★★★★ Located in a tiny house just off Wisconsin Ave, this partially zabihah take-out joint unashamedly proclaims itself a knock-off of Halal Guys (think gyro sandwiches and chicken-and-rice). The proprietor states the chicken is lamb is zabihah, but the chicken is 'halal,' referring to it as being machine slaughtered and not quite zabihah -- eat based on your beliefs. There are maybe 1 or 2 stools available to sit on inside, but there are a couple tables each seating 4 on the sidewalk.
The menu has essentially two options: a gyro sandwich ($8, a rolled up pita/naan filled to the top with lamb or chicken and the house salad) or a rice bowl ($10, rice topped with either chicken, lamb, or both with the house salad on the side). Both the sandwich and rice are topped with a yogurt sauce +/- spicy red sauce. By lamb, I actually mean lamb and beef but this is usually passed off as just lamb. The proprietor claims most other knock-offs (these are also completely unashamed) use primarily beef in their 'lamb' shawarma but this restaurant uses almost entirely lamb. Let's be clear, however, if you didn't know what 'Middle Eastern chicken and rice' is, then you would think it's marginal biryani at best. This is a greasy spoon with no recognizable relationship with anything MIddle Eastern and that's exactly why you come here. If you want subtle nuance, try elsewhere. That said, this is among the best of these Middle Eastern dives, and maybe you'd think it was at least decent biryani.
4/5 stars for being a pretty great dive. Posted on June 25, 2018