Check It Out – Shawarma King Opens Up at 1654 Columbia Road

DSCN5547, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Back in August we learned of the opening. The day has arrived and they beat the Shawarma Spot set to open up on 18th Street. It seems DC’s going Shawarma crazy. I was alerted by a commenter and checked it out this weekend. Because I am odd I tried the falafel and it was delicious. The owners are from Bethlehem so they got some Middle East shawarma cred. The grand opening is set for 2 weeks or so but the store will continue its soft opening until that point. Check out some interior photos and the menu after the jump.





16 Comment

  • looks like a classy shwarma place. Bout time something worth while opened up on that strip.

  • I’m a bit skeptical shawarama places that would refer to laffa as “wrap,” and not offer chips (aka fries) as one of their toppings.

    Otherwise, it looks good, but looks like it’s mostly trying to cater to the people who would pronounce the word “Tahini” as “Ta-hee-nee.”

  • Since there’s probably more of us ugly Americans around in this area than folks who are from the MIddle East, that would seem to be a wise marketing decision.

    I hate to admit my ignorance, but in a spirit of learning, what is the correct pronounciation for “tahini?” I already know “pho” is pronounced fuh, sort of.

  • It’s a “na” at the end, and if you can manage it, the “H” sound is reasonably gutteral–depending on whether you’re pronouncing it in Hebrew or Arabic. In Hebrew, it’s a full-on “cha” as in “Chanukah” (for lack of a better way to spell that sound in English letters), and in Arabic, it’s a bit softer–more like the sound you’d make if you tilt your head forward so that your chin is against your chest and breathe quickly out as if you were trying to fog up a pair of glasses.

  • and let’s start saying “Paree” instead of Paris and Munchen instead of Munich. Etc.

  • and I thought I was pedantic.

    It’s perfectly ok to pronounce words English-style in an English speaking country, otherwise we’d call a tornado a torrrrr-NAH-do

  • I am with perplexed. I also think we should all start speaking in english accents since we are after all speaking english…

  • They actually have home made fries but it was cut off from the bottom of the menu. The shawarma was delicious, especially chicken!

  • We ate there last night – the chicken shwarma was good, and the falafel was great.

    I agree that the ‘wrap’ is a major let down, as are the lack of fries as a topping. But then, my idea of good shwarma comes from west africa, so I’m not sure how the rest of the world does it.

    But their number one thing is the wrap problem – They need to find a good flat pita vendor, and they need to start grilling the outside of their wraps just a bit after they make the sandwich.

  • Wrap vs. pita is a country or regional variation. I spent six weeks in Syria and never had or saw falafel served in anything other than wrap form. However, in neighboring Jordan, I only saw it served in pita.

  • I tried both the chicken shawarma and the beef. Both were excellent quality with a unique taste that can’t be found elsewhere in the city.

    The falafel was the best quality — not greasy at all. It was colorful inside — I would love to know the ingredients that give it that flavor and texture.

    I’m surprised by a couple of the comments above. Hopefully some of you can respond. I’ve never heard of shawarma coming from West Africa. Also, how common is it to have fries on your shawarma or is that a UK phenomenon?

  • FYI, Shawarma Spot on 18th is now open as well, and on request they’ll roll your fries/chips into the sandwich (as done in France, Turkey, etc.)

  • Delicious! I had the beef shawarma and falafel last night. Both were far better than any I had had in DC before, and as good as what I’ve had in Jordan, Palestine, and Turkey. It’s great to have the real thing instead of the dry, tasteless stuff they serve at other places around here. (No more solid block of pre-formed mystery meat or add-water-and-stir falafel mix, thank you!) They said they’d have the equipment for grilling the wraps any day now and seemed eager to hear feedback/suggestions about people’s preferences.

  • I went there last night and i had the chicken shawarma, it was amazing!!!!! and they did have fries/chips as a topping!!! i recommend everyone to try the real shawarma and falafel that they make!!

  • There’s a sizable Lebanese community in many of the coastal West Africa countries – and as a result, some pretty tasty Shawarma.

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