Abdul’s BBQ – Shawarma in Crystal Mall
Abdul’s BBQ is a hot shawarma joint located on the outer ring facing Kingsway. And by “hot” I mean sweat-off-the-brow oven hot. Seriously, it was a hot day in July when I visited Abdul’s but it still felt like a furnace inside… probably due in part to the 3 large vertical spits that they had going.
During lunch-time, Abdul’s tends to get busy and most of the patrons stick with ordering shawarma wraps. The price is cheaper than the platters and the wraps are seriously huge. I grabbed the Mixed Shawarma Platter (chicken and beef) for $12.05 – this seemed a little expensive compared with some of the other shawarma places I’ve tried. In addition to the chicken and beef, you get rice, salad (lettuce and tomato), coleslaw (the pink stuff), tabbouleh, hummus, and pita bread.
The meat was okay but not great – it was on the drier side. When the guy was making my platter, I could see that instead of slicing meat off of the spits, he was using meat that he had already shaved off and that was soaking in meat juices in metal containers. I also found it odd that the meat was already cut up in very tiny pieces. The tabbouleh and hummus were pretty good and mixed nicely with the rice and meat.
At first, I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t much flavour to the meat – I had asked for a medium-hot but couldn’t taste any spiciness. However, when I took a closer look at the pita bread, I could see that he slathered all of the hot sauce on the pita bread. I suppose that makes sense since utensils aren’t always used in Middle Eastern cuisine and people usually use their right hand or pita bread to scoop up food.
I was pleasantly surprised at how spicy the hot sauce was given that it was only medium-hot and I might come back here to order a more economical spicy shawarma wrap instead of the platter.
It’s a shame that Solav Souvlaki in Station Square is closed now due to the construction in the area because that was one of our fav places to grab a donair. *Update – Apr 9, 2013 – Solav Souvlaki reopened last week and is now located near the Joyce Street Skytrain station (4902 Joyce St) in Vancouver.