DEVOUR & CONQUER

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Roadfood review - Sam's Eatery in Airdrie, Alberta

May 2, 2016

It's been a long month of driving as my husband and I zip back and forth across Western Canada by car to various business meetings and work projects. Our latest trip took us from British Columbia to Saskatoon, via Alberta. After many, many truck stop coffees and drive-thru plastic burgers and fries, I had had just about enough.
 

We had to stop in Airdrie, Alberta for gas and food, and I sadly (and over-tiredly) whined to my husband "I just want some real food, made by someone's hands!" It was a silly thing to say, all food is made by someone's hands, but Jason knows me, understood my desperate lament and said "How about schwarma or a falafal? There's a Mediterranean place over there, I bet it's nice and fresh", pointing to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant he'd spotted on the edge of a random strip mall.

After hours and hours on the road, and more hours to come, it was like a tiny food oasis appearing out the of desert of fast food chain stores. I wish I'd taken more pictures, but at that level of travel-tired I wasn't expecting the great meal to come.

Sam's Eatery was welcoming from the moment I walked in - mouth-watering aromas of spices and herbs wafting up from the grill, and Sam himself ready to take my order. Yes, I thought, this is the place I want to eat from right now! The couple in front of me in line were on a date and it was fun to hear the girl talking the guy through his first time ordering schwarma. I watched their gorgeous chicken shwarma plates being prepared and got more and more excited about this tiny spot I'd happened upon.

I've been a life-long falafal lover, but schwarma is still a bit of a new adventure for me, so I asked Sam to talk me through what goes onto his Beef Schwarma wrap. As he grilled the marinated beef for my wrap, he loaded up a double-sized pita with crunchy house-made pickles, fresh veggies and several of his signature sauces - tahini and garlic sauce, with a drizzle of hot sauce on top after I mentioned I like a little extra heat.

I picked a few tasty-looking desserts (a free coffee with purchase of cake was an extra nice touch for travellers stopping here), grabbed my huge beef schwarma and we hit the road again, heading east. I nibbled that gorgeous, fresh and flavourful beef schwarma wrap for hours as we rolled across the prairies, feeling like a million bucks to be eating REAL FOOD for once. It finally dawned on me to take some pictures of the deliciousness half-way through so they ain't the prettiest pictures but damn, that was good eating!

We fell so in love with Sam's Eatery that we stopped in again on our way back west a week later. Jason tried the full Chicken Schwarma plate that came with a flavour-packed taboule salad and garlic-y hummus & pita, and I got another beef schwarma wrap for the road. And more tasty desserts - a Ginger Caramel Spice Cake and Triple Chocolate Mousse, which beats our usual roadfood stale donuts dessert hands-down. Great prices too.

If you're passing through Airdrie, Alberta and craving fresh, honest food made by good people, take the Yankee Valley Boulevard exit from the highway and head straight to Sam's Eatery at #113 960 Yankee Valley Blvd SE. Tell him Devour & Conquer sent you. :)

Visit Sam's Eatery website and check out their menu.

Follow Sam's Eatery on Facebook.

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Great review! It's been a while since I've visited the shops in Airdrie, even though we were just there on Saturday night for dinner with friends. I'll have to check Sam's out for sure *huge shawarma fans* in this house!!

Other key things. Sam has worked in the camps up north for more than 40 years so he knows how to fill a stomach. I went in view of a sign in favor of the street that said Donair $5. When I got in there the stylistic theme was pleasant, yet the place was vacant. (THIS SHOULDN'T BE THE CASE). Sam was working behind the counter when I arrived.

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