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Best schwarma in Boston / Cambridge / Somerville?

dhcrusoe Jan 10, 2010 03:49 PM

Hi all,

My roommates (fellow hounds) and I are debating where the best lamb schwarma in town might be located. We have a vote for a restaurant that no longer exists; a vote for Falafel Palace in Central Square; and a vote for Falafel King (?) in a mall near Downtown Crossing.

What other places serve the best lamb schwarma in town? Let's hear it!


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  1. Matt H RE: dhcrusoe Jan 10, 2010 04:14 PM

    Does Brookline Count? If so my favorite is Rami's followed by Shawarma King.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Matt H
      StriperGuy RE: Matt H Jan 12, 2010 10:25 AM

      I've never found Shawarma in Boston that was really superb. That elusive combo of good fresh lamb charred on one side and rare on the other, ideally cooked over charcoal...

      I'm very suggestible. Inspired by this thread hit Rami's today. Hadn't been in a long time.

      Certainly a decent sandwhich but not at ALL worth the $12 (including tax) I paid. Seriously a $12 shawarma better rock my world. Rami's was just fine, but nothing extraordinary. The hot sauce was very good.

      1. re: StriperGuy
        Matt H RE: StriperGuy Jan 12, 2010 06:57 PM

        I agree that it is overpriced, but taking the price away from the equation I still enjoy Rami's more than any other Shawarma in the city and since I work in Brookline I eat there quite often. Is it the best I've tasted anywhere? Definitely no, but in Boston its still my go-to.

    2. MC Slim JB RE: dhcrusoe Jan 10, 2010 08:51 PM

      On the lamb tip, my vote would go to the doner kebab at Brookline Family Restaurant, a Turkish place in Brookline Village. The lamb/beef gyros at Farm Grille in Newton are up there in my book, too. For turkey shwarma, Rami's. For pork gyros, Zo.


      1. nsenada RE: dhcrusoe Jan 11, 2010 09:56 AM

        Boston Kebab House has very good doner kebab (though it can be hit or miss).

        2 Replies
        1. re: nsenada
          MC Slim JB RE: nsenada Jan 11, 2010 10:51 AM

          I like a lot of the food at Boston Kebab House, but it served me rotten doner on two occasions: way oversalted with an off, over-the-hill kind of flavor.


          1. re: MC Slim JB
            nsenada RE: MC Slim JB Jan 11, 2010 11:09 AM

            Agreed - when it's been good, it's quite good, but I (and others) have had the same problem with nasty meat. Every so often I play Russian roulette with it, and occasionally get lucky. My stanbdys there though, are the chicken kofte, and the meze bar.

        2. hiddenboston RE: dhcrusoe Jan 11, 2010 12:13 PM

          I know I'm repeating some of what others have said here, but my favorites places for shawarma are Rami's in Brookline (turkey shawarma), Shawarma King, also in Brookline, and Jasmine in East Watertown. Can't think of much in Boston, Cambridge, or Somerville.

          9 Replies
          1. re: hiddenboston
            grant.cook RE: hiddenboston Jan 11, 2010 01:44 PM

            Does "town" include Norwood? Saab's on Rt 1 makes a quite tasty one.... best I've had in the area..

            1. re: grant.cook
              Ora Moose RE: grant.cook Jan 11, 2010 06:11 PM

              I will second Saab's, great food stuff and service with a smile despite the minor language barrier. Excellent bakery/pastry too.

              1. re: grant.cook
                hiddenboston RE: grant.cook Jan 12, 2010 05:36 AM

                I've never heard of Saab's. Where is it on Route 1?

                1. re: hiddenboston
                  MC Slim JB RE: hiddenboston Jan 12, 2010 05:46 AM

                  Looks like Saab's might be primarily a market or convenience store, and is located near Staples at 990 Providence Highway (fka Rt 1) in Norwood. Has Lebanese groceries, too. First I've heard of it.


                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                    grant.cook RE: MC Slim JB Jan 12, 2010 05:57 AM

                    Its primarily a grocery, focused on Middle Eastern-ish food (like Cedar's in Norwood Center).. but they do have a deli section and a couple of vertical rottisserie's going....a chicken or lamb shwarma costs $5 and is pretty well sized. Saab's is on the Auto-mile stretch of route 1, in a plaza with an Ocean State Job Lot. I think its the Dean Road intersection. Maybe 2-2.5 miles down from the Rt 128 exit

                    1. re: grant.cook
                      grant.cook RE: grant.cook Jan 12, 2010 06:02 AM

                      And THEN you can head a few miles further down the road and hit another hidden Boston-metro gem, the Red Wing Diner..

                      1. re: grant.cook
                        MC Slim JB RE: grant.cook Jan 12, 2010 06:08 AM

                        Is the Red Wing still any good? I remember going there years ago, back when I worked in the Mansfield area, and enjoying it as a roadside, almost biker-bar looking kind of place, with good fried clams, wings, pitchers, that sort of thing. Then I went back a few years ago and the food was unrecognizably awful: I was embarrassed that I had recommended it.


                        1. re: MC Slim JB
                          grant.cook RE: MC Slim JB Jan 12, 2010 07:09 AM

                          I ate there last year and the clams were good.... haven't heard any dismal stories from Norwood-ites as well, but I'll have to try a return visit to be able to say for sure.. they did put up a new sign, so maybe ownership has changed..

                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                            Ora Moose RE: MC Slim JB Jan 21, 2010 04:26 AM

                            The Red Wing is still there and still popular, just beware that it is closed on Mondays. I haven't been there in a while so can't vouch for any recent changes.

              2. Snoop37 RE: dhcrusoe Jan 11, 2010 01:44 PM

                I enjoy the shwarma at Sabra Grill in Harvard Sq.

                1. nsenada RE: dhcrusoe Jan 12, 2010 10:55 AM

                  Does Fordee's have anything resembling lamb shawarma? I see they have gyros, and shawarma listed. I've never gotten anything but their garlic chicken with pickled turnips, or falafel.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nsenada
                    MC Slim JB RE: nsenada Jan 12, 2010 01:03 PM

                    Just reviewed Fordee's a few weeks ago for The Phoenix (thanks for the tip, Hounds!). They have chicken shwarma (excellent, belongs on my list above) and beef shwarma. No lamb shwarma, but they do have a lamb kabob. The Armenian losh kabob is all-beef here. My favorite falafel in town right now, too.


                  2. d
                    dhcrusoe RE: dhcrusoe Jan 12, 2010 12:51 PM

                    Thanks! Wow -- You guys rock! My roomies & I will check some out && post back our results :o)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: dhcrusoe
                      Boston_Gourmand RE: dhcrusoe Jan 21, 2010 08:36 PM

                      How about Sofra?

                      1. re: Boston_Gourmand
                        newhound RE: Boston_Gourmand Jan 22, 2010 05:24 PM

                        Sofra's lamb shawarma is very good, but not like most of the ones posted about here. It's a soft, braised lamb rather a roasted or spit-turned.

                    2. s
                      sbs401 RE: dhcrusoe Jan 22, 2010 06:57 AM

                      The Lamb/Beef combo at Jaffa is pretty darn good, be sure to request some of the green hot sauce tehy have if you are looking for a little kick

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