Mazzat Restaurant opened about five months ago on Bishop Street in Portland, less than a mile and a half from where I live as the crow flies. But my path to getting lunch there was hardly linear.

I’d eyed the Mediterranean eatery’s storefront several times when passing through Morrill’s Corner before I decided to place an order. The hours on the website were listed as 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with no days of the week specified. I tried calling first on an early Monday afternoon and then the next day a little after 10:30 a.m., but no one picked up. Right before heading out the door to try to order in person, I dialed the number one more time, just before 11, and got an answer.

The chicken shawarma sandwich ($8.49) was what I was after, but I wanted to sample a couple of other things, so I tacked on a vegetable sambusa ($2.49 per piece) and a side of falafel balls ($3.99 for six), and was told the order would be ready in 15 minutes. The menu also has shawarma, kebab and falafel plates, with various sides, including rice, hummus and veggies, as well as appetizers such as stuffed grape leaves and desserts such as baklava.

I left about 10 minutes later, thinking it would be a straight shot down Stevens Avenue, but even though I knew where the restaurant was, it turned out I didn’t know how to get there. A no-left-turn sign forced me to head down Forest Avenue, and I decided to wing it from there with a few lefts that eventually led me to the door. There, I found the hours listed as 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Phone mystery solved.

The delay worked in my favor, because when I entered, my order was just being packed up and appeared piping hot. The small counter-service spot has a few tables for eating inside but is set up mostly for takeout. Refrigerated cases with dips, salads and desserts, some of which are also on display under lights by the register, tempted me to start shopping for the week, but I settled on a Diet Coke and called it a day.

The chicken shawarma sandwich from Mazzat in Portland.

When I unwrapped my warm bag of goodies at home, I found one cold spot – the sambusa. I wasn’t about to turn on the oven for one little stuffed pastry triangle, but it heated up fine in the microwave and was filled with spicy diced veggies. The falafel balls, which came hot in a french fry-style box, were dark brown on the outside with sesame seeds and a hole through the middle, and insides were green and dense. I saved them to throw on salad later in the week, but thought they would make a good snack if I were ever in the area between meals.

I hadn’t specified whether I wanted the sandwich on flatbread or samoon, as the menu offers, but as soon as I saw it, was glad I let the restaurant decide. It came wrapped in very thin bread (presumably the flatbread, as opposed to puffier samoon) and was seemingly pressed so that it was crispy. The construction made it easy to eat without losing any ingredients, aside from some dripping garlic sauce that smothered the shaved meat and vegetables inside, making each bite crunchy and creamy.

I don’t like an overly bread-y sandwich and hate when you can’t get all the components in one bite – two issues this wrap did not have, setting a new bar for chicken shawarma for me. Plus, it was a filling meal, especially for the price. Despite the roundabout route to get it, once I had my lunch in hand, it was short distance to go from starving to stuffed.

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