(Photo by Rene Johnston)
There is a strip of Lawrence Ave. E. in Scarborough lined with shawarma shops that reflect the various culinary regions of the Middle East, food writer Suresh Doss told me the other day.
“(It’s) is a unicorn of sorts,” he said. “Nowhere else can you find so many different cuisines of the Levant represented on one walkable strip.”
His words made my mouth water. Shawarma, the thinly shaved meat slow-cooked on a spit, topped with garlic and hot sauce and served with bread or rice, is one of my favourite foods. I knew I had to ask him to take me on a shawarma crawl.
An influx of immigrants from Middle Eastern nations in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and more recently, Syria, has turned the Wexford Maryvale area of Scarborough into a prime destination for Middle Eastern dining.