Mexico has the taco; Central America has the poposas, America the hotdog, and Middle East the shawarma.


Shawarma  is a Middle Eastern meat preparation, where beef, lamb, chicken, veal, turkey, or a mixed meats are placed on a spit (in restaurants commonly a vertical spit) and may be grilled for as long as a day. Shavings are cut off the block of meat for serving, and the remainder of the block of meat is kept heated on the rotating spit. It can be served in shavings on a plate with accompaniments; it can also be served in a wrap.


Shawarma is eaten with tabbouleh, fattoush, taboon bread, tomato and cucumber. Toppings include tahini, hummus  and pickled turnips.


I have stayed in Saudi Arabia for two years and the shawarma is a very popular snack among Saudi and Arab population and also among foreigners. There are three different styles of doing shawarma in Saudi Arabia: Lebanese, Turkish, and Yemeni style.

Lebanese is the most popular style and it is usually comes in shami (Lebanese bread also known as pita). The toppings for the chicken shawarma are limited to garlic sauce, fries, and pickles. The toppings for the beef shawarma are tahini sauce, parsley, and pickles.

Shawarma Factory in Glendale offers both shawarma in a plate and in a wrap. I tried the shawarma plate which came with basmati rice, hummus, pita bread, slices of onions, tomatoes and garnished with chopped parsley. The meat shavings are in a bed of salad, olives, feta cheese and pickled chili.


While it evokes the taste of Middle East, it is not comparable to the ones I had in the Middle East. The beef shavings are a little bit try and tough.


Shawarma Factory has no website and they are located at 919 South Central Avenue, Glendale, CA. It is near downtown Glendale.