Step Up, Toronto People

Ok, Toronto residents, I need specific information about food.

Two things that I liked very much about Ottawa were the fact that I could get good Montreal-style bagels, and good Shawarma pretty much whenever I wanted.

In Toronto, not so much.

I can get “New York Style” bagels anywhere, but New York Style bagels are crap, so who cares? I can’t find anywhere that serves what I recognize to be a shawarma. I’ve found a lot of places that serve something that looks like they’ve been given a grainy xeroxed picture of a shawarma with third-hand description scrawled on the page in crayon with instructions to replicate that on a tight budget, but nothing that I’d actually want to eat a second time.

I’m told by my colleagues here that you can get anything in the Big Smoke, and it’s all just about the best you can get anywhere, and I just haven’t been able to find it, and frankly that sounds like bullshit to me. I’m sure that if you moved from Kapuskasing to North Bay, you’d probably say the same thing about North Bay. Toronto’s pretty big, but the world is a lot bigger than Toronto.

But what the hell: I’m totally ready to believe here. All I need just a sliver of evidence. Where do I find these things?


  1. John
    Posted February 9, 2007 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I find them in Ottawa.

  2. Posted February 9, 2007 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    For bagel, you want to go to Bagel House ( at Bayview & Eglinton and Avenue at Lawrence.

    For shawarma, you want to go to a bunch of places. One good one that I know of is on Queen West just past University, but there are a bunch more along there and on College West, around the mid 1500s, which is the Lebanese area of town. (There’s also a place up by my condo at Yonge and Sheppard that does a bang-up job, but that’s probably a little far afield for you.)

    To date, sadly, I have not been able to find a chipwagon in this city that comes close to the ones dotting downtown Ottawa. :(

    (and my GOD man, will you add some permissiveness to the formatting of your comments?)

  3. Mike Hoye
    Posted February 9, 2007 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the information.

    I’ll take it under advisement.

    I’ve been to Sarah’s Falafel And Shawarma in The Annex, and it’s supposed to be good, but it’s really just barely OK.

    Everywhere else I’ve been has been less OK than that.

    But, hells-yeah, I hadn’t even noticed the chipwagon problem.

    and… formatting?

  4. Posted February 9, 2007 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Like, I have to do line breaks with <p> tags. I can’t enter links. I think I can bold and italicize, but that’s about it. Not even <br/> works.

  5. Mike Richters
    Posted February 9, 2007 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Links like This?

  6. Mike Hoye
    Posted February 9, 2007 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Beltzner: plz learn teh intarwebs kthx.

  7. Mike Hoye
    Posted February 9, 2007 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    More specifically: What, exactly, do you _expect_ to happen when you put a comment in here?

  8. Posted February 10, 2007 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Hey – can’t help you on the shawarma front, but you can get respectable Montreal bagels at Market Bread in Kensington. Also, there’s a blue chipwagon along Nathan Philip’s square (on Queen) that has poutine worth the name — comes in about midway up the Ottawa poutine quality spectrum, I’d say.

  9. Posted February 10, 2007 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    sorry – a little more detail. Re: the chipwagon — it’s the one that says on it that they’ve been there for 30 years.

  10. Posted February 10, 2007 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Sorry — just one more. Now that I think about it, there’s St. Urbain Bagel in the St. Lawrence Market. The benefit there is that you’re near great places to get good fresh cream cheese and lox.

  11. Posted February 12, 2007 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Commenting: Putting a blank line between text should paragraph it.

    If it looks like a paragraph to me in the edit box, it should look like one in the rendered comment (in exactly the way that this one won’t).

  12. Posted February 13, 2007 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Why isn’t your comment box a java-based RTF editor like the box that we’re all familiar with on hotmail?

    That is the standard now, you knowz.

  13. Posted February 13, 2007 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    For example, your comment box converted my br tags to br/, and stripped my blink and marquee tags. Obviously it’s not HTML, then, so it should render as input.