The perfect handheld to wrap up the weekend


Though I’m grateful that my summer schedule is piping hot with invites to cookouts and bonfires, I’ll admit that I’ve been hitting the sauce (barbecue, that is). After a long holiday weekend, I was anxious to return to my usual diet of Middle Eastern cuisine.

While hauling some gently loved items to the thrift store Monday night (July 8), I called to order a chicken shawarma wrap from Noosh Afghan Cuisine, and it was just getting boxed up when I made my way back east approximately 10 to 15 minutes later. As I waited for my takeout, I watched with delight as large plates of rice and chicken left the kitchen on their way to the other diners.

Formerly Nola Bistro, Noosh’s proprietors have made only minimal adaptations to the restaurant, including stylish outdoor tables with red umbrellas, large photos on the walls (presumably of Afghanistan) and two small mannequins atop the beverage cooler wearing traditional Afghan clothing. Overall, it’s still a welcoming, family-friendly environment, and I’m happy to see a new(ish) restaurant so close to my neighborhood.

My wrap was $10.99 and came with a side of fries. The portion was plentiful considering the price, and the shawarma itself was flavorful, with seasonings like turmeric and sumac. Fresh vegetables included raw, spicy red onion; tomato; lettuce; and perhaps a sprig of parsley. But the wrap really came together when I reached a bite containing the subtle white sauce. To be honest, even more sauce would’ve been appreciated.

Halfway through the wrap, I was delighted by a surprise pickle! About the size of a quarter and nestled where a pickled turnip might be in a typical wrap, the briny zest added something unique to my bite.

My fries were thick-cut and cooked to shades of golden brown, topped with a generous sprinkling of large salt crystals, and the side of garlic sauce had a nice balance of lemony and earthy flavor.

The delightful mixes of crunchy and smooth, savory and citrusy, and fresh and fried added up to everything a shawarma wrap with fries should be. Given another convenient opportunity, I won’t hesitate to try Noosh again. Because I love many of our other local Middle Eastern restaurants, like Woody’s, ChouPli and Aladdin’s, I’ll have to add Noosh to my rotation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it quickly climbed the charts.



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