Chicken Shawarma from Bay Side on Water Street in Worcester, MA

Bay State Shawarma and Grill is not your typical restaurant. This is more like a takeout place where you go up to the counter to order then wait for your number to be called. They do have ample seating though, and it was easy enough to push enough tables together to seat 15 together. The food, however, was not your typical takeout. The menu was fairly large, with a pretty wide selection of middle eastern favorites from Shawarma, to Kibbe, to Hummus.

We started dinner with a plate of Baba ghanoush, which is cooked eggplant mixed with onions, tomatoes, olive oil and various seasonings and served with a fresh pita. As an appetizer, this was more than enough, we actually didn’t finish it, and maybe the best Baba ghanoush I’ve ever had. Nice and Creamy with a stong, but not overpowering, flavor. Perfect with the pita.

For dinner, I had the Chicken Shawarma. This came over rice with a side salad, hummus and labne. The Labne is a yogurt based side with heavy garlic with a fair amount of spice/heat. This was a fantastic addition to the chicken shawarma, providing a nice creamy counterpoint to the well seasoned and quite delicious chicken. The shawarma itself was a decent sized serving, with an almost crunchy coating on shaved chicken pieces. The hummus side was on the small side, but provided a great side to the chicken and the pita that came with the dish was the perfect vehicle for the hummus.

Overall, this was delicious and a very satisfying meal. As good as any sit down middle eastern place I’ve been, but at the cost of takeout.