Iron Man Doesn't Know What Shawarma Is? Bull. Crap.

Categories: WTF?

shawarma0516.jpeg
Jennifer Silverberg
The shawarma spit at Central Cafe and Bakery in the Central West End.
Ever the pop-culture sheep, I plunked down my hardly earned 26 clams and took my wife to see The Avengers this past weekend. Now, growing up, I was always more of a DC than a Marvel kid, so I appreciated the movie as popcorn entertainment, not a geek apotheosis. At any rate, I'm not to here to provide yet another review of a film that has proven itself in just two weeks to be a review-proof mint.

I'm here to pick a very specific nit: shawarma.

I guess there are spoilers after the jump, if you're one of the three people who has yet to see the film.

avengers0517.jpeg
Image via
Near the end of the film, during a rare break in the frenetic final battle between our heroes and the airborne soldiers that the evil Loki has teleported to Earth from somewhere else in the galaxy, or another galaxy altogether, or maybe a parallel universe -- I'd stopped really thinking about what I was watching by then -- a beat-to-hell Iron Man looks up from the ground at Captain America and says, "You ever tried shawarma? There's a shawarma joint about two blocks from here. I don't know what it is, but I want to try it."

Later, in a brief, wordless scene after the final credits, we see the Avengers assembled in this shawarma restaurant, eating with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Cue laughter. Turn up the lights.

OK. Back to that first scene. I'd believe it if Thor, from Planet Norse or wherever (again: a DC kid here), had never heard of shawarma. Or maybe Captain America, who apparently was just unfrozen after 70 years in carbonite and probably isn't used to seeing Arab Americans, period, let alone shawarma joints.

But Iron Man, a.k.a. Tony Stark, globe-trotting, billionaire, playboy industrialist and arms dealer? You want me to believe that not once in his journeys or alcoholic fugues has the most worldly of superheroes encountered shawarma?

Bullshit.


Location Info

Ranoush

6501 Delmar Blvd, University City, MO

Category: Music

Central Cafe and Bakery

331 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant


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11 comments
Alexandria Steelheart
Alexandria Steelheart

I didn't know what Shawarma was when I saw The Avengers. I looked it up online to figure out what it was, and then it wasn't until I started looking for local places that sold shawarma that I realized I have actually had Chicken Lavosh Shawarma from the Pita Jungle once before. It was tasty, but I wasn't too keen on the fire-roasted crispiness of the wrap. Gyros are definitely different than the Shawarma I had... for one, the pita is soft and bready... the shawarma was crunchy and crispy... and the meats were spiced differently... Gyros are very Greek in flavor (idk how else to describe it) and shawarma is something else entirely.

Psiwolf
Psiwolf

I did not know a shawarma was a gyro or kebab, only under a different way until I decided to look up what it was.

Snowy
Snowy

RDJ ad-libbed the line.  The post-credits scene was filmed long after everything else had wrapped in order to give the first scene a payoff.  So blame RDJ, who was playing a character who had just fought orcs on space sleds and giant worms, flown through a porthole to the other end of the universe, set off a nuke, barely made it back through the porthole only to plummet towards earth, been knocked unconscious, caught by a giant green rage monster who bounced him around on the way back down, then woke him back up by bellowing in his ear.   I think the character is entitled to not know what shawarma is in that moment.

Woodrobin
Woodrobin

What actually happened is that Robert Downey Jr. ad-libbed the shawarma line, Joss Whedon thought it was funny and kept it in, and later Whedon decided to expand on the line and give it a comic pay-off by filming the shawarma-eating scene, for which he called the main players back together long after main filming had completed.  This information is from interviews with Downey and the other actors. From a character perspective, I could see Tony Stark as either eating whatever somebody brought him while he was obsessively working on some project, or going out to fancy dinner parties and events and eating what was served there, but never really paying attention either way.  In the vast gulf between uber-chic cuisine and Hot Pockets, shawarma could have easily fallen into the category of "things I've heard of but never actually made time in my life to experience" for Stark.

Joey
Joey

I don't see how hard it is to believe that he doesn't know what shawarma is.  Knowing that exists is one thing, knowing what it actually is?  Very different.

I grew up in a town that had two shawarma places.  I never knew what it was until MANY years later.   I knew it was a food item, but that's it.

Oh, and let's really get one thing straight.  Saying a shawarma and a gyro are essentially the same thing because they're meats roasting on a spit is like saying that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an Italian sub are essentially the same thing because they're both on bread.  :P  They're both sandwiches, yes, and a gyro and a shawarma are both spit-roasted meats on pita, but that's where the similarities end.  Two different things.  Completely.

And if you were a shawarma eater as you say, you would know that.

elsie
elsie

I actually didn't know what shawarma was until after I watched the movie.  I knew it was a type of food since I've walked by a restaurant before with the word in it.  Turns out that I have eaten shawarma before, but had only known it as kebab.  Maybe it's the same case with Tony Stark?

Blasto172
Blasto172

perhase stark never bothered to eat the local cuisne when he was in the middle east. after all e did bring his own personal full bar into the middle of the deasert in the begining of iron man. I could see that tony woud just as easly bring his own catering (probably on his personl jet) when he traveled there for buisness. I also doubt that the middle east woud be his frst choice in trave for pleasure.

Also I've never heared of shawarma prior to seeing the movie.

HeHe
HeHe

the author of the article spelled Joss' last name wrong.

Kelsey W.
Kelsey W.

Perhaps it is because I am a vegan and not a superhero, I did not know what shawarma was, either, until this blog post. Despite your DC leanings, Ian, my horizons are now that much wider.

Kholood
Kholood

But you HAVE AN ARAB FRIEND.

I have failed you, Kelsey (although I believe I met you in your vegetarian years...?).

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