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

May 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm
The shawarma spit at Central Cafe and Bakery in the Central West End. - Jennifer Silverberg
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.

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?