Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shawarma King- The Worst Shawarma I have had so far

Restaurant- Shawarma King
3121 Hillcroft Avenue, Houston, Texas 77057
Buffet or a-la-cart? A-la-cart
Date of visit: 10/8/13


Photo Credit: (http://c0056906.cdn2.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/671959.jpg)


Background:
Salam/ hello everyone! Today I will be reviewing Shawarma King restaurant, a Mediterranean restaurant located on Hillcroft Avenue. It is one of the few restaurants that have been around since I moved here from Houston. I have always been a fan of Shawarma since my days in Saudi Arabia. I always remember during my childhood when a cheese bread, shawarma and soda costed only SR 6 ($1.60), and every Wednesday, my dad would go there and get it for me and my family. Not once did it taste bad. It was THAT good, Interestingly a shawarma was the biggest meal I had ever had there. The reason for this was because it weighted 1 kg (2.2 lb)! I would eat it also during the times I would visit the US from Saudi Arabia, but it had never had the same taste as the shawarmas back there. When I moved here in 2006, there were limited options to where we would eat. At that time, I was living in Sugar Land and at that time, there were few halal restaurants. We would have had to drive around 10-20 miles just to get some halal food, and most of the time it was shawarma. We would go different places to eat shawarmas, whether it was near our house, or at Hillcroft avenue. We would often come to Hillcroft Avenue, but we would always pass by this place. The time came to try when I had to take my car to the mechanic. The tire pressure has gone dangerously low. And I had not eaten anything, and I was on a tight budget as usual. I also needed to get back to UH to study for my Saturday exam. This was actually the nearest restaurant that had cheap prices. This time, cheap meant under $10 including tax. So after the tires got fixed, I went here.


Let The Experience Begin
Shawarma King is located near the intersection of Hillcroft Avenue and Westheimer Avenue. You can see from the outside that there is a patio. Parking was really tight as there were a few cars that were parked inappropriately. The restaurant itself was a small, clean restaurant. There were two TVs, one playing Food Network, and another one with pictures of the various menu items. The kitchen was set up like House of Kabob, where everything was visible. You could see the chef making the dishes, and also assembling the plate. After looking at the menu, I proceeded to order.



Let's Eat!
Because I had such a tight budget, I ordered a chicken shawarma sandwich. Along with it, I got a can of Pepsi. I paid only $6.39 (tax included)! It was actually cheaper than most food items at UH! Very nice price! The waiting time was a quick 2 minutes and 30 seconds! Very efficient! Within 5 minutes, I ate up, and left the restaurant. 




The Shawarma (Sorry I took a bite)


The Verdict:
Unfortunately, the taste did not complement the fast service. It was not good at all. I seriously thought that the chicken was microwaved then served because it was so bland and tasteless. Shouldn't the chicken be freshly made like other restaurants do? Whenever I would go and eat shawarma at other restaurants, I would always see someone cutting off chicken from the rotating thing that is commonly used to cook the shawarma. They never had to use the microwave to heat up the chicken. Instead they would use a heater that would be put at a constant temperature to make sure that the chicken is fresh. In this case, the chicken was cut off, then the heater was never turned on for the whole day. The vegetables were also not fresh. The lettuce looked as if it was a few days old. The tomato was just alright. Can they not get fresh vegetables and put them inside the shawarma? The greenness of the lettuce indicates its freshness. The more green it is, the more fresh it is. In this case, the lettuce had really faint green streaks, meaning that it was not fresh at all. Never before in my life would I expect a shawarma to have heated up meat and vegetables that were not fresh. This was drained by a nice can of Pepsi. Overall, 2 thumbs down



Conclusion:
There is no doubt that La Fendee's shawarma is a lot better than Shawarma King's. Out of all the shawarmas that I have tried from many restaurants here and in Saudi Arabia, this was the worst. Yup, I said it. THE WORST. Heated up chicken and vegetables that were not fresh are not good ways to make the food delicious. If you want to try shawarma or simply grab a nice quick snack, then I would recommend you trying somewhere else. I know I am not coming back here.


Grading:
Service: 8/10 (No problems, just rudimentary)
Food: 4/10 (Believe or not I thought this was slightly better than Inchin)
Waiting Time: 10/10 (Probably the only good thing; 2 minutes and 30 seconds)
Total: 22/30 = 73.3% (C)
Pricing: $ out of $$$$


Restaurant Information:
Shawarma King
3121 Hillcroft Avenue, Houston, Texas 77057
Phone: (713) 784-8882
Facebook: None
Timings: Mon-Sat: 11 AM - 10 PM; Sun: 12 PM - 10 PM
Caters: Yes

Feel free to comment below!

Cheers!
Zain Mohammed


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