Shawarma Time on the corner of Ellice Avenue and Sherbrook Street is one of the oldest Shawarma places in Winnipeg. Despite having lived in the area for the best part of 13 years, I’ve only gone in a couple of times over the years. The main reason for not stopping in was that although the food was quite good, I found the place to be a little on the run down side, and not a particularly pleasant space.
However, recently I went back because I was looking for something good and cheap. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in to see that they have made some changes to the decor. The most notable thing is large, flat screens that display the menu and catch your eye as you walk in. This has reduced the number of unattractive pictures that lined the one wall. In general the tables and chairs also look much better and the general cleanliness of the place is much higher.
I was quite hungry my first visit, so I decided I would order a couple of appetizers and one of their pies. I chose Stuffed Grape Leaves, Kibbe, and one of the their Cheese and Spinach Pies.
The Stuffed Grape Leaves, shown in the picture at the top of this post, were served with a vinegar dressing. This dressing worked well with the sweetness of the grape leaves themselves. Neither flavour was too strong and the rice filling in the grape leaves was good and chewy.
I’ve only had Kibbe one other time, and that was when I reviewed the Best Meal food truck. That Kibbe was quite enjoyable, but the Shawarma Time Kibbe is even better. The allspice shines through in the taste, and their version of Tahini which they serve on the side is rich and creamy almost like thick whipped cream in texture.
As hungry as I was, if I had known how filling the Spinach-Cheese pie was going to be, I probably would have dropped one of the other two items out of my order. This pie is essentially a pita that is filled with spinach and cheese. The pie was large, but I was a little skeptical before I cut into it. I’ve had too many dishes that looked large on the outside but when you opened it up there wasn’t anything inside
Not the case with this pie. There was not a bite that didn’t have a rich mix of spinach and cheese. The seasoning was light, allowing the cheese and spinach flavours to come through.
Shawarma Time Shawarma
Naturally, one can’t visit a place named Shawarma Time without tasting the Shawarma. I did however, learn my lesson from my first visit. Ordering the second time around, all I ordered was the Shawarma Wrap.
I chose a Beef Shawarma Wrap. I was asked when I ordered whether or not I wanted hot sauce in it. I told them to make it as hot as they possibly could. I took a seat and waited for my order to be ready.
There are two televisions in the restaurant. One in the front corner of the space shows CNN and the other was showing a movie in Arabic. My knowledge of Arabic being virtually non-existent, I chose the one showing CNN. I tried not to get to frustrated as I watched the daily side-show that passes for White House press briefings these days.
Once the Shawarma arrived I took off the wrapping to get a picture of it. As you can see from the photo above, the wrap just flopped open. The reason being it was stuffed with good ingredients. In keeping with the CNN?White House Theme, it was so large I doubt Donald Trump could get his hands around it.
There was lots of beef, tomatoes, cabbage, etc. There was even a fair bit of hot sauce. They had underestimated my ability to take the heat, but they still served a nice bit of spice in the wrap.
The wrap also proved that I had made the right decision in only ordering the wrap. The wrap is a meal in itself. Not only in quantity of food, but with enough variety of ingredients that you end up with a pretty well balanced meal all wrapped up into dish.
The service is quite friendly. My food came in quite good time, although both times I went, I was the only one dining in. So, I’m not sure what it would be like at peak times. Still, if you want a really good, filling meal, Shawarma Time is always worth checking out.