We get asked a lot of questions by customers new to our cuisine… “Just what is a Shawarma?” “Why does it look like a Donair?” “How come some people call it a Gyro?” “How do you pronounce that?” “What is a Falafel?”
And we LOVE to tell people all about our incredibly flavourful, complex, yet simple menu. So, here is a brief Holy Falafel Glossary 101 summary to wet your appetite:
Shawarma – Marinated meat cooked on a rotisserie BBQ known as a Shish and thinly sliced or shaved off with a long sharp knife or sword. Think… Shish-ke-bab. If you were in Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Germany, or Amsterdam, they would know what you wanted to eat if you asked for a Shawarma. We typically serve our 24 Hour Marinated 1st-Cut Black Shawarma™ Chicken in fresh Lebanese-Style hollow pita bread, with Tahina Sauce and veggies. Ask for some of our Holy Sauce™ on it for a real treat.
Donair– Originally from Turkey and pronounced ‘Doner-Kebab’, this BBQ’d beef wrap with onions and sweet garlic sauce came across the Atlantic to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in the early 1970s. It was either mispronounced or Anglicized to ‘Donair’, and the name stuck. We can quickly create a very authentic Halifax Donair, or jazz it up a bit with some of our fresh toppings and homemade daily sauces to create our very own Delicious Donair™.
Gyro – As the Shawarma and Doner-Kebab migrated west across Europe, as it passed through the Greek Isles, Lamb and Pork were the preferred and available meat on a stick. Served with thick homemade garlic Tzatziki in a Pita with Veggies.
Falafel – Yes, it’s veggie! Created by the ancient Copts in what today we know as Egypt, this food dates back over 4000 years, and was eaten for religious reasons as a meat-replacement, and for times when meat was scarce. Made primarily from chick peas, fava beans, veggies, and spices, these healthy little vegan jewels taste terrific served in a pita with some pink Pickled Turnip, Tahina, and Tabouleh. Food of the Pharoahs.
Our made-fresh-to-order Fast Falafels™ are crispy on the outside and warm/moist on the inside to melt in your mouth. While we may not have the answer to world peace just yet, we have brought two centuries-old Falafel recipes together to the table – One from Lebanon, and the other from Israel, along with our own Canadian Chef’s infusion, to create a very unique and yummy international Falafel that blends the best of these three traditional and modern national/ethnic flavours.
Tabouleh – Zesty and refreshing Middle Eastern Salad/Salsa made from parsley, lemon juice, tomatoes, and onions. Cleanses the palate with every bite – Much in the same way that wine tasters use crackers. Allows for the complexities of the meat marinades and spices to be tasted and savoured with every new bite.
Homous – Or for us North Americans, ‘Hummus’. Very tasty velvety smooth vegan spread or dip made from chick peas, garlic, and lemons. Usually served with pita bread and eaten with the hands.
Tahina – Sometimes pronouced Tahini. A vegan sauce made from roasted ground sesame seeds, water, and garlic. Served over both meat and falafel dishes.
Baklava – Middle Eastern Dessert made from pastry and nuts, and naturally sweetened with honey.
Helva – Healthy dessert popular across Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and India. Made from Tahini, cane sugar, water, nuts and/or chocolate, this sliced sweet has a unique texture that can only be described as a cross between a cake and fudge.
Turkish Coffee – Like an extra flavourful highly caffeinated rich shot of espresso served with the coffee grounds in the bottom. Goes perfect with fresh Baklava pastries.
Pitas – Wrapped vs. Pockets – We prefer to skillfully evenly load, and then tightly wrap our Shawarmas, Donairs, Falafels, and Gyros, rather than just shovel ingredients into a soon exploding ‘pocket’ upon first bite. Our customers enjoy an even balanced array of meat, veggies, sauce, and flavours with every bite of our carefully made sandwich wraps.
At Holy Falafel, you can have it our way, or your way – We’ve gone way back to the past, to bring you the future of fast-food. Real Food. Real Service.