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Best Sharwma in the GTA

smr714 May 21, 2008 08:33 AM

I am looking for a few good sharwma places in and around the city. What I am looking for is good without having to slop it with all the toppings (i.e. extra sauces/hot) since normally I am on the go and when I have one.

Nothing I have had so far compares to the ones I first tried when I was in Los Angeles at Zankou's chicken -- down there they do not use hot sauce. I am still looking for a westend, Mississauga location to buy Bastarmia. Now I get it on Lawrence in Scarbourough but am looking for something a tad closer or on the way home to the Hammer from work.


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  1. g
    goaneat RE: smr714 May 21, 2008 08:58 AM

    try Ameer Family Restaurant - 2034 Lawrence Ave E...it is just after the Tim Horton's
    at Warden and Lawrence....the sharwma is not MESSY like all the other ones out there .Enjoy......

    1. m
      magic RE: smr714 May 21, 2008 09:21 AM

      Johnny's Shawarma at Kennedy/Ellesmere (next to Dairy Queen) is great if you are looking for Scarb suggestions...

      1. s
        Scary Bill RE: smr714 May 21, 2008 10:49 AM

        Paramount Foods
        1290 Crestlawn Drive, Mississauga, ON L4W

        What is Bastarmia?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Scary Bill
          smr714 RE: Scary Bill May 22, 2008 07:27 AM

          Basterma is a heavily spiced/pressed beef normally made from the tenderloin. Very tender and cured so edible without heating. Some say it is similar to pastrami but pastrami is more wet. I am addicted to a good Bastarma -- especially the Armenian version.

        2. j
          JamesJT RE: smr714 May 21, 2008 11:02 AM

          Zankou's is high standard to compare, as of yet I've found nothing in Toronto as good.

          I've been looking for a great place that serves it the way the Lebonese do in London, Tomato, Pickle, Chicken and Toum. Deliciously simple.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JamesJT
            smr714 RE: JamesJT May 22, 2008 07:20 AM

            I tried the one from Ameer yesterday and they did it like you wanted James, and there was ample chicken in it.

          2. c
            Curlygrrl RE: smr714 May 21, 2008 04:01 PM

            Me Va Me at Steeles and Yonge have great Shawarma, Falafel etc.. with all the appropriate fixings

            1 Reply
            1. re: Curlygrrl
              duckdown RE: Curlygrrl May 21, 2008 04:17 PM

              I like my shawarma sandwiches with lettuce & garlic sauce only

              They have no lettuce :(

              No plain grated lettuce at least

            2. Moimoi RE: smr714 May 21, 2008 09:00 PM

              I second Me Va Me on Steeles, just West of Yonge on the North side... Add the fried eggplant and baba ganoush to everything! I love everything at that place, and the line-ups speak for their success.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Moimoi
                magic RE: Moimoi May 22, 2008 06:33 AM

                Their food is great, but the staff is incredibly unfriendly, so I stay away.

                1. re: magic
                  Curlygrrl RE: magic May 22, 2008 01:59 PM

                  That's why I go to their take out location.....there maybe a line up ...but your in and out...

                  1. re: Curlygrrl
                    magic RE: Curlygrrl May 22, 2008 06:22 PM

                    Oh I'm talking about the take-out location. Terrible. So rude.

                    I've heard the main restaurant location is even worse. Which disturbs me. Their food is top quality though, too bad.

              2. Googs RE: smr714 May 22, 2008 11:51 AM

                For me it's Shawarma Empire at 1823 Lawrence E just east of Pharmacy. I've tried many of the others on Lawrence, but SE excels at several things:
                -They're 100% consistent. My shawarma tastes the same each and every time I order it. No good days/bad days issues like the others.
                - They're clean. I would eat off of their floor. Okay, maybe not, but you get my point.
                - The couple who run the place are very pleasant to deal with whether you're a shawarma expert or a first-timer.

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