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May 6, 2009

Where to get doner kebabs, shawarma and falafel

SemiramisGrill.jpgNR had this request for me and I wasn't much help. But I said I would post his query on the blog and see if anyone had any suggestions:

I recently came back from a trip to Colorado. In Boulder my friends and I stopped in to a place called Falafel King. It was a chain, but it was the best shawarma I've ever had. I think Baltimore is missing out on doner kebabs, shawarma, and falafel. Perhaps I'm not aware of places already here? Do you have any suggestions?

The only place that comes to mind immmediately is the Semiramis Grill in Westminster, and I've never eaten there. Maybe someone else can fill us in.

(Christopher T. Assaf/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 3:30 PM | | Comments (22)
        

Comments

I believe Cazbar has them, but their website is offline so I can't be sure. I am relying on my creaky memory instead.

Don't know about doner kebabs, but you can get pretty good schwarma and falafel at Egyption Pizza at Belvedere Square.

Egyptian Pizza from their new location in Valley Center has all of the above.

Isn't there a kabob place on Falls Road in Mt. Washington? Also Afghan kabob place on Charles Street? I'd love to find a great spot for falafels in Baltimore!

That does sound like a good place!

BaltBabs: Ah, Afghan Kabob of fond memory! Sadly, that place went dark over a year ago when their building got torn down to build a parking garage (cue Joni Mitchell).

I've eaten at Semiramis several times. I do like the shawarma there, and the prices are really good. They only have outdoor seating, which is a bit of a drawback in the winter.

I just went by there, and it was closed during its normal hours. It may have been just a one time thing, but I'll check again.

Good falafel on Lawrence Street, near the South Side Marketplace between Key Highway and Fort Avenue. Other mid-eastern things too, but I always get the falafel. And baklava, which they make in pistachio as well as walnut. Take out, then drive around the corner to Fort Mac and have a picnic. (My hunch is that seagulls don't see it often enough to want to dive in.)

House of Kabob on Harford Road gets good press from my Iranian friends.

Thanks for all the reocmmendations everyone.

I'll definitely have to check out Egyptian Pizza. I'm often in the Belvedere market and have never made it across the street before.

BaltBabs - I think the place on Falls road is called Kabab Stop. And it specializes more in Indian foods with Kebabs on the side. Never tried it though.

MD Canon - Are you talking about Baba's Mediterranean Kitchen?

A new kabob place just opened in the past few weeks at the northeast corner of Preston and Charles.

MD Canon... the middle eastern place on Lawrence Street is morphing into a Carolina BBQ joint. Q with a view (their words, not mine). It's a shame... that falafel place had great food.

I believe MD Canon was talking about Key Pit Stop (which was named something else before that). It's closed now, w/ a sign out front saying Carolina BBQ coming soon.

Baba's Mediterranean Kitchen is right around the corner on Fort, highly recommended.

Felafel seems to be one of those things, like tuna salad, that varies so much from place to place that I'm always wary of ordering it. Kebab Hut in Towson does a pretty good kebab, but I'm not crazy for their felafel. Cedar Deli in Towson makes a pretty good felafel.

Didn't Afghan Kebab on Charles Street move somewhere, like to Little Italy?

I second Cedar Deli. Good hummus and baba ganoush too, and the folks there are always so nice.

The sign at Afghan Kabob said they had moved to Petalo's in Little Italy, but when I went to Petalo's they were locked up tight. I haven't seen any signs of reopening, and the website is gone, too.

I walked by Semiramis in Westminster today, and it is temporarily closed. There was a sign on the door saying the owner was ill. There was no word saying when it would reopen, but there was another sign soliciting someone to operate the restaurant in the owner's absence.

Perhaps we could get the blog together and run a falafel stand for the summer.

I've never had baba ganoush, but I would like to try baba ganoush, that way when I order baba ganoush, I'll get to say baba ganoush.

I like to say baba ganoush.:-)

Afghan Kabob said they had moved to Petalo's in Little Italy

Wow, that's weird. That would be great for me. I will reconnoiter on my travels tonight.

Although not in Baltimore, there are two authentic and amazing Turkish restaurants in NoVa that are well worth the drive, and since my boyfriend's Turkish father is friends with both owners, I feel like I need to give them a little shout-out.

The first is Kazan in McLean, which is a little pricey, but it's a nice dining experience.

The other is Atilla's Restaurant in Arlington, and it's AMAZING. It looks like a hole in the wall, but the staff is friendly, the decor is pleasant enough, the prices are decent, and the humus and dolmas are to die for. Never had better humus in my life. I don't eat meat, but I hear the doner and iskender kebabs are also delicious.

I did a walk around of Petalo's tonight and it is as empty as Paris Hilton's head. There is no sign of actiity.

Semiramis is under new management and will reopen within the next few weeks under a new name. The menu will still consist of kabobs, falafel and other mediterranean favorites. We look forward to having you!!!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.
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