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Restaurants Reviews and Such Shawarma

Ramallah Cafe Great Food at 325 Pembina Hwy

Ramallah Cafe on Pembina Highway is one of those restaurants that fall into the category of: I’ve been meaning to get there, but somehow just never got around to it.

Ramallah Cafe Shawarma Platter
One of the Shawarma platters from Ramallah Cafe that made up the birthday lunch.

Fortunately, last month was my birthday. I share the month with our theology student, Susan, and so I was asked to pick a restaurant for a joint birthday lunch. So, I said, let’s try Ramallah. This turned out to be a welcome suggestion, and so that’s where the birthday lunch came from.

Ramallah Cafe Platters

Now, Ramallah has a fairly big menu, but as it turned out, all four of us order one of their Shawarma Platters. So, it was essentially the same dish, but with a different choice of protein.

One thing we were asked about with the order was whether or not we wanted any extra Shrak Bread. I thought this would mean an extra piece or two in addition to what came with the meal and so said no. It turns out that the platter doesn’t come with any Shrak Bread. Oh well. Live and learn.

While the protein choices for our lunches were different, we all agreed on one thing. The food was absolutely delicious. I chose the mixed meat Shawarma, and both of my meat choices were incredibly soft and moist.

Dining in

Having tried Ramallah as a take out offering, I finally got around to paying an in-person visit this past weekend. I originally planned on going a couple of weeks ago, but when I got off the bus it was cold and windy. That time I decided to stop at Confusion Corner Cafe(more on that in another post).

Walking in to Ramallah Cafe from Pembina Highway, The order counter is straight ahead. The tables are set up in a V-shape, down two walls. There are a couple of small tables in the middle, but there is a good sense of space and distance when you are dining.

Ramallah Cafe street scene
One of the town life pictures hanging in Ramallah Cafe.

The seats are quite comfortable. One the walls are some pictures of street life. As you can see in the picture above they are quite attractive. There are also two televisions featuring a variety of Arabic music videos and concerts. 

Owing to this being a late lunch, I placed a fairly substantial order. I started with a falafel plate. Then I ordered a Lamb Shawarma wrap with their Shrak bread. A container of cookies, and a Turkish coffee.

Ramallah Cafe shawarma Wrap
My Lamb Shawarma wrap, made with the Shrak bread.

When the wrap arrived I was a little skeptical. You can see the dark sear marks in the picture above. Before I bit into it, I was expecting the bread to be hard and dry. Instead, it is has a nice crack when you bite into it, but the bread is soft as can be. Also, it holds together really well. 

Much like the platter I ate on my birthday, the lamb in this wrap is super moist and soft. It is also well-seasoned.

Falafel plate
My vegetarian Falafel plate.

I guess I wasn’t paying close attention when I ordered, but the Falafels at Ramallah are filled with lots of greens. I discovered that when I bit into them and found a deep, rich, green filling. This is green in the good sense of a vibrant mixture of mint and coriander. They are a quite light and don’t leave you feeling weighed down.

Cookies from Ramallah Cafe
A selection of cookies.

I don’t often order dessert when I dine out, but this time around I chose the selection of cookies. These are a mixture of shortbread, butter cookie, and sesame cookie. I like the fact that they are not overly sweet. I ended up taking half of these and half of the falafels home with me. They made for a nice mid-morning snack.

Turkish Coffee
A largish cup of Turkish Coffee from Ramallah Cafe.

The final part of my Ramallah meal was a cup of Turkish Coffee. I was a little surprised when it arrived that it was served in a 12oz cup that was quite full. The spicing of the coffee was really well done, and it was hot. Too often a beverage like this comes not much more thank lukewarm. 

Ramallah Cafe Summary

There are still several items on the menu at Ramallah that I would like to try. They offer soup, salad, and smoothies. Every item that I have tried is one that I would happily order on another occasion. 

The service is pleasing. I was told my order would take 25 minutes, but the first part was out quite a bit quicker than that. The staff were also friendly, and took time to check on whether or not I was satisfied.

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By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.