Babaz...new shawarma place at Richmond & Church
I just had lunch there. Nothing to write home about, but if you're in the hood, it's fine.
Pricey, though. I had the chicken dinner, with a dr. pepper, and it came to $13.. I wish places also sold cans of pop so you don't have to buy a big bottle all the time.
They just opened, so the service is very friendly and they offered me extras to try their wares. Even got a free cookie, which was good (subway-esque).
Oh, and for those who love the pickled turnips, theirs suck. They looked too pink and tasted too processed. I told them they should get a new supplier for those.
Definitely nothing to write home about. It's the worst shawarma I've ever had. I'm not a shawarma aficionado but this stuff is the worst "fast food" version I've ever had. The meat is sitting in the steam tray or whatever it is and they just scoop it out. It's sitting in juices or some sort of liquid. Yuck! One of the best things about shawarma is the crispy, crusty, fatty bits. It should be carved off the spit on order.
Maybe I'm being particularly hard on Babaz because I had shawarma at Yummi's just a few days before. Now that's good stuff. I was at the one at Yonge and Wellesley and the food was great. The service was friendly and attentive, but not the fake friendly I got at Babaz. The chicken shawarma was crispy and juicy, the way it's supposed to be, and I watched the meat being carved off the spit.
At Babaz, I had the lamb and it was below average. As I said, it was sitting, pre-chopped, in a steam tray and soupy too. The salad was old, like when the cucumber and lettuce are sitting around too long and the surface gets dried out. And that cost me $12.
I work in the area, so many of my co-workers were excited to try out a new place. The unanimous verdict is that it sucks. It's a rip-off! Considering the quality of the food and the quantity of meat I got for $12 was pathetic. The general consensus at my office is never again. Back to Shawarma King at the Eaton Centre.
They probably won't last long anyway. That location is cursed. Nobody can stay in business there. But if someone want to open a decent Vietnamese pho place there after Babaz folds, I'd be there for lunch all the time.
Now Yummi's (at Yonge and Wellesley....there'a fantastic place. Both the shawama and the burger is outstanding and Massive. The beef shawarma at Falafel King is also wonderful when fresh. On the topic of below average shawarma places.....
If it doesn't come off the rotisserie, I don't bother with shawarma anymore. I will even go so far as to ask for it carved off the spit if I see they scooping it out of a hot table or otherwise. There is no point in eating shawarma any other way. The nice crusty brown bit's are what makes it so nice. If they don't want to carve it off the spit, I walk out. Plain and simple. I have gotten a couple times from the owners of some places that "it's the same thing" (referring to the rotisserie meat compared to the gross meat either sizzling itself dry on a grill or stewing in it's own fat if it's in a tub on a steam table). It happenned at La Zeez/Pita Land. I also got that from Anoush in the cumberland terrace. The men at both places seemed really really annoyed that I wouldn't accept being served garbage. The hole-in-the-wall shawarma joint on cumberland just west of Yonge called Eat a Pita is the absolute worst culprit for this. They used to have a rotisserie but it broke down and this is their current method of preparataion. They take the marinated chicken and it goes on a grill and is fried up like burgers. A mountain of yellow tinted grissly chicken i s piled in the corner of a flat grill that stays there for hours. It's so weird. The owners sons who are there most of the time are surly at best.. A side note about Eat a Pita... The female owner once slothed some raw chicken on the grill with her tongs and then went to dole out my falafel fixings with the same utensil! Luckily I told her not to before it was too late.
Had babaz a few times, their original location is on Islington between Queensway/Dundas... It's like a fast food shawarma
Surprisingly they sell alot of burgers
Walk a few blocks northwest to Dundas Square, take the escalator up to the third floor of the AMC buiding, and visit Milo's Pita. Even though it's in a food court it is family run and has above average food. Good falafel plates and sandwiches, as well as shawarma. Usually closed Sundays, though.
Noticed yesterday the Babaz at Richmond & Church is closed. Not sure how long it's been closed, but it definitely was open for well less than a year. I think they spent almost as much time renovating as they did selling shawarma. I guess the chowhounds were not the only ones who were unimpressed.