by Shish Kabab Express.  While I’ve never been to Iraq, the food itself seems pretty authentic and we overheard our server say the owner “barely speaks any English”.  That’s an OK confirmation of authenticity for me.

Shish Kabab Express on Urbanspoon

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