Social Mediterranean Sets Up Shop – Shah’s Kabob

Fan favorite street food and inventive social media takes Shah’s from food truck to restaurant.

Shah’s Kabob and Gyro have come quite a ways over the last couple of years. Since the early days of setting up shop in parking lots, the family-owned business has since moved up the food industry ladder even further. What began as a local favorite food truck has evolved into a full-sized Mediterranean restaurant – one with a permanent address.

Owner Andrew Shah opened his mobile restaurant a little over two years ago. Born and raised in Pueblo, Andrew noticed the lack of Mediterranean cuisine here and capitalized on the opportunity to be one of the first to fill that void. Andrew and his family built the original truck from scratch. It wasn’t long before NuVue Pharma offered their parking lot as a semi-permanent location for the Shah’s truck to set up.

Andrew Shah, with the support from his family, turned their food truck fortunes into a permanent home on Pueblo’s north side. (Photo PULP)

Less than a year later, they got a second truck up and running. And now after another year of hard work, the Shah family has officially gained a permanent foundation for their quickly growing business.

“If you just look at our Facebook page, you can really see the progression,” said Shah, “We built those trucks ourselves. Even now with this restaurant, we did most of this work ourselves too. So it’s always been a collective family-unit type of thing.”

Although business was good in the trucks, Andrew says business is better in the shop. Even on a rainy January afternoon, people are coming in the door. Besides the obvious lack of available seating, there are other factors at play that put food trucks at a disadvantage.

“The best part has been just the comfort of having the space, really. Especially with the weather. We were open all year long for two years in the trucks. So when it was hot, it was really hot. When it was cold, it was really cold,” said Shah.

Those are just some of the little things people underestimate with trucks. Plus the space we have to move around now allows us to be a little more efficient.”

The main event menu-wise at Shah’s is their gyros which, if you’ve never had one, is a Greek sandwich of sorts made from meat (traditionally lamb) cooked on a vertical rotisserie, thinly sliced, and rolled into a piece of pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and feta cheese, then topped with Tzatziki – a creamy sauce made with yogurt, dill and cucumber.

The Classic Gyro and Philly Cheese Gyro at Shah’s Kabob and Gyro (Photo PULP)

There are nine signature gyros to choose from at Shah’s including the Green Chili Gyro, the Buffalo Chicken Gyro, and the Philly Cheese Gyro just to name a few. They also offer salads and a veggie platter featuring various Mediterranean specialties for vegetarians such as falafel, house-made hummus, and spanakopita – a type of pocket pastry filled with a blend of spinach and cheeses.

Apart from traditional gyro restaurants, Shah’s uses a mixture of beef and lamb for the meat on their classic gyro. They also prepare their gyro meat a little differently. Traditionally, gyro chefs cook their meat all the way through and shave it directly onto the pita bread from the rotisserie. Shah’s prefers to put the slices of meat on the griddle first in order to caramelize them and bring out more of the flavor.

Shah’s new digs are a welcome addition to the north side of Pueblo, which is largely dominated by the corporate brand-name restaurants and department stores. Located at 940 Eagleridge Blvd., the new space is quaint but modern. What appears as a hole-in-the-wall from the outside opens up to reveal the vibrant, trendy and altogether cool atmosphere inside. The purple and silver color scheme of the booths, tables, and chairs gives the restaurant a little bit of an outer-space theme. As do the two celestial murals that take up each of the larger walls on either side of the main seating area – one of which depicts a couple of aliens driving around in the Shah’s truck.

Shah’s is a triple threat among restaurants. The staff is welcoming and friendly, the food is authentic, and the aesthetic is delightfully original. It’s the type of place you are secretly glad exists only in your city and nowhere else. Except it’s no secret that Pueblo is lucky to count Shah’s among its unique and diverse community of local businesses. They’ve only been open at their new location over a month now. But if the present is any indication of the future, then Shah’s is well on its way to becoming even more of a success than it is already.

Shah’s is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can follow them on social media, visit their website (www.shahskabob.com).