I was on the north side with my son Adam on the way pick up his eldest daughter; my first born Grand child in Noblesville. After we picked up Emily I thought it would be a good idea to get some carry out. Adam suggested Sam’s Gyros at 8922 East 96th Street. He has been there several times and liked the food. He ordered a Chicken Shawarma platter with salad and rice for $13.95. Emily got a half Beef Shawarma in pita for $5.95. I got a Beef dolmades platter with salad, no rice for $13.95. Both platters came with 2 warm pita as well.
After I unpacked the lunch Em attacked her pita bread sandwich with great enthusiasm. She had never had beef shawarma before and obviously really liked it. Poor thing is trying to gain some weight. She starts Ball State this fall. As a matter of fact she leaves in a couple of weeks. In either event I didn’t have the opportunity to take a shot of her sandwich.
Adam’s chicken dish was plentiful and he really liked it. I had a taste and I wasn’t overly impressed. The inclusion of 2 pita breads was good on his dish. I mean you could stuff the bread with chicken and rice.
As I said before both platters came with salads. This is the aforementioned salad. While large not real impressive. Standard torn lettuce minimal cucumber and tomato, a few olives and a sprinkling of feta cheese. Ho-Hum. The dressing was nice and it worked well as a dipping sauce for the good pita that came with my dolma.
As for my dolma they were very good. For some reason grape leaves with beef are difficult to find. That was why I was excited to see them on the menu. Their version was long and slender with a great taste and nice texture. Their tatziki sauce was pretty good as well. Again it was a great sauce for pita dunking.
The amount of dolma was nice. It was a very tasty and filling plate. I just don’t know if it or the shawarma were worth the $14 price tag. Maybe if I saw it on a plate at a table I might think otherwise. Elements of the lunch were very good. But as always it is up to the individual consumer to decide the value.
Has anyone out there ever been to the Urban Element ? Has anyone ever heard of the Urban Element ? Well no matter. That joint closed and in its place is Panorama Grill;specializing in Mid-East cooking with some American stand by s as well. The place is nicely decorated in urban chic;probably left over from the previous tenant. Our first server was not real knowledgable about the menu and was so timid and soft-spoken; I think she is going to have to “bulk up” if she plans on staying in the business. A more experienced server answered our questions and took our order;I don’t know if that was their system or if the youngster had her table jacked.No matter. Pat took the safe way out and had a burger,a plain hamburger. It was a little more charred than he would have preferred but is was satisfactory. I fell back to my old stand by,the falafel. Like the burger it was satisfactory; maybe a little above satisfactory. The falafel had a hint of cinnamon and a nice crunch. The pita was soft and the tahini sauce was abundant. The whole thing was so abundant I couldn’t eat it all. They also provide fries in abundance. A big pile of your standard 3/16 inch cut skin on french fries dusted with paprika. Again, nothing to get too excited about. All in all a nice lunch in a nice place at a nice price. Less than sixteen bucks for the two of us. And it’s close to downtown. On Penn just a half block north of the central library. So I think it is worth a shot. OH my.I forgot to mention the pickles. They are small non garlicy spears that have the appearance and texture of home-made refrigerator pickles. A perfect choice for any cuisine; especially food with bold taste.