No, it’s not pronounced “Lazys”… Although, after you’re done, you may not really feel motivated to do much more than digest the deliciousness.
Sometimes you can find a diamond in the rough. This is apparent at the new restaurant addition to the strip-mall behind the AMC Theaters on Tilghman in Allentown. My wife & I were out that way dropping off a donation to the Goodwill, and noticed a very rough hand painted sign offering “Shawarma”. The kind of sign your kids would make for a yard sale. Strip mall dining is, well, strip mall dining. You don’t expect much in the way of atmosphere, but really – who cares when the food is good.
Now, anyone who knows me – knows me likey shawarma. Anything wrapped in a pita is a good thing – gyro, falafel, shawarma. Cover it with tatziki or tahini sauce, and it’s a sandwich I pause for anytime.
As shawarmas go, the offering at Lazeez is top notch. It’s the classic style, with pickles & tomato – either beef or chicken – and wrapped tight in a pressed pita. The pita is the thinner kind, pocketless – so even though it looked small in portion, there was plenty of filling. The platter price of $9 with a drink & side, may seem a bit steep, but you can substitute the fries for a meat or spinach pie. (Shown in the photo) This makes the deal absolutely worth it. The meat pie had a wonderful blend of the allspice/cinnamon flavor with a touch of lemon juice for acidity.
The menu is pretty simple, which often times is a good thing. Focus on what you do best. Unfortunately, they don’t have gyros on the menu – I have no idea why – but they do have some good alternatives. Of course there is the veggie falafel (which my wife had, and tasted perfect – nice & moist). There are also Koufta kabobs and other appetizers such as Kibbee & grape leaves. The grape leaves are the softer, moist kind soaked in a tomato broth – lending a real nice sun-dried smoked flavor.
Until I ate at Lazeez, the best shawarma was at Olive Branch, over in Bethlehem. The shawarma sandwich at Olive Branch is completely different, no pickles & lots more onion and tomato. I cannot disparage my old favorite, and it really is a different taste altogether, made with gyro meat. Lazeez, however, due to proximity to my house is going to be the new spot to take everyone & I look forward to going back soon.
Two things they need to fix: They are closed on Sundays…and I don’t see anything about delivery.
Edit: For a follow-up review, go here: Lazeez-Fresh-Mediterranean-Grill-Allentown–Round-Two
Edit: For other Mediterranean offerings: Good Places for Mediterranean Food