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Manchester, NH *NEW lunch dinner counter at Spice Center - "Bierut Shuwarma" - Awesome!!!

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I went into the Spice Center in Maple Plaza today (Maple and Valley St). There is a new lunch dinner counter that is unbelievable - everything looks fantastic, I had such a hard time deciding. I really wanted a falafel but wanted to try something I've never had before. I got a chicken shawarma wrap - OMG, had to have been the best sandwich I may have ever had. The flavors were fantastic, garlic, pickled something, lettuce, tomato - excellent chicken. The wrap too was maybe grilled, it was almost like a big spring roll. The stuffed cabbage looked excellent, as did the grape leaves and those stuffed pockets ( they had maybe 5 different kinds). They had several dinner plates, many wraps, some desserts - all sorts of wonderful things. I cannot wait to try others, I was torn between beef shawarma or chicken - I can't tell you how fantastic this was. has anyone else been?

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  1. Thanks for the tip! Will have to try it. Have you been to the new Lebanese restaurant on Hanover Street?

    10 Replies
    1. re: whs

      Is that like Beuaventure - something like that? If so, wasn't too impressed - I didn't like their version of a falafel but still tasted ok. Partner in crime had hair in her sandwich.

      1. re: lexpatti

        It's called Zuruna: http://www.newhampshire.com/article.a...

        1. re: whs

          awesome, can't wait to try it particularly to sit down and enjoy. thanks.

          1. re: lexpatti

            It is where Buenevuetos used to be... Ugh I am glas that place went under... nothing like finding a 2 ft long HAIR in your sandwich to turn you off... YUCK!

      2. re: whs

        Tried Zuruna's (100 Hanover St) yesterday for lunch and really enjoyed it (my mother and grandmother are Lebanese). We had the Zuruna variety platter with hummos, baba ganoush (with pomegranite seeds - yumm!), falafel, grapeleaves and tabouli. All were fresh, well prepared and flavorful - lots of lemon and garlic. Would definitely recommend. Would have liked to have tried their baklava, but was too full.

        1. re: maina

          Can't wait to try Zuruna's. We tried on Presidents Day (closed - grrr). Thanks for the review.

          1. re: lexpatti

            Lex, I actually did hear good stuff about this place, let me know your take on it. Oh, and when are we doing lunch again?

            1. re: gryphonskeeper

              Hi, just got back from bahamas (which was wayyyy too expensive) so unless we keep it on the very low end - might have to pass for a bit. We have two other get-a-ways in the next two months so we are keeping it tight. :-)

              1. re: lexpatti

                Have you been to Gil's lately?

                1. re: gryphonskeeper

                  no, and I really enjoyed my meals there. Has been very slow, last time we talked. Have you?

      3. Whoa - that sounds amazing and something I haven't had in a long time. Love shawarma and falafel, hopefully it was the traditional pickled turnips in the sandwich. I haven't been to that spice store for a long time.

        Is this new thing a prepared deli counter where you pay for the amount of whatever you pick out? Or a set price for plates with your choice of items?

        you said lunch dinner counter, so are they actually open at night for dinner past 6pm ?
        thanks for any more info

        1 Reply
        1. re: starvinginNH

          It's only a counter to order at, with some food in the case, no seats. I'm not sure of the hours either, I was going through at lunchtime and there was a nice crowd at the counter ordering.

        2. How many seats does it have? This must be a relatively new change for the place as we were there a few months back and there wasn't a counter, just the deli case in the back. Very exciting!

          1. Ok, just tried a couple more things - Loving this place!!! Stuffed cabbage is excellent, nice flavors - I believe rice and pork, maybe just rice and herbs. I only tried it as I'm saving it for dinner. I did have the falafel and loved it. Nice crisp crunch but warm and tender insides of the falafel itself, nice crisp crunchy vegies, tahini throughout and pickled turnip. It's done in a wrap which is excellent for driving with one hand on the wheel. They are open til 8pm, closed on Mondays - come summertime, will stay open later. People are very nice and friendly. I'm loving this place, great great value and excellent fresh chow. I can't wait to try more.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lexpatti

              Thank you for this update lexpatti. My wife and I go there for tea and spices about once every 2 or 3 months, so we'll definitely have something to look forward to!

            2. Went again and got the beef shawarma - very good, we also got the vegitarian stuffed grape leaves - we both agreed that we like it meaty but good fresh flavors. I really enjoyed my first shawarma better and I think the person making it this time, didn't put in the vegies - the chicken in particularly didn't have the crunch and pickles that I really enjoyed on teh first one. I'll remember to ask for it "with everything"!! Such nice people, I love routin for entrepreneurial-ness!!!!

              1. Ok, went again to try more: we both had falafels which were fantastic, filled with pickled turnip, crisp vegies, nice tahini sauce, fresh falafels - in a wrap!!! we also tried the rice with beans - fantastic, he really wanted me to try the rice with vegies and chicken but I wanted the rice with vermachelli, then spooned this fantastic bean and meat mixture on top. I didn't ask what the meat was but I really loved this dish. We did get tabouli salad that we didn't care for - could be more authentic but we didn't take to this one. I'm really enjoying this place - we brought it down to the river and ate on some benches.

                1. Shawarma is really good at the Spice Center , especially if you have it early in the day . It gets somewhat dry in the afternoon cause of slow turnover . Also the owner is not friendly , grumpy and never smiles !!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: ducman

                    He is very abrasive to women, that is why I refuse to eat there, or shop there.

                    1. re: gryphonskeeper

                      Are you talking about the owner of the new Bierut Shuwarma inside or the owner of the spice shop? They are two seperate owners and the food counter is a wonderful young couple - sometimes the baby is right there behind the counter too. Wonderful people. You pay for the food seperate from the store.

                      Isn't it lousy when one miserable person might ruin it for others??

                      1. re: lexpatti

                        I am talking about the owner of the Spice Shop, he is rude rude rude! I went in there with a tank top and shorts on (during a 95 degree day) and he gave me a nasty look and was swearing at me in a foreign language (You could tell he was swearing) and wagging his finger at me. Sorry, just because I was not wearing a burqua in his presence does not mean I deserve that kind of treatment in my own country!

                        1. re: gryphonskeeper

                          That is terrible - I don't think I've ever run into him. Everyone is always nice or at least absent of anything negative. They have wonderful prices on lamb (and other meats as well) - he had Camel the other day (eeek, never had that but would try)

                          1. re: lexpatti

                            I may try again, just to get camel meat... Hey.. why not? where else can you get CAMEL meat other than in Africa?

                  2. Finally went there today for tea and saw the counter. Yes, it is new (to me) and it looked promising. Unfortunately, we were too late (around 3:00) and it looked closed. Will definitely go back.