Abdul’s BBQ & Shawarma

Review by: Roadfood Team

Abdul’s BBQ & Shawarma is a small shop, a neon-lit anomaly among the signs written in Cantonese, is located in the Crystal Mall, one of the largest Asian markets in Canada. The inside is mostly taken up with the food prep area, including the three enormous skewers laden with strips of beef, chicken and lamb turning slowly over a gas flame. Place your order with the friendly Abdul, then take a seat at one of the wobbly tables or at the counter. Abdul runs a one-man show and it’s always first-come, first-served.

What to eat at Abdul’s BBQ & Shawarma

Shawarma is classic Middle Eastern Roadfood: roasted spiced meat either wrapped in a pita with garlic sauce or served over rice. With smiling efficiency Abdul pares juicy meat slices off the skewers, spreads garlic sauce on pitas, and scoops out rice from the cooker.

If he’s not super-busy, he’ll share stories about new spice blends he’s trying out or just about food in general. The presentation is sparse: plastic utensils, paper napkins and styrofoam trays, with cans of soda or bottled water to drink, but true Roadfooders know presentation is always secondary to the food.

We ordered the mixed shawarma platter, consisting of all three available meats over rice with side dishes. It was an enormous amount of food; thankfully we were warned about this ahead of time so we’d agreed to share. If left to a careless cook the meat can be dry but Abdul’s was spiced and cooked to perfection. The rice was also perfect, just seasoned with butter and salt.

A lettuce and tomato salad dressed with vinegar, red cabbage coleslaw dressed with yogurt, parsley salad, garlicky white bean hummus, and two pitas sandwiched with an eye-opening garlic and tomato sauce were great accompaniments.

Between the two of us we made a good dent in everything, but we couldn’t finish all the side dishes.

If you want to go to Abdul’s BBQ & Shawarma, I strongly suggest going for lunch because when Abdul runs out of meat he shuts down, sometimes as early as 2 p.m.

What To Eat

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