Story by Shelley Mann | Photos by Will Shilling
Gyros are great, but you can get them from every no-name street-meat slinger in the city.
At Lavash, it's worth moving past the meat-on-a-spit standards and into more adventurous territory. In other words, skip the shawarma sandwiches in favor of the kabobs, the chops and the specials.
This bright and colorful Clintonville spot details the daily specials on a chalkboard menu, and they're always tempting -- whole red snapper fried to golden brown, chicken tagine, lemon cauliflower stew, lamb moussaka -- and reliably great.
On the regular menu, the Shish Kabob with lamb ($12) is a standout favorite. Cubes of tender, juicy lamb are grilled on a skewer with chunks of red and green bell pepper and onions until everything's nice and charred.
As an entree, it's served with saffron rice, a small lettuce salad and some of Lavash's fantastically dense pita bread. It's also available in sandwich form, wrapped in either a pita or lavash (Middle Eastern-style flatbread), for five bucks cheaper.
On the side, go for the falafel ($3). An appetizer order comes with six little patties of ground chickpeas, onions and spices fried to crunchy brown, plus a tasty tahini-yogurt dipping sauce. Lavash's take on this Greek standard is light on the parsley, so the falafel are golden inside rather than green -- a good thing in my book.
Ordering is done at the counter, and because there isn't a whole lot of space to stand and wait, it's helpful to call ahead with your carryout orders. Just don't expect to walk in and find your order bagged up -- Lavash puts the finishing touches on dishes once the customer arrives.
Lavash Cafe 2985 N. High St., Clintonville 614-263-7777 lavashcafe.com