Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Laffa’


I’ve kind of been missing in action these days as I went to Israel and Italy for two weeks.  To say I was busy would be an understatement. I seemed to have visited 6 cities in 14 days…Amsterdam, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Florence, Venice and Rome.

So please bear with me as I’m going to dedicate a few (just a few..LOL) blog posts about my travels. As you know, I’ve been to Israel before, but this trip was special for these 3 reasons:

1. I had the opportunity to celebrate my 50th birthday on the Tel Aviv beach.

2. I  got the chance to spend time with my daughter who is studying in Jerusalem, since Jan 25th.

3. I was able to celebrate the Passover seder with my amazing daughter and amazing cousins.

This trip was by no means a “touring trip”. I was there to see family and friends and eat. LOL.

What really blew my mind about this trip is how different it looks from 3 decades ago. For example, their airport is one of the nicest airports I’ve ever seen. I could NOT have said this 30 years ago.

israel - airport

Plus there’s no shortage of modern buildings either. Take for example, this modern building in Tel Aviv.

israel - building

I was only in Jerusalem for a day but I made sure to see the Western Wall, Mahane Yehuda (their famous food market) and go to my favorite restaurant (Caffit) for their insanely delicious Sweet Potato Salad. (36 Emek Rafaim, Jerusalem)

israel - jerusalemAfter my short stay in Jerusalem, I went to Tel Aviv. What did I do there? HANG OUT ON THE BEACH AS MUCH AS I COULD. LOL

israel - tel aviv

Naturally food was a big part of my trip and I tried to eat Shakshuka as much as I could. I discovered that not all Shakshukas are equal. In fact, I still think the Shakshuka at Dr. Laffa  (3023 Bathurst St) right here in Toronto is the best one!!

israel - food

Israel is indeed a special place for me and I can’t wait to return.

What a great 50th Birthday present. Thanks MOM and Dad!




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Chanuka has arrived very early this year (Nov 27-Dec 4) but I’m not complaining. It just means that I’m able to eat my favourite foods a little earlier. p.s. I’m referring to potato latkes and sufganyiot.

This year I decided to do a sufganiyot crawl. But before I began, here’s the definition of soufganiot (according to Wikipedia)

sufganiyah (Hebrew: סופגנייה‎ or סופגניה; plural, sufganiyot: סופגניות) is a round jelly doughnut eaten in Israel on theJewish festival of Hanukkah. The doughnut is deep-fried, filled with jelly or custard, and then topped with powdered sugar.[1] At Hanukkah, Jews observe the custom of eating fried foods in commemoration of the miracle associated with the Temple oil.

Here’s a photo of a pretty nice lookin’ sufganiyah.

suf - whole

My crawl led me to five places in my neighborhood: Dr. Laffa, What a Bagel, Richmond Bakery, Tastes Like More, and Kosher City Plus.

suf - 5Three of us, sat down and sampled each and every one of the above sufganiyot. It was a tough job but someone had to do it!!

We discussed:

  • The Jelly: was it sweet? too sweet? was there enough jelly?
  • The dough: was it tangy? fresh? yeasty?
  • The appearance: too much icing sugar? not enough icing sugar

suf - inside



All of them were devoured within 5 minutes which meant that we loved each and every one of them!

I had so much fun doing the “research” for this blog post that next year I’m going to do a potato latke crawl.

Happy Chanuka – to all my Jewish readers.

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I’ve done food tours in New York with Urban Oyster and knew that I would love to go on a food tour in Israel. Thanks to Twitter and @funjoel – my cousin and I had the opportunity to have a food tour thru Mahane Yehuda with Joel.

Please meet Joel!!


Joel is originally from the New Jersey and is now a licensed guide in Israel. He’s also a foodie and knew exactly where to take us in Mahane Yehuda, which is a popular food market in Jerusalem.

Here are the highlights.

Jachnun Bar: (30 Ha Egoz) This is a Yemenite restaurant that recently opened in the market.  I ordered a Fatut salad and would order this again in a heart beat. I loved the texture and the originality of this dish. What is Fatut? small pieces of malawach fried with egg, cheeses and toppings. Joel brilliantly described it as “kind of like matza brei”.

jerusalem - fatut

Halva King: (10 and 72 Ets Hayim St) These guys sell a gazillion types of halva (pure halva – not sugary, processed halva) AS WELL as a gazillion flavours of tehina. I was so impressed with how they make the tehina (see the photo) – that I purchased a container of tehnina to take home!! This is indeed AUTHENTIC tehina.

jerusalem - tahinni

Manou Bashouk. At this restaurant we enjoyed a sliver of some meat pie. I say a “sliver” cause we were so full from lunch!!

jerusalem - meat pie

Oozi Eli: At this store, we were introduced to some interesting combination of natural juices. i.e Gat juice, Almonds and Dates, Lemon Mint and Etrog, Passion Fruit and Goats Milk and more. We even shmeered some lotion on our necks in the hopes that we stay young and youthful forever!!

jerusalem - necks

We even visited a family member of the Dr. Laffa owners. What a small world!

jerusalem - laffa

My cousin has lived here for 4 years and said (early on in the tour) “I would have never found these places”. Clearly Joel was instrumental to our  tour thru Mahane Yehuda. It would not have been the same visit without him.

I am also eager to connect Joel with many of my foodie friends and other friends who visit Jerusalem on a regular basis. Fun tour guides are hard to find and Joel was definitely fun and knowledgeable. Once again, I’m thankful to twitter!!

Our night ended at a restaurant that was suggested to me by three separate Toronto foodies (@rosieschwartz, @abeworno and @foodie411). Once again, my twitter friends guided me to the most amazing restaurant in Jerusalem called MachaneYuda (10 Beit Ya’akov St) The menu changes daily so I’m not going to list exactly what I ate as there is a good chance that it wont be on the menu the next time!!  What I can tell you is that the flavours, execution, presentation, service and atmosphere will be flawless!!

jerusalem - dinner

There is a reason why this is one of the top restaurants in the country!

Sadly my trip to Israel has ended.  I’m really really sad about leaving but know that I will be saving my loonies for another trip soon!   However my  vacation continues and the next blog post will be about my food adventures in Barcelona! Stay tuned.

For more information:

Joel can be found on twitter (@funjoel) or on facebook and has a great website too.



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Seeing as it’s the beginning of a new year, I’ve been reflecting on some of the amazing events I’ve had the opportunity to attend in 2012. Not only were the events incredible but I met some people amazing people too.

Here’s a few examples:

a) I was invited to attend the 9th Annual Hockey Canada Foundation Gala dinner at the ACC. as a guest of Samsung.  In attendance: Prime Minster Stephen Harper, Wayne Gretzky and a slew of famous hockey players. Not to mention close to 1000 guests for a sit down dinner. It was a pretty special event.

momwhoruns with Mr. Gretzky

b) Attending the Grate  Canadian Grilled Cheese Cook Off. I’m not kidding I had this event in my calendar for MONTHS in advance. I met some special chefs and ate some wicked grilled cheese sandwiches. Kudos to the Dairy Farmers of Canada for organizing such an amazing contest.

From Left to Right: Chef Jason Bangerter, Chef Ned Bell, Chef Liana Robberecht, Chef Michael Howell

c) I was also invited to attend the taping of “You Gotta Eat Here Next” by the owners of Dr. Laffa. They wanted customers to be interviewed for the show and I was all too happy to express my love for their food!! This is a picture of the host and I. PS the show will air sometime in mid January. Stay tuned

d) Attending a Samsung event that provided me the unique opportunity  to hold the OLYMPIC torch, learn more about Samsung products and meet some special people.

e) Meeting Marc Saltzman. I’ve been reading his column in Costco Magazine for years and have always admired his knowledge of technology. My friend put me in touch with him and Marc was all too happy to meet with me despite his super hectic schedule.

There were more memories but I won’t bore you!! All I can say is that 2012 was a great year filled with some amazing opportunities. I am ever so grateful to all the publicists and fellow bloggers that I have met over the year who have provided me with these opportunities.

Looking forward to creating more memories in 2013





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As you know, I’m a sales rep and on the road throughout the GTA. This means, that I’m always on the lookout for something cheap and cheerful for lunch. Here’s a list of my top 10 cheap and cheerful restaurants in Toronto.

1. Mother Dumplings; I can’ stop ordering B8 which is boiled dumplings filled with bok choi, mushrooms and tofu. 12 pieces for $7.49. This makes me very very happy!!

Address: 421 Spadina Avenue

2. The Fish Sandwich Store; You pick the type of fish you want (that is lying on a bed of ice infront of you) and he grills it and then puts it on to a perfect roll.

Address: 654 College St.

3. Cheese Emporium; They make a simple simple grilled cheese sandwich on a simple sub style roll  – for $5. Cash and Carry. Note: hugely popular at lunch with high school students. Therefore, I  try not to go there exactly at noon.

Address: 1-245 Eglinton Avenue East.


4. Poutini’s: I love this place. That is all. (ps I was the 2nd customer when they first opened 2 years ago and so so proud of this fact)

Address: 1112 Queen St. West

Heaven!! Bonus - Veggie Friendly

5. New York Subway – this gem of a place closed for a year and I was SO SAD. I have been ordering the potato burrito for years. Note: they don’t serve subways here!! Plus – the burritos arent filled with beans and rice like a typical burrito.

Address: 520 Queen St. West

6. Dr. Laffa. Ive organized two tweet ups at this restaurant and I blogged about this restaurant as well- no need for me to explain my love for this place. Nobody is making Sabih like this restaurant.

Address: 401 Magnetic Drive

Sabih. Want. Now.

7. Mustachio; Love visiting this St. Lawrence Market stall to order my massive eggplant sandwich.

Address: 91 Front Street East, Lower Level

8. Cheesewerks: Perfectly grilled grilled cheese sandwiches in a stunning space that is LICENCED. Can you say beer and grilled cheese sandwiches? what a combo. I organized a tweet up right after opening nite – cause I wanted to share my love for this place with others.

Address: 56 Bathurst Street

9. One Love Vegetarian: You probably pass this restaurant all the time on Bathurst but have never gone in. I hope you stop the car one day soon and check out this awesome veggie restaurant that makes some great tasting food ie SOUP. You have to try their famous soup which has been on the food network!! ps impressive website too.

10. Last but not least…My  OWN Kitchen. Its not a restaurant but I can make some pretty good cheap and cheerful meals!!

What do you do for lunch. Do you bring your own? do you go to the same restaurant all the time? do you eat the same sandwich all the time?

Would love to know.

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Falafel Wars!!

I started off my love affair with falafel at Tov-Li when it was a hole in the wall. There was just a stand up counter and three stools. Then over time it became a legitimate restaurant with not just one location but two.

Then I was introduced to Me-Va-Me. I thought I was in heaven and ditched my love affair with Tov-Li. (sorry but it happens).

This week I was introduced to Dr. Laffa from @daniellagold18. OMG. This place rocks. To begin with – the entrance is the LOADING DOCK of an industrial unit. I even took a photo for proof, so you wouldnt go looking for this restaurant and start muttering “where is this restaurant”.

see what I mean?

The pita they use is not your normal pita. Take a look at this photo that shows you how they bake the pita.

Not your normal oven!!

Now take a look a the photo of the falafel. Am I right or Am I right?

Not your average falafel!!

Now take a look at the Sabih that I ordered. Its got all sorts of goodness in there. Basically it’s an Iraqui Sandwich made with a boiled egg, fried eggplant and a sour mango sauce. I was a happy camper.


In the event that you want more than just falafel or sabih…here’s a photo of the menu.


I need to organize a tweet up at Dr. Laffa, STAT. Who’s in?

Dr. Laffa, 40 Magnetic Drive, Sunday to Friday 9:30 a.m to 7 p.m.

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