Cheap Eats 2012: Shawafel

Cheap Eats 2012

On hearing the name, some people assume a waffle house has
arrived in their midst; others are reminded of the word “awful.” Awful
this quick-serve cafe assuredly is not. Owner/chef Alberto Sissi’s
shawarma is so good—dripping with juice and aromatic with garlic,
lemon, and herbs—that an appropriate name would be

Sissi apprenticed at José Andrés’s Zaytinya, and the
do-it-yourself approach (he even makes the garlic sauce) and precision in
many of the dishes can be traced to his stint there. This is about as
soulful as simple food gets. We could make a meal of the fabulous hummus,
whipped to an airy fluff and bright with lemon.

Also good: Baba ghanoush; tabbouleh;
koftaplatter with ground-beef-and-lamb skewers.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.