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I just had the worst shawarma

cherrypicker1972 Nov 10, 2008 08:29 AM

Do NOT go to Champion at Danforth and Donlands. Completely unacceptable product. Slimy chicken, no pink turnip, skimpy on the garlic sauce, wilted lettuce, grainy tomato. Plain awful.

I lived in Ottawa for years and was clearly spoiled by the quality of shawarma there. Shawarma King on Elgin was my fave.

Why is it so hard to find good shawarma on Toronto's east side??

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    Sui_Mai RE: cherrypicker1972 Nov 10, 2008 11:21 AM

    I totally know that place you're talking about. Try Ali Baba's (must be the Parkdale one, east of Lansdowne) it's better.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sui_Mai
      Sui_Mai RE: Sui_Mai Nov 10, 2008 12:11 PM

      I mean better than the place in the Market

    2. j
      julesrules RE: cherrypicker1972 Nov 10, 2008 11:29 AM

      I think there are different styles of chicken shawarma. My favourite from Armenian Kitchen does not have the pink pickles although they do serve them. But Champion is Turkish and I don't know if they have the pink pickles at all. That said... we live around the corner and want to support the small businesses on the strip. They're also really nice in there. But after a few visits when they first opened we have not been compelled to go back - and I love shawarma.

      1 Reply
      1. re: julesrules
        koknia RE: julesrules Nov 10, 2008 02:07 PM

        I had a decent sandwich from that place when it opened. Was a Turkish meatball thing and quite unique..
        I found it interesting to be in a place on the Danforth completely packed with Turks.

      2. foodyDudey RE: cherrypicker1972 Nov 10, 2008 02:20 PM

        My wife and I ordered a takeout shawarma there in the early summer, and it wasn't very good. We should have figured that out as it was completely deserted at 8:30 pm. I heard they specialise in kokorec, not shawarma. Click here for more details:

        1. duckdown RE: cherrypicker1972 Nov 10, 2008 05:04 PM

          tough to beat the chicken gyro's at alexandro's or messini's in the same immediate area!

          same idea as a shawarma just different spicing

          1. Finnegan RE: cherrypicker1972 Nov 12, 2008 07:35 AM

            Tried the Ali Baba's at Dundas and Church. All ingredients were super fresh, the chjicken shwarma in a pita was stuffed with a ghood amount of chicken, tabbouleh, picke, etc. Finished product nicely heated in a panini press. About $5 for a tasty shwarma

            3 Replies
            1. re: Finnegan
              qwertypk RE: Finnegan Nov 13, 2008 08:04 AM

              where on dundas and church did you find this place? i went on the ali baba's website and they showed that there was one located on parliament and gerrard. is that the one you were referring to?

              1. re: qwertypk
                pinkprimp RE: qwertypk Nov 13, 2008 11:22 AM

                It is right at the south-east corner, across from Pizza Pizza.

                1. re: qwertypk
                  Finnegan RE: qwertypk Nov 13, 2008 02:04 PM

                  southeast corner of church and dundas across from the street from Pizza Pizza. It only opened recently.

              2. Davwud RE: cherrypicker1972 Nov 13, 2008 08:34 AM

                I thought you were gonna say Quick Pita on Eglinton E @ Redpath.

                You can skip that one too.


                1. a
                  alum RE: cherrypicker1972 Nov 13, 2008 03:38 PM

                  Don't even think about going to the falafel place on Yonge, just south of Bloor. I can't remember what it's called, but they are, for a lack of a better word...bitches. Bad bitchy service makes food taste really bad in my opinion. I know it's busy, and people do go there, but it's just a mess, no system of ordering than paying (it's chaos if there's more than 4 people waiting to order/pay), and they are just abrupt if you don't order immediately when called upon. AND for them to charge an extra dollar for a tiny teaspoon (not even!!) of taboulli in your falafel or shawarma is ridiculous. who knew parsely was soo expensive! i'm a big hater of that place!

                  1. j
                    Joshman RE: cherrypicker1972 Nov 14, 2008 05:46 AM

                    I live Woodbine/Danforth area and I quite like Shwarma's! I do like the new place at Main/Danforth (which used to be the scary donut store on the north-east corner used to be).. More east (Warden/Lawrence) is Farhats (in the same mall as Nasr) is so awesome and inexpensive. They have a new spicy beef that's not that tasty and the consistency is weird..

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Joshman
                      Dr Butcher RE: Joshman Nov 14, 2008 06:24 AM

                      Farhat has gone downhill over the past couple of years. Dry, and flavourless meat...... Excellent garlic sauce though.

                      Try Shawarma Empire of Ibrahim's next time you're in the area, they are both much better.

                      1. re: Dr Butcher
                        Joshman RE: Dr Butcher Nov 14, 2008 07:06 AM

                        Hmm, they did hit a rough spot but their seemingly endless reno's seem to be almost done and last time I was there things were tasty again.. Their lamb shwarma's are great.. Where's this Empire you speak of?

                        1. re: Dr Butcher
                          koknia RE: Dr Butcher Nov 14, 2008 08:18 PM

                          Yes, I just tried Farhat and my sandwich was far too dry. And the guy making them had a bad attitude.

                          1. re: koknia
                            Googs RE: koknia Nov 15, 2008 10:45 AM

                            Once upon a time the lamb shawarma was worth the attitude. Now I'd rather eat in a toilet than there.

                        2. re: Joshman
                          Bex714 RE: Joshman Nov 18, 2008 12:59 PM

                          I've been to the Main/Danny one and really enjoyed it. although I usually go the vegetarian route. Last time I was in, it was packed and some guy made mention that he stopped there everyday on his way home from work. He lived at Pape and something....

                          the guys aren't overly pleasant, but they're not jerks either. Give it a try!

                        3. b
                          bluedog RE: cherrypicker1972 Nov 14, 2008 07:37 AM

                          My kid used to go here with her friends, but it does not seem to appeal to even 13 year olds. Champions is actually a franchise from Turkey, and I think this is one of only a few outlets outside that country. They specialize in lamb tripe, chopped up and fried with a tomato sauce, served in a pita. I tried it a few years ago. It was OK, but not worth a repeat. Maybe try that instead of the shawarma, but it sounds like its gone downhill in any event.

                          1. e
                            e8ghtmileshigh RE: cherrypicker1972 Nov 17, 2008 01:45 AM

                            you cant mess with Sarah's at bloor and brunswick or ghazale next to the bloor cinema

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: e8ghtmileshigh
                              Lawchik RE: e8ghtmileshigh Nov 17, 2008 05:47 AM

                              The best Shawarma I've had is in Oakville from Adonis. I love this place, the food, the people, the price:


                              1. re: Lawchik
                                duckdown RE: Lawchik Nov 18, 2008 10:16 AM

                                And the best Shawarma I've ever had is also from Oakville, but from AGABI's

                                I thought you misspelt it but it seems that these are 2 different places.. Have you tried Agabi's? I'm thinking of trying your place today

                                1. re: duckdown
                                  Lawchik RE: duckdown Nov 19, 2008 04:47 AM

                                  I love Agabi, but I always get the Beef Kofta there. Haven't been in ages though since I was introduced to Adonis.

                                  Last night I tried the Shawarma from Montfort's in Milton. Pretty good, but not what I'm used to....no vegg...mostly just a stuffed pita that was very sloppy to eat.

                              2. re: e8ghtmileshigh
                                e8ghtmileshigh RE: e8ghtmileshigh Nov 17, 2008 06:09 AM

                                i take back ghazale

                                1. re: e8ghtmileshigh
                                  cherrypicker1972 RE: e8ghtmileshigh Nov 18, 2008 02:02 PM

                                  Thanks for all the feedback, folks. Interesting that Chamption is in fact a Turkish joint. That explains part of it.

                                  I think I'll have to check out this place at Main and Danforth...

                              3. f
                                Fadico RE: cherrypicker1972 Nov 25, 2008 08:49 PM

                                Hay, I ran into a place in Etobicoke. It was called Adam’s Shawarma. 1910 Kipling Ave. Yes, I liked it so much I took the flyer. Best homemade Falafels and Hummus. Worth a trying.

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