After the May 4 release of Marvel's "The Avengers," which includes a mid-battle scene in which Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) asks his superhero team to visit a shawarma joint, celebrity gossip site TMZ spoke with several restaurants selling the Middle Eastern cuisine throughout Los Angeles. All of them reported a surprising increase in sales.
The manager of one Lebanese establishment — RoRo's Chicken — told TMZ that sales increased 80% in the days following the movie's release. Google searches for "shawarma" peaked just four days after the opening, probably due to adventurous home cooks or people just wanting to know more about the cuisine.
TMZ also mentioned that restaurants reported a similar increase in baba ghanouj sales when the dish was mentioned in a joke in Adam Sandler's 2008 film "You Don't Mess with the Zohan."
Curious what all the buzz is about? Try this user-posted recipe for Shawarma Chicken.