Late on Friday night we were walking in downtown, looking forward to Viet Sub, but nearly drawn off our path by an amazingly delicious smell coming from a shwarma place on Robson & Granville. We made plans to go back to Aladdin’s Cafe – and that’s precisely what we did on Sunday afternoon.
We walked in and were hit with a wall of roasted meat smell – it was fantastic. We looked over the small menu on the wall and made our choices.
We were lucky not to have much of a lineup, we paid (they take credit cards and debit in addition to cash) and then waited for our turn at the toppings bar.
Chris chose a Falafel Veggie Wrap ($5.29) – I was a bit skeptical when I saw that the falafel patties (which were funnily shaped into donuts) were stored in the cold with the salad toppings, then nuked to reheat. They still tasted great: a coarser chickpea “dough” provided interesting texture, and a great mix of spices added some kick to the wrap.
I went with a Chicken Shawerma Wrap ($5.85) which was delicious. In an opened-up pita, a base of hummus was spread, followed by some shredded lettuce, tomato slices, and sliced onion. A slightly-pickled mix of cucumber and more tomato went on next, then some tahini and hot sauce. I eyed the tabouleh and tatziki but neither were offered (they’re probably part of the platers which are a few dollars more).
The chicken itself was super savoury, especially since it was quite roasted from the shawerma grills. I would have liked a stronger garlic flavour – that tatziki would have done the trick). The last, extra saucy bite was super awesome.
The restaurant isn’t really set up to eat in – there a few stools at counters, but with the lineups and open door (and a glass-less window?) it gets chilli! On a nice day, walking with your wrap to Granville’s semi-pedestrian area would be a lovely way to enjoy your lunch!