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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Shawarma/Donair from Babylon Cafe


I was in downtown with MooseMan last week while when he had some business to take care of when we suddenly felt hungry and decided to have some shawarmas, or as they are more commonly known here, donairs.  Now, this was pretty impromptu and I didn’t have my camera with me while we ordered out food for take out, and so I didn’t get any photos of the outside or the interior of the place, but I’ll try and create a feel for what I felt while I was there.  I did get photos of the food though.  Anyhow, we decided to drop by Babylon Café, one of the first few halal shawarma shops we found out about many many years ago and have been going to since.
Their first location was on Robson and Granville just across from Sears and down the street from Chapters.  This location was TINY, had no room to sit down, barely had room to stand, and you had to get everything for take-out.  If you’re familiar with this area, you might remember the massively long lineups they would have.  I’ve waited 20 minutes in the line up to place my order at one time.  They’ve since opened up two other locations, both with sit in areas and closed down this Robson and Granville spot.  We visited their location on Robson and Cardero.
IMG_8323 IMG_8324
This location of Babylon Café gets pretty busy too. When we went in there were a few people dining inside, but when we got our orders and were leaving there were 8 people waiting to place their orders. Although there is a sit in area here, I wouldn’t recommend it if you can eat outside or can take your food home because its still pretty cramped and feels pretty bare and run down. I took my food home to eat too.

They serve shawarmas (which they call “Wraps” on their menu) with chicken or beef or falafel and also serve platters with a meat of your choice and rice/pita/humus. This place is known for the shawarmas though so do yourself a favor and get that instead. The lamb shawarma is no longer on their menu which is a shame; I loved that. Anyways, I got the chicken shawarma.
When you order, you’re allowed to pick the toppings and the sauces you want. They have available cucumber, tomato, pickles, banana peppers, lettuce, bean sprouts, cilantro, onion, mayo, mustard, tatziki, and hot sauce. You may customize to your preference! Consumer society FTW!  Anyhow, if you’re in the area and need a quick bite, I definitely recommend this place and I encourage you to get take out!

The Yummies:
- deeeelicious shawarmas/donairs
- they’re halal!
- good place for an on-the-go quick bite.

The Yuckies:
- free parking can be hard to find
- not a good place to sit in and eat =(

Babylon Cafe (Robson Market) on Urbanspoon

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Hammad Qazi said...

simply amazing, wish they would open in richmond

Nabeel said...

ya know, I asked them about that, and they told me they don't plan on opening any locations outside of downtown. Maybe WE can get in on this niche market in Richmond.

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