So, where's the best place to find some authentic burek in Toronto? Preferably along the Danforth, rather than in the West End?
I'd suggest phoning Arz on Lawrence E. I don't know that they have it, but the place is, at its core, Armenian, so it's likely.
First I dont think they carry Burek at Arz. But I could be wrong (though rare).
I would suggest making your own as it is easy and way better.
God, I love burek.
OK, this is kind of sketchy in terms of direction but there is a deli(maybe called European Deli) on the east side of Donlands, south of O'Connor that sometimes sells burek. When I've gotten it there it has been very good.
Fresh from the Farm, which is right across Dolands from this place now sells what I take to be burek: they call it "Balkan pie" and it comes from a place called Mediterranean Bakery. I haven't tried it yet, but I am planning to. Tim, one of the owners of FFTF, has excellent connections with the Bosnian refugee community so I'm guessing this is good stuff. They sell small and large pies in cheese, meat, or spinach and cheese.
I also heard (from a Bosnian friend who makes excellent burek and so whom I trust implicitly) that there is a good place at O'Connor and Pape but I have not tried it.
Now, if you want to go out of your way, she also told me about an excellent place that I have tried, on the South side of Lawrence, west of Victoria Park. The burek there is excellent; you can buy it cooked or uncooked. I am told the cevapi (kebabs) are also excellent.
I've tried all of the delis Scruncheons mentions - here's my take on them:
The place on Lawrence is Mak European Deli at 1335 Lawrence East, west of Victoria Park in a small strip mall. Their own bourek (meat, spinach or cheese) is very good. We recently had a huge tray of it for a party. They also carry a frozen brand, Solero, that is the flat kind (ie, not rolled), it is good but very greasy - I prefer their house-made version. I've also seen Solero at Highland Farms (Ellesmere).
I used to go to the place on Donlands (called Libra), but I regularly had such appalling service from the owner that I stopped going. I also found it was getting progressively dirtier every time I went.
The place on O'Connor near Pape is called Nina. It is very small, but they do have burek that is baked or frozen that you bake yourself. It is good, but overall we prefer the house-made version at Mak.
This isn't convenient if you live in Scarborough, but I had what I consider to be a very good burek at a Baltic Deli on Scarlett Rd. on the west side between Eglinton and Lawrence. I think that Bosnian style is rolled, right? That's what these were (I think the people were Serbian)--Cheese, spinach and meat. I've only tried the spinach.
I know this is an inconvenient location for you, but if you're ever in that neighborhood, Ararat on Avenue Road, south of Lawrence, has them on Saturday mornings (they sell out quickly):
Ararat International Fine Foods
1800 Avenue Road
Had the Burek from Mak's European Deli. It's quite authentic, and in some ways, better than I remember it from Sarajevo. There's more filling than you would get in a burek in the Balkans.
Thanks CrepesSuzette -- yes, you are right; the place on Donlands in Libra, and I would concur with your assessment of the owner. Part of my decision to see what Tim brings in at FFTF -- strengthened by your assessment of Libra as grubby.
Also agree that Mak is superb (thanks for filling me in on the name!)-- when I was there you could buy the in-house Bosnian-style (rolled) either cooked or frozen, in small or enormous sizes.
I did not try the Serbian-style (flat layered pie). Sometimes when my Bosnian friend makes us burek she makes it this way because she doesn't have a lot of time -- but we all agree it is not as good. She also sometimes makes a burek with potato and onion that I have never seen anywhere, but it is very good. Has anyone ever seen this?