I’ve been going to the same Shawarma stand in Bangkok, since 2010. It doesn’t matter where I am in the city, if I h… pic.twitter.com/fCFuvGUWL3
— Pamela MacNaughtan (@savvyabroad) September 16, 2015
This year I’m reunited with foodie and blogger friend Pam from Savoir Faire Abroad. She’s got a big heart and appetite so we get along really well. However, there’s always this little debate about who does the best shwarma in Bangkok. The hungry dialogue starts out innocent enough, but it’s not long before the discussion sparks a more vigorous debate than the any of the GOP debates (on second thought maybe that’s not so hard to do). If I step back from the feud, I can sympathize with Pam who isn’t based in Asia. I too have my own international cravings, and of course the best shawarma ever had was pretty far from Bangkok anyway.
Food Photos: If there’s meat on hooks and marinade flying everywhere when you walk up that’s a good sign!
My favorite shawarma spot is in the smallish town of Srinagar, not far from Dal Lake. The place is owned by young, spirited Indians who’ve done their work to unlock the grilling techniques from this region of India, bordering the Middle East. They’re gurus at the halal friendly art of throwing marinated chicken in the tandoor and stuffing the juicy meat into those beloved middle eastern sandwich wraps known as shawarma. You can enjoy the chicken separately and in addition to excellent tandoori chicken, they also have a great tandoor roasted Afghani chicken too. The smokey and juicy meat is the biggest draw, but they have some interesting sauces and messy toppings to go on top too!
Hint: Look for the giant signs that says “Grills” and you’ll know if you’re in the right place if the 5-6 tables have this kitschy woodman theme to them.
If not for shawarma cravings I may have forgotten to write about this place. That’s not because I didn’t love it, but I hear of so few traveling to northern Indian, especially Kashmir which has sporadic violence. Most of the tourism seems to be domestic, but every now an adventurous backpacker makes the journey there. Despite the politics and occasional violence the people in the region are kind, hard working, and ready to show the world a different side of their beautiful and disputed homeland. I can’t think of any better example of that the the young entrepreneurs from Grills!
GRILLS SHAWARMA LOCATION AND HOURS
Address: Nageen Bagh, Hazratbal Road, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, 190006
Directions: You’ll find this tiny restaurant off of Hazratbal Road, which is sandwiched between Dal and Nigeen Lakes. There’s another shawarma spot not too far away and many of the locals in the area know it if you can’t track it down any other way.
Phone Number: +919 018 721 666
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/grillsshawarma
Note: Last I checked they hadn’t updated their facebook page since 2012, but there’s plenty of fresh reviews, map, and phone number. Use any clues you can to find this place!