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What’s the difference between Shawarma and Gyro?

The luscious meats wrapped in pita and sold on the streets or food courts are meant to provide an alternative for the working person who cannot afford the time to enjoy a full meal during the day. Shawarma and gyro are the respective kings of the street foods packed in slivers of marinated meat and slowly spit-roasted on a skewer at high temperature. They may look similar at a glance but these two dishes are completely different from their origin, preparation to ingredients and servings.

Mediterranean Shawarma

What is Shawarma and where is it from?

Mediterranean Shawarma is a popular Levantine street specialty from the Middle East. Shawarma was initially from Turkey until it found its way to the Middle East during the 19th century. Refugees freeing from Ottoman Bursa settles in the Arab world and carried on their staple food with them. However, a few aspects of the food had to be changed since pork was not acceptable among the Arabs. Merchants resulted to using turkey, chicken, and lamb to make shawarma, added Mediterranean spices, and sold it along the streets.

What is Shawarma meat made of?

Originally, Shawarma was mainly made from pork but since Arabs do not partake in pork, they resulted to using turkey, lamb, beef, chicken or a combination of these meats.
At Parsley Modern Mediterranean, we exclusively use never frozen beef steak and chicken that is prepared daily and slow roasted to savory perfection. This is why we are considered one of the top Mediterranean restaurants in Las Vegas.

How is Shawarma Prepared?

Each morning our ‘Shawarma Builders’ slice steak and chicken into a house marinade of our special blend of spices. Then they gently place the meat, layer by layer, onto the spit creating the perfect cone shape. The meat is then slow-roasted to savory perfection. Stacking the shawarma is truly an art form.

The passion behind our food is what makes it taste so good.

Traditionally Shawarma is served as a wrap or ‘laffa’, a thin homemade tortilla-like wrap. Our guests have a choice of our home-made wraps available in white or wheat.

We also serve our Shawarma in bowls, with a layer of mixed salad and rice, a plate, on a baguette or as a salad.

Any way that you choose to eat your Shawarma we offer you our home-made extra toppings, hummus, tahini, tzatziki, spicy carrots, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and garbanzo beans.

Browse our menu of delicious Chicken Shawarma and Steak Shawarma dishes.

chicken shawarma

Greek Gyro

What is Gyro and where is it from?

Gyro has a long history rotating around Greece. In 1922, there were thousands of refugees in Greece coming from Istanbul and Ismir in modern day Turkey.

As the refugees began settling in their newly found land, they became merchants, opened many small shops among them small holes along street corners, where they sold gyro. After the Second World War, Greek immigrants to Europe, US, and Australia carried on the gyro and sold it along city streets.

What is Gyro meat made of?

Traditionally, Gyro is made from pork and chicken. Since it has made its way in many countries across the globe, chefs have resulted to making gyro with veal and beef for the purpose of diversity.

How is Gyro Prepared?

greek gyro

Gyro meat is usually a combination of lamb and beef formed into a loaf and roasted on a spit. Chunks of meat are cut and seasoned with a blend of, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram then placed on a vertical rotisserie in the shape of a converted cone. The cone is then placed in front of a spit under high temperatures allowing the meat to cook slowly in its own fat as the spit turns. When ready, it is garnished with onion, mustard, garlic yogurt, tomato and tzatziki and served with oiled grilled pita rolled with a variety of vegetables and salads.

What’s your favorite dish?

Tell us in the comments below.

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