Serious Eats: New York

A Sandwich a Day: Shawarma at Cedars Meat House

In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around New York. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.

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[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Cedars Meat House is a slender storefront along Astoria's 30th Avenue that's easy to miss, but if the glistening shawarma on spits don't catch your eye, a glance at the bottom drawer prices will. $3.50 for a shawarma sandwich! Not even Mamoun's can offer that.

Cedars is a meat house proper, not just a shawarma joint, so you can get your pita filled with grilled mekanek sausages, compact kofte kebabs, and whole cubes of shish kebabs. But my money's still on the shawarma, the beef in particular, which is crisp-edged from its trip on the spit but as tender and juicy as you'd like. Once filled with a moderate amount of meat, the pita is stuffed with your choice of add-ons, which include tomatoes, onions, pickles, fries, chili sauce, and an oil-based garlic sauce strong enough to keep Twilight fans away. The pita is then flattened in a sandwich press to bring meat and flatbread together as one.

It's a lovely shawarma, but you'd do best to go light on the toppings. The meat is well seasoned but still a little demure, and while it fills out the pita, you'd hardly call this a stuffed wrap. A smattering of pickles and a strip of that garlic sauce is all this sandwich needs.

Cedars Meat House

41-08 30th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11103 (map)
718-606-1244

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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