Doner Kebab: Europe’s Big Mac

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Ok so every so often I get a craving for greasy, bad fast food. I can’t help it. It’s my inner obese American coming out, and I am trapped in a country of skinny waifs who can’t understand my desire for a nice good cheeseburger! In short, Spain isn’t known for their fast food. There are some McDonald’s, Burger King’s, and even KFC, but those are not my go-to places back home. (Though McDonald’s sells beer in Spain, win!!!) Besides, Spaniards only go there for the soft-serve. But sometimes I would just die for a chocolate milkshake, a Sheetz breakfast biscuit, Chick-fil-A waffle fries with that delicious red sauce, or even just a Wendy’s burger and a giant sweet tea. mmmmmmmmm. There is something in the way the beef is prepared or cooked here that I just can’t stand (I am sure it’s healthier without all the added fat and crap in the States, but still). I just don’t order burgers in Europe-always a disappointment. And yes, I am completely aware that I just publicly admitted to liking all of the embarrassing American food stereotypes, as well as the horrible way meat is prepared there. I have even admitted my southern roots. Here’s to hoping my Euro friends don’t read this confession. However, Europe has one hold on my heart here that the US will never, ever match: the doner kebab.

The doner kebab is a little slice of Turkish heaven in a pita, and it’s Europe’s fast food. It’s really just incredible. It’s basically shaved meat (either lamb or chicken), with tomatoes, lettuce, onions and some unidentifiable white and red sauces on pita bread. It usually costs around three euros, perfect for the young poor expat. There are doner kebab shops everywhere, and I mean everywhere. I was first introduced to them in Salamanca, because (in an excellent business stratagem, I might add) they were mostly located next to all the clubs and discotecas, and they stayed open all night. Because, let’s be honest here, what does everyone really want at 5am after a night of drinking and dancing? Greasy food of course!

So while I am in Spain, I miss a good old American cheeseburger, but I know as soon as I come home in July, I am going to miss that nice stomachache you can only get after eating a doner kebab in the middle of the night.


How the meat is prepared, cooked vertically and then sliced off to order


The finished product


Housing down some delicious kebabs in Granada

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6 Comments on “Doner Kebab: Europe’s Big Mac

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  1. I don’t actually LIKE burgers, but I know what you mean. Doner kebab is damn delicious and oh so available for drunken eating….ahem, I mean late night eating.

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