Thursday, January 31, 2008

Shawarma Palace - Chicken Shawarma Dinner

While in Ottawa a few years back I ran into a little place called Shawarma Palace (464 Rideau St). I ordered a chicken shawarma plate and fell in love. Since then I have been back many times and have placed the same order time and time again. Their chicken is juicy and packed with flavour, the rice is tender and extremely moist, the potatoes with garlic sauce are out of this world and the salad is excellent. The plate is easily big enough for two people so the price tag of nearly $14 for this plate for cafeteria style dining is somewhat justifiable. I have found a great shawarma place locally (more on that later) but nothing comes close to my beloved Shawarma Palace. Excuse the image quality it was taken at midnight with a camera phone.

Red Robin - Whiskey River BBQ Burger

I usually avoid chain restaurants because of the lack of creativity and generally generic food choices. Saying this, whenever I go to Buffalo I make sure to hit Red Robin. I am totally addicted to their Whiskey River BBQ burger. There's something about the combination of bbq sauce, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion straws and cheddar that has me craving this bad boy what seems like every other week. Sadly, visits are few and far between.

Their burger patties are pre-formed but are offered cooked to your specifications. My bro states (and I concur) that "If a place won't let you have your burger cooked to your specifications it's either frozen or they don't trust their meat". You really can't disagree with that. The patties are always juicy and are very consistent. I'd expect this from a chain though. Their toppings are fresh and amply applied. Their buns have a soft, mass produced Wonder Bread texture to them but luckily for me I prefer my buns soft, or, at the very most buttered and griddled.

Red Robin has a neat concept of offering endless fries with your meal. So, if you're a fry addict, take them up on their offer. I don't find the fries (generic steak fries) to be nearly as good as the burger but whatever, they're not on the map for their fries. I wish they had a location in Toronto, but if they did I'd probably need a walker and oxygen tanks to assist my breathing in no time...