The cranky-on-the-outside/sweet-on-the-inside technicians at work always know the best, cheap places to eat. That’s how I found Jimmy’s A&A Deli in the northeast northwest. Some guys call it Jimmy’s; others call it A&A; I call it frickin’ addictive and awesome.

It looks like any other corner convenience store on the outside but inside is a Middle Eastern deli counter crammed with baklava, fatayers, and kibbe bigger than my head.

You know what’s bigger than that? Their shawarmas.

Jimmy's A&A Deli, Calgary

Behold, a SMALL chicken shawarma ($7.50).

(Thank you Albert for your model hands. He’s also cranky on the outside and sits next to me at work.)

Jimmy’s crams so much juicy, roasted chicken into their shawarmas that the pita bread barely folds up, much less wraps around. I get mine with everything: lettuce, tomato, pickles, banana peppers, creamy garlic sauce, and sriracha hot sauce.

Jimmy's A&A Deli, Calgary

It’s huge and messy and completely delicious. God help you if you don’t grab a fork and at least eight napkins.

As I sat eating (more, like tackling) one at my desk one afternoon, some of the guys walked over, saw me with food all over my face and fingers, smiled knowingly and said, “Went to Jimmy’s eh? Good call.”

Jimmy’s A&A Deli, 1401-20th Ave. NE NW, Calgary, (403) 261-2090.

Jimmy's A&A Mediterranean Deli on Urbanspoon