One of the many offerings set to open at Plano's Legacy Food Hall in October is a stand serving Middle Eastern street food from a veteran restaurateur. Shawarma Bar is from Chad Roberts and Yaser Khalaf, owner of Baboush in West Village and Souk at Trinity Groves, that will feature street foods from Turkey, Morocco, and more.
Roberts, who worked for a number of years with the Palio's Pizza chain, says that Shawarma is all about meat on a spit.
"You can find meat on a spit in many countries where it's cooked on a spit and spins," Roberts says. "If you've had the Greek version, they'll grind it like you would for a burger, add seasonings, then pack it onto a spit. But we don't ever grind the meat. We use lamb that we submerge in an intricate marinade for 24 hours, then put it on a spit. It becomes so tender, it's almost like brisket."
The marinade is a flavorful blend that includes tomato, yogurt, cumin, garlic, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and cloves.
The meat gets shaved to order, then goes into three possible configurations: wrap, bowl, or salad.
"You can get it in a lavosh-type bread with our condiments, which are all chef-driven and prepared," Roberts says. "You can also have it in a bowl with rice, or in a salad."
Condiments that can be added include pickled onions and jalapeños, Mediterranean carrot slaw, chickpeas, and three kinds of hummus; regular, beet, and pesto. Much hummus.
He says it's perfect for a quick lunch because it can be served so quickly. "We start with the roots of street food from the Mediterranean area, which are really very simple and basic, but we take it and kick it up a notch," he says.
Legacy Hall is targeting October 23 as an opening date. Other eateries set to open there include Carlton Provisions, the new barbecue concept from Chili's founder Larry Lavine and partner Jordan Swim; Sea Breeze Lobsta & Chowda House, the offshoot of Plano restaurant Sea Breeze; and Forno Nero, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria from the owner of Cavalli.