Dr. Laffa is an amazing Iraqi-Israeli restaurant hidden in an industrial park in Toronto’s Steeles and Dufferin area. A second location opened up recently at Bathurst and Lawrence, (we chose the Magnetic Drive location so we could take a look at the infamous “clay” oven). Both locations are kosher.
The restaurant was featured on the TV show, “You Gotta Eat Here.” Yoram Gaby, one of the owners, was featured on the show with John Catucci, the host. We’ve seen the episode a few times now and I have to say, Yoram is quite funny! You can also read the Globe & Mail’s review on Dr. Laffa.
The restaurant is cheerful and clean, and the servers are all very friendly, welcoming and super efficient. The food is made with high quality ingredients, the portions are big, and the items are reasonably priced. Dr. Laffa is also well known for its “laffa,” an Iraqi flatbread.
I asked Karina, our server, if Yoram was in. She pointed him out and although it was starting to get busy, she said he would come over to speak with us. Yoram sat and chatted with us for a few minutes. He’s a really nice guy, very down to earth and humble. I told him briefly about my blog and that we thought he was a very funny actor. He thanked us and said he was glad we made it in.
We decided to order the same dishes we saw on the show:
- Small order of Dr. Laffa’s hummus with ground beef and pine nuts
- Falafel (on laffa)
- Shawarma with steamed vegetables
Several appetizers were brought out right away: cole slaw, sliced pickles, corn kernels with olives and marinated cooked carrots with parsley.
Hot sauce, sour mango sauce and tahini:
Dr. Laffa’s freshly made hummus with ground beef came next, with laffa, “hot from the oven.” The laffa was absolutely delicious; hot, soft, stretchy and crispy, all at the same time. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. It’s very addictive! The ground beef paired well with the hummus.
3 appetizers were brought to us, on “the house.” We were surprised! The baba ghanoush was so creamy, with a nice smokey flavor, not too bitter, and with the right amount of spices. Mmmmm! The roasted eggplant and tomato dip was one of our favorites already, along with picked cauliflower …. how did they know? Our lucky day!
The falafel sandwich was loaded with hummus, a little bit of hot sauce, onions, 6 falafels, tahini sauce, French fries (standard in Israel), tabouleh, corn salad, pickles, sour mango sauce and parsley. It was a real taste explosion. We both love falafels in general, and Dr. Laffa’s version is fantastic.
It was a lot of food for 2 people! I would not suggest eating the falafel sandwich on its own; you will not have room for anything else! You can customize the toppings, but we chose to have everything on it.
I was full even before the falafel sandwich and shawarma came out! The sandwich was never-ending. Just when I thought I was almost finished, I saw another falafel at the very bottom!
The shawarma at Dr. Laffa’s is traditionally made with turkey, female turkey to be specific (not chicken), and is marinated with 17 different spices.
Did I mention the laffas are addictive (2nd order)???
Yoram Gaby (left) & Sasi Haba (right)
We’ll definitely have to return to try some other dishes. Lunch was a really nice experience.
Tip: Eat the laffa immediately, while it’s hot.
This is not a paid advertisement.