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Al Safa Aley: The Shawarma is Awesome!
I think it's time to publish a "Best Shawarma in Lebanon" post, especially after this craze that happened around Shawarma over the last few years. Shawarmanji started and others followed until the country was covered with hundreds of Shawarma joints serving meat, chicken and some fish or Soujok shawarma.
This trend didn't last for long, obliging some joints to close while giving the chance for other more famous ones to flourish. When it's good, one can't deny it. Up in Aley, touring around the city for the best out there, I was introduced to Shawarma Al Safa. What a shawarma!
Welcomed by the owner, who stays on the premises making sure guests are happy, I was introduced to the concept while looking astonished at the huge 180-kilogram skewer of chicken and the slightly smaller skewer of meat.
Choose between the small portion of the big one, markouk or Lebanese bread. The bread is generously stuffed with meat or chicken followed by tarator or even pomegranate molasses. Deliciousness!
- The meat sandwich is generously filled with those shredded slices of super tender and juicy meat leaving in the mouth a rich flavor slightly enhanced with the taste of tarator. The bread, light and tender doesn't chew in the mouth. I started with the meat, which left me amazed.
- The chicken was even better, it was stunning. A tender and moist chicken, which I ordered with mayonnaise, not garlic, is lightly flavored with pomegranate molasses. Intensely loaded, the chicken takes over all the other ingredients. You don't feel the bread or lettuce, but instead the awesomeness of this unique chicken, a premium quality felt under the teeth.
Hundreds of clients come by the hour. In 10 minutes, I saw two-dozen hungry customers from across Lebanon.
Now I understand why people go all the way up to Aley for a shawarma sandwich. It is indeed deserved.