Incidentally: I was walking home tonight from another sober show (remind me to elaborate on the peculiar headspace required for going to gigs without drinking), and realized I was approaching what was allegedly The Best Shoarma in Amsterdam.

A couple of years ago, I was coming back from a gig, probably my own since I was in a cab. This was definitely not a sober show. This we know because my normally untalkative self asked my Turkish cab driver where he thought the best shoarma in town was. He said without hesitation, "Mesut, it's right around the corner," and waved his jewel-encrusted paw around vaguely.

I said, "OK, thanks", and promptly fell asleep, eventually tumbling out of the cab and up the stairs to my apartment. This piece of shoarma information is all I remember about this night, so I somehow managed to file it away somewhere good.  Unfortunately I never had a chance to use this intelligence because once I stumbled across the actual location (on the Rozengracht), repeated passings revealed that Mesut isn't open during the day, and that's the only time I'm ever on the Rozengracht.

Cut to tonight. I'm on the Rozengracht, it's night time, I look up, and I'm passing Mesut. I decide this is my one chance. Fifteen minutes later I'm taking the above picture.

Obviously this can't be a real review since gluten-free boy couldn't eat the whole sandwich. But there are a couple of distinctive things about this shoarma. The bread is several notches above your average tasteless white pita, it's real bread (I didn't taste it, but you can tell, just look, go on, look). And it came with three sauces instead of the usual two: garlic, tomato, and sambal.

I tasted everything but the bread, and I'll easily agree that their shoarma seems above-average, done with apparent care. Much closer, but still not quite in the same league as what I've had in Berlin, but maybe that's because...A) I wasn't drunk, as I usually would be in Berlin, and B) (drumroll, please)....because I was at the wrong Mesut.

As I was leaving, I looked up and saw that, from the direction I'd been approaching, the awning had been carefully concealing a numeral "2", meaning that for years I've been planning my attack on the wrong Mesut. Google tells me the real Mesut is on De Clerqstraat (and they are open during the day).

Voordeel: Mesut 2 on the Rozengracht is not open during the day, but it would seem that this is so they can stay open til 4am (which someone on IENS said, no verification yet), which immediately launches them onto the eventually-important-again list of Places To Eat When You're Out Late and Drunk. It seats 40 and the atmosphere is pretty gezellig for a shoarma joint.


No comments: