If I gained nothing more than a fascination and love for Middle Eastern food from my last dating experience, I am more than grateful for it.
It started with the opening of Persian Food in Peterborough (now Altona Kebob). This was Peterborough’s first exclusively Middle Eastern restaurant, and was a welcomed change from the usual Greek and Mexican restaurants that I so often found myself at. At least once a week, I would be getting my fill of a koobideh sandwich, or just a snack of falafel dipped in garlic sauce. I loved it! Flavourful, simple comfort food.
With a turn of events in my own personal life, and a change of hands at Persian Food, my weekly indulgence trickled off; my cravings went unfulfilled; and as horrible as it sounds, I had pretty much sworn off Middle Eastern fare to avoid bad memories and heartache.
But then Ariyana opened. Every time I drove by, I thought to myself, “I really should stop in there and try it.” It took some time, but finally I did. And to keep at bay the sadness of reminiscing times gone by, the koobideh and falafel had to step aside and I tried my first chicken shawarma plate.
Oh. My. Goodness.
In all my life, I did not know a love like this.
Wonderful, crunchy bits of chicken, covered in delicious garlic and hot sauces, satisfyingly filling rice, and a colourful salad (to make me feel like I’m being a little bit healthy?). This, I swear, is heaven.
I am the converted, and the obsessed. If I could eat shawarma plate every day without gaining 100 pounds, I most certainly would. I try to limit myself to once a week. Which turns into twice because, thankfully, I always have leftovers to snack on or have for lunch (or breakfast, don’t judge me) the next day.
If you have not tried a shawarma plate, I urge you to run – not walk – to Aryiana and be prepared for the most amazing meal you’ve ever had. I suggest getting everything on the plate, including hot peppers, beets and hummus. And of course, extra hot sauce.
Enjoy, and thank me later!