Shawarma Express in Centretown is right near Ryan’s work and he has brought me home a shawarma salad many a times over the past few months. We have tried Shawarma Palace (Rideau St), which is supposedly the best in Ottawa, and I would argue that the portions, freshness of the vegetables, tenderness/seasoning of the chicken, quality of the garlic sauce, and variety of dishes available is JUST AS GOOD (yes, I said it) at Shawarma Express. That being said, we’ve only tried the chicken dishes (shawarma / salad) and my husband says the falafel is also tasty (he goes for lunch a few days per week).
Also adding to their “points” in my mind, is the fact that they serve a variety of different garlic sauces, including a spicy garlic and a pesto garlic. If you don’t already know, I (we) live for garlic sauce. We dip our pizza, chips, veggies, fries into it if there happens to be some leftover.
In terms of portions, the small chicken shawarma salad actually has almost the same amount of chicken as their “large” (there are only two sizes); you just get more veggies with the large. The cost-effective (read: cheap) woman in me orders the small and just adds veggies from home. Ryan really likes their potatoes, which come with a side of cilantro-infused oil (delicious).
Summary: Shawarma Express is a must try for those of you working or living downtown. The food is reasonable and pretty darn delectable.