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Arz Fine Foods & Bakery

  • Googs Apr 30, 2011 01:44 AM

What's good there?

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Arz
1909 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

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  1. Starting with the basics, they have amazing pita, a nice deli counter of prepared foods, great selection of baked dessert variations on baklava, and frozen and fresh middle eastern essentials. One of the few places that imports pigeons from the region, which is essential if you're going to make a proper b'stilla.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Snarf

      Are you telling me locally raised free-range pigeons won't work in a proper b'stilla ? ;-)

      1. re: prima

        Are you referring to locally raised, free-ramge, wild caught? Depends on what part of the city as to whether they are raised on popcorn, bread or chip-truck leavings....

        1. re: Snarf

          Proper terroir is important...! hyuk.

          1. re: jlunar

            Yes, I can taste the hint of Southern Ontario Smog that gives it the subtle smokiness! ;)

            I have a friend that refuses to eat any other pitas than from Arz! My mouth dropped to the ground seeing all the baked goodness!

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            Arz
            1909 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

            1. re: geekwithspatula

              Le Tour d'Argent in Paris is famed for it's pressed duck. Perhaps we could develop a local version, if someone can perfect the removal of the treads.

    2. Arz has great nuts, especially Pistachios. Also pick up some amazing pitas and Za'atar spice blend. Mix Za'atar with olive oil, diced onion, and tomato, then spread on crisped pitas to make amazing "Za'atar Pizzas".

      If you are in the area, also check out Rami's at 1996 Lawrence E (it's another middle eastern market) and Shawarma Empire for lunch. And don't forget Diana's Seafood just down the road.

      Nice little food excursion....

      1. Hello, just wanted to mention that when I was in there a couple of years ago, there were some ladies in the dessert section who had driven all the way from London, Ontario to get some Arz baklava, saying it was the best they'd ever had! I think it's pretty good too.

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        Arz
        1909 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: susan_e_webb

          Yeah, but Patisserie Royale's is better. :)

          For one-stop-shopping, though, Arz is pretty awesome. The nut bar, the baklava, the olives, the frozen/canned goods...always worth a stop. And so close to Diana's!

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          Arz
          1909 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

          1. re: Wahooty

            That's a great tip Wahooty. I'll check Patisserie Royale out next time I do the Lawrence strip. The weather's right for meandering.

        2. We like the lahmajoun. Fresh Armenian 'pizzas' with ground meat and veg spread (no cheese). Get 12 in a pack for $13. Ten minutes in a 350 degree oven. Crispy, thin crust and yummy taste. Freeze well since they come with a piece of parchment between each. They are also great on a weekend morning...put them in the oven while you make a very thing crepe-like omelet. When the lahmajoun is ready, put the thin omelette on top and roll both together into a tube you can hold in your hands and enjoy. Tasty and filling...Probabley good hangover cure after a big night out.

          1 Reply
          1. re: buster67

            Love, lahmajoun. We make it at home on occasion, based on a recipe from an Armenian friend. Do you squeeze fresh lemon juice on it, just before eating? Delicious! Your burrito-style lahmajoun omelette sounds awesome, buster67.

          2. Big fan of the pita there. Also the garlic paste (?) in the section with the hummus etc is incredible. Try the baklava as well. I can never leave that place without getting some!

            Have also tried some of the salads from the deli counter and been rather pleased.

            Enjoy!

            1. Another big fan. The pita is fantastic, also the mint garlic labneh, kofta and wickedly sweet treats. It's great to pick up staples such as bulgar, pickled turnips, tahini for a middle eastern feast.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Mila

                Mila, I took home a container of that mint-garlic Labneh. Then I rubbed some lamb ribs chops from Kostas in mustard and Herbes de Provence, grilled them, and used the Labneh as a dip. Very nice. I'll be doing that again.

              2. Ask one of the gals at the deli counter to let you sample a slice of basterma, cured spiced beef tenderlion, with a little dab of lebnah, pressed yoghurt- wonderful as an appetizer, along with some of their fresh figs!

                Their hot soujouk is also excellent- fry up and crumble some into an omelet or scrambled eggs, and along with a bowl of foul, their fresh pita, a plate of their pickled turnips and olives, and you could think you're having breakfast in the middle east.

                Also try their home made ice creams. Outstanding flavours.

                1. I had a shawarma there yesterday, and it was actually pretty good.
                  They actually put french fries in it, and the garlic sauce was fantastic.

                  It was on special for $2.99 so definitely worth a try.