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Dr. Laffa On The Go Writes Same Prescription For Success as its Predecessor

New Location of Kosher Laffa Restaurant Offers Delicious Iraqi-Israeli Fare

By: Daniel Horowitz
Published: April 12th, 2013 in Culture » Food » News
Dr. Laffa on the go
He had no way of knowing it at the time, of course, but back in 1951 when an Iraqi Jewish baker by the name of Fooad Haba decided to pack up his brood of 11 little ones and make the move from Iraq to Israel, he ultimately changed the face – and the taste – of Toronto’s kosher laffa scene.

Fortunately for all of us who count themselves as fans of the delectable treat, one of Mr. Haba’s 11 “apples”, Sasi, didn’t fall far from the laffa tree.

Using the same determination, grit and talents demonstrated by his father when he established the first bakery of Iraqi laffas near Jersualem’s famous Mahane Yehuda market decades earlier, Sasi, along with his partner Yoram, continued the tradition here, in the Great White North, when he opened the first Dr. Laffa in an unassuming, and almost unnoticed industrial complex in the Dufferin and Steeles area of Toronto.

Now, after incredible and completely warranted success in the original location, a much-anticipated second location of Dr. Laffa opened its doors recently in the Lawrence and Bathurst area of the city where, judging by the long line-ups and incredible Iraqi-Israeli fare, the franchise will experience even more tremendous success.

The new take-out Dr. Laffa, dubbed Dr. Laffa On The Go, located at 3023 Bathurst just south of Lawrence, follows the original doctor’s prescription for success by offering a variety of Mediterranean delights including shawarma, shish kabab, eight varieties of hummus, schnitzel, and don’t forget the famous laffa bread. After all, if you are going to Dr. Laffa without getting a laffa – and you should get it while it’s still hot - you are basically just going to the doctor.

On behalf of my fellow Torontonians, Jew and non-Jew alike, kosher or not so kosher, Sasi, I salute you, sir!

I’ve been going to the original Dr. Laffa with work colleagues – kosher and non-kosher - at least once a week for the past several years where I generally order my preferred dish, shawarma on a bed of their delicious hummus, or wrapped in a warm and pleasing laffa. My workmates, expressing their desire to live longer than I, often order fare of lesser fat such as chicken shish kebob, soup or salad.

As someone who travels to Israel at least once a year for work, I can safely say that this is the best Israeli restaurant outside of Israel and the best middle eastern restaurant in the GTA, and as soon as you enter, you feel as if you have been transported to a restaurant on Ben Yehuda Street, full of the same noises, commotion and scents that go with Eretz Israel.

In the original, sit-down Magnetic Drive location of Dr. Laffa, you’re treated to small, complementary salads, the way they do in the Jewish state. The salads are tasty and unassuming, and my favourite is the Morrocan carrot salad which I usually ask the always attractive and attentive staff to refill at least twice.

It was, I’m afraid, love at first bite. Dr. Laffa’s exquisite and substantial shawarma on laffa immediately hit it off. And, I’m proud to say that it is the one meal that I have trouble finishing in one sitting, but I’m always game to give it a try. But, with my home in the Bathurst and Eglinton area, bringing home any of it’s myriad of infectious delights for my wife and kids to enjoy was difficult.

That however, is no longer a problem, as with the recent opening of Dr. Laffa On The Go, everyone is happy and full.

Skeptical that the new locale would deliver the great product that I had come to know from it’s original location, I left my local gym and headed south on Bathurst to pick up my inaugural order from the new place, determined to gain back every ounce I just left on the treadmill.

Upon entering the small storefront, and taking my place at the end of along line of hungry, mostly kippah-wearing patrons, mixed in with the usual selection of screaming infants, I knew that this place must be doing everything right, and that papa Fooad would be proud.

As with any new restaurant, there are some kinks that need to be worked out, namely that I waited longer than I should have since I had called the order in a half-hour earlier, but, as the saying goes, good comes to those who wait.

The wait was completely worth the pay-off.

My shawarma, as well as my wife’s chicken in a pita, were both fresh, seasoned to perfection, and dripping with the best of Israel.

I didn’t think it was possible, but the food at the take-out Dr. Laffa was every bit as tasty, juicy and delicious as it is at its predecessor at the other end of town.

It’s a win-win situation. A Dr. Laffa available for a quick and delicious work lunch, and another Dr. Laffa meal ready for dinner. The fact my wardrobe will soon consist of only pants with an elasticized waist band is secondary.

As the saying goes; “A waist is a terrible thing to mind!”

Dr. Laffa On The Go is located at 3023 Bathurst Street. To place an order, call 647 352 9000 or 647 352 9001.

Related articles: Dr. Laffa on the go, Iran, Israel, Food, Toronto, Kosher, Food, Bathurst, shawarma, shish kabab
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