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SHWARMA AND (W)RAPS

April 30, 2004 at 12:08:20a.m.

Continuing in the never-ending search for good and affordable eats in Manhattan, my most favorite lunch companion and I have discovered a funky new place – The Kitchen, at 265 West 37th Street (NE corner of 8th Avenue), telephone 212-695-7700; supervision by the OK.

The good stuff – the shwarma was excellent. The demand for it seemed to be high, so we knew it was fresh. They also pack the pita with shwarma, and then give you a dish to make your own salad to go with it – a pretty good value for $7.95. (They have different lunch specials every day of the week, where your $7.95 also gets you fries and a soda.) Soups are also very good, and the mix-your-own salad bar had quite a few choices. Deli and chicken sandwiches are also available, as are the ubiquitous wraps – deli, chicken, and – falafel. The only things that did not look totally tempting were some of the chicken dishes, which were sitting in a sauce that had congealed unappetizingly. Most menu items are $8.75 or less.

One major caveat – if you want to eat in, this place is decidedly not user-friendly for the disabled. The eating area is up a narrow spiral staircase – which is really the only place to put it in such a small place.

Then there was the music. When we entered, we were blasted by the rap music. It took us a few seconds (and we’re both musicians) to realize that this was a rap version of – Adon Olam. Yes, the old traditional tune. VERY funky! Fortunately, when we went upstairs the music (such as it is) was not quite that loud, and we actually found it amusing. Then again, this could be part of the explanation for why their takeout business is much more brisk than their eat-in…

(DW)