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Apr 12, 2011 08:28 AM

Three Shwarmas and a Gyro walk into a bar...

Based on a previous post, I decided to do the comparison thing with 4 places in the last couple of weeks: Beef/Lamb Shwarmas from Garlic and Lemons, Fordees and Saab's Market and a pork Gyro from Esperia.

Garlic and Lemons: Good but not great. Bread and veggies and sauces are good but the meat tastes strange to me. Overtenderized as to be mushy and not flavorful despite the marinade (~$7).

Fordees. Worst of the lot. I love their falafel so I was hopeful that they knew their way around a shwarma. My first clue should have been the lack of a vertical spit. A plastic container of loose meat was griddle fried and placed in a wrap similar to their falafel. Cubes of beef, oversalted and underspiced ($8)

Saab's Their grill at the back of the market was the real thing. Two vertical spits (chicken and a mix of beef and lamb) properly topped with peppers etc. When ordered, the cook sliced a generous portion as it spun past the heater, placed the slices onto the pita, veggies, turnip pickles and then sauced with tahini and a sprinkle of dry spice. The shwarma was wrapped in foil and lightly pressed to warm the pita. Really good flavor and texture and good balance to the meat and veggies ($5) and a very generous portion at the lowest price. The chicken shwarma has french fries in the wrap , which I recall from Paris shwarma stands and always enjoyed (what isn't better with fries except dessert?).

Esperia I love the bread here. It is griddled and slightly greasy in a good way. The bread is much better than the other three. Thin sheets of pork on a vertical spit thin sheets that are then griddled. Not the ground product, which is tasty in its own right. Not exactly a shwarma but I include this cuz its just so darn tasty ($7).

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  1. Thanks for sharing the results of your research. Does the pork gyro from Esperia have the usualy veggies on it?

    1. Glad to hear Saab's served you well.. I work just down the street - $5 for a good shwarma. Make sure to order it with the works - I need my garlic sauce in there..

      1. Gretchen: Yes, the pork gyro comes with the usual vegetables and sauce. RE Saabs. This place is a chowhound gem. I would go there frequently if I lived nearby.

        1. Where is Saab? And here I've been thinking I have to go back to the 5th for french fries in my shwarma!

          4 Replies
          1. re: ebaba

            Norwood on Route 1 near Dean Street. Fries only come with the chicken and not the meat shwarma though.

            1. re: gourmaniac

              Its in the corner of a plaza, next door to an Ocean State Job Lot on the outbound (away from Boston) direction of Route 1.

              1. re: grant.cook


                chowhound isn't letting me add or update database entries lately...

                1. re: okra


                  Sabb's Market
                  1001 Boston Providence Hwy, Norwood, MA 02062

          2. what a great thread title; love it!! so sorry GnL disappointed; i really hope it was an off-day because we've been anxious to get back ever since our great spicy chicken schwarmas and mousaa last month.We finally had the esperia pork gyros last night. Wow, such a deal!Thought it was terrif.

            For reference, here is the link to the long, related thread:


            Esperia Grill
            344 Washington Street, Boston, MA

            Garlic 'n Lemons
            133 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134

            2 Replies
            1. re: opinionatedchef

              OC Glad you liked the thread title and Esperia Grill. I've also enjoyed the pastistio there. Jenny, I'd like to get to the Waltham store both for the groceries and the food court. The oen time i tried kebab and tandoor, i liked it and I love food bazaars. What else is there (how many stalls)?

              Esperia Grill
              344 Washington St, Brighton, MA 02135

              1. re: gourmaniac

                Only two. The other one sells fried chicken.