Chicken Shawarma Plate from Bay Side on Water Street in Worcester, MA

December Foodies brought us to the Canal District to Bay State Shawarma & Grill; a Middle Eastern casual dine-in, takeout restaurant. They do not serve alcohol, and BYOB is prohibited. They offer a diverse menu, which included several vegetarian offerings.

Shawarma typically denotes the manner in which the meat is prepared, roasted all day on a spit, sliced to order. Although I have seen Shawarma and had Middle Eastern cuisine, I had never tried Shawarma. I was excited to take my taste buds on this culinary adventure.

To start we ordered some vegetarian grape leaves: stuffed with rice, mint, tomato, parsley, and spices. The grape leaves were excellent, the flavors spot on, the leaves held together well, not too tough/stringy or soft. For my meal, I ordered the Chicken Shawarma Plate. Chicken roasted on the spit, sliced over a bed of rice, served with salad, hummus, labneh, pickles, and warm pita bread.

The food was simply delectable! The portion size was perfect; the chicken had a fantastic spit roasted flavor and went perfectly with the bed of rice, the hummus was well balanced in flavor, the pita was homemade and warm. Now… the real star on my plate was the Labneh. I had never tried Labneh, or even heard of it before and while it was fantastically overpowering in garlic and a slight heat, I could not help but want more and more! Labneh is a kefir cheese mix with garlic and mint. I kept using it as a dip for my chicken, for the pita bread. It was extremely addictive!

As I looked around the table, I was overcome with food ordering envy, admiring all the dishes and thinking – what will I order next time. I will be back to Bay State Shawarma & Grill many more times, I can guarantee that. I highly recommend stopping in for a bite or getting a nice meal to go, not only is the food fantastic the prices are extremely reasonable. Bay State Shawarma & Grill is one of my top 5 for Foodies thus far.

Christmas shopping for fine art collectibles and inspiration at Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton, MA