Don’t feed me microwaved meat (a shawarma Groupon fail)

January 17, 2012

This-Week-In-Food---chicken shawarma

I’m a huge fan of Groupon – I check out their deals every day, especially for cool new dining spots. Their new service Groupon Now is also neat – the discounts usually aren’t as steep, but if you’re stuck for a last minute food option, the list is worth a scan.

That’s how I happened across Falafel Plus. Their website sounded very promising – organic kosher chicken shawarma.

“More importantly, it has to be carefully prepared and made to order so that you can relish its fresh taste (we serve it all fresh – no microwave)!”

Sounds pretty good, right? So I bought the Groupon. I get there, the place looks a little sketchy – hard to describe, just feels “off”. Like a small mom and pop place, but without the mom and pop fuzzy feel. But I know there are tons of great hole-in-the-wall places, so I figured what the heck, the website sounded terrific.

Service was painfully slow, and not very forthcoming in answering questions. My friend and I waited our turn. We picked our food. They were out of rice. Personally, I couldn’t care less about them not having rice, but a shawarma place, out of rice, really?? Strike two.

We’re waiting for our food, my friend looks at me and says, “They’re microwaving our meat.” I had a hard time accepting that information – after all, the website said no microwave. I look around, the spit where they usually grill the meat is empty. Crap. When our food is served, I point blank ask if our food was microwaved. Yup. When I told him what the website says, he seems surprised and says he’ll talk to the owner about it.

Sigh. If I don’t use a microwave at home, why would I pay to have my meat microwaved? Makes me question if it’s even organic.

There was a family that came right after us who travelled quite a distance just to use the Groupon there, and they were turned away because there were apparently all sorts of restrictions on what the Groupon could be applied towards (which were not stated before purchasing the Groupon).

Lesson learned. Trust your instincts, not the website. I should’ve known better.

But I’m not deterred from having shawarma again. I’ve only had it once before this, quite some time ago, and I’d be up for a quality refresher.

Shawarma is a Levantine Arab meat preparation, where lamb, goat, chicken, turkey, beef, or mixed meats are placed on a spit (commonly a vertical spit in restaurants), and may be grilled for as long as a day. Shavings are cut off the block of meat for serving, and the remainder of the block of meat is kept heated on the rotating spit.  – Wikipedia

Other than that whole microwave thing, it would’ve made a fine paleo meal, especially without the rice.

Photo by Ginger Brew

Falafel Plus on Urbanspoon

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