Three famous brothers
A Shawarma Safari begins with some delicious wraps.
Name + address: 3 Brothers Shawarma & Poutine, 530 Rideau St.
Type of food: Middle Eastern
Diet: Meat, vegetarian
Wheelchair accessibility: Yes
LCBO Licensed: No
If you live in Ottawa, you’ve not missed seeing one of the eye-catching red and yellow 3 Brothers storefronts. It’s a colour combination so insistent that these restaurants seem to be everywhere.
The truth is there are only six locations so it’s far from a McDonalds for the shawarma set.
One thing that is true however is that this is faster food than those large chains and it’s a healthy alternative with modest pricing. What’s not to like?
At 3 Brothers, they offer a cross-cultural mix of foods. Middle Eastern fare stars but if you fancy burgers, pizzas or wings knock yourself out because they offer a broad selection.
The 530 Rideau location opened seven years ago and what caught my attention was a banner reading something to the effect of “Ottawa’s Best Halifax Donair.” Well that gauntlet landed with a thud so I thought “I’ll be the judge of that.”
Falafel and Halifax donair. Ralf Joneikies/Ottawa Lookout
Speaking with the owner and sandwich master, I learned that they bring in the seasoning from Halifax but that their pressed donair meat is made for them in Montreal.
I ordered one and a falafel wrap for good health. Besides, it had been a while and I’d been having a falafel craving.
The pita for both sandwiches ($11 each) was fresh and soft which is not always the case with these wraps and both were filled to bursting.
I took my first bites of the donair and it tasted as it should, an adequate amount of seasoning without too much salt and a sweet garlic sauce, onions and tomatoes. Classic.
The meat had been thinly shaved and felt a little dry around the edges. What caught me off-guard was the hard crunching sound and I found several sharp bone chips. I can happily report they weren’t my own.
On this day however, the falafel sandwich took the prize. It was very good, in all the ways that matter. The falafel, shaped like footballs, was attractively browned with a crunchy shell that gave way to a tender and moist core. The hummus, toum (garlic sauce), hot sauce and vegetables came together to satisfy that long craving.