Fresh-baked pitas at Beirut Street Foods
Beirut Street Food is perhaps my favourite of the many shawarma restaurants in Calgary. Its marinated chicken and beef are slow roasted over charcoal and then served inside a freshly baked, blistered, chewy pita wrap. It’s fabulous stuff, enhanced by the warm, welcoming vibe of this family-owned place in the city’s southeast.
Shawarma meats slow roasted over charcoal
The only problem, for the purposes of this cheap-eats lunch series, is the meat shawarmas slightly exceed my $10 threshold, by $1 for the regular size and by $3 for the large. One solution is to opt for a fresh falafel shawarma, starting at $9.
But I decide to pivot to something I’d never considered till I saw it on the menu. Call it Middle East meets eastern Canada. A shawarma combined with, you guessed it, poutine ($8 regular, $10 large), meaning those marinated meats are mixed with fries, gravy and cheese curds.
A pie plate full of shawarma and poutine
Sound ghastly? I kind of thought so, too, especially when my server recommended adding all the usual toppings such as marinated veggies, tahini and hot sauce.
But he was right. It was damn delicious, and I could hardly refrain from digging into this loaded pie plate to see what my fork would deliver with each bite: fries and gravy one mouthful, chicken and tahini the next.
My large size was a two-meal deal, one of the best lunch bargains in the city. This is one cross-cultural mashup I can definitely get behind.
A family business
Beirut Street Food
7220 Fairmount Drive SE
Monday to Thursday 11 am-4:30 pm. Friday-Saturday 11 am-7 pm. Closed Sunday