I had the opportunity last night to go to Dr. Laffa, the kosher Israeli restaurant that serves wraps/sandwiches, kabobs, chicken shawarma, sabich, laffa, pita, traditional Iraqi kuba, etc. to hungry crowds of Torontonians.
As for how this amazing place came to be, I can do no better than to allow the founder the put it in his own words..
In 1951 we did an “ALIA“ from IRAQ. I had 10 teenager siblings. My father Sason, was a baker in Iraq at KAMBAR- ALI neighbourhood. He brought the original and traditional TABOON with him to ISRAEL. In Jerusalem we have established the first bakery of Iraqi laffas near MAHANE -YEHUDA market. The Baking tradition continued to exist and was extended throughout the hard work and professionalism
of our family. It was passed from generation to generation.
Today I gave my son Sasi and his partner Yoram the opportunity and blessing to continue and fulfill my roll. The laffa is original, rare and authentic, it is for everyone to explore. Now, nothing but wish you bon appetite!
To see a YouTube video of Dr. Laffa, click here.
I was accompanied by my daughter, Exhibit One, and her Israeli boyfriend, TA, who was on his first trip outside Israel. We were getting some take-out food before visiting at the home of my girlfriend, SG.
(The tabun ovens – these make the best laffa!)
Friends told me that Dr Laffa was probably the most authentically Israeli establishment in Toronto, so I brought TA along as a ringer to attest to its authenticity, or lack thereof!
As a kind of trial run, Exhibit One and I went there earlier in the day to grab a menu (in English and Hebrew) and check out the fare. All excellent choices! The waitresses were kind and friendly and the guys behind the counter were wonderful. So far, so good. Dr Laffa makes a very good first impression.
(The mural is from the hugely successful 70’s Israeli cult film ‘Charlie and a Half ‘)
When we returned that evening, the place was jammed with customers. I don’t think you could have fit another 10 people in the entire place. Every seat in the restaurant was filled, there was a line-up for tables and another line-up for take-out food. Both Exhibit One and TA ordered the shawarma laffa.
I couldn’t believe how huge these things were… about the size of a large submarine sandwich. Exhibit One also ordered Tzcheeps (aka Chips, aka French Fries!). When we got to SG’s house, we had more than enough food for my kids and her kids as well. It was a very warm family dinner together. It was in fact, just what the Doctor ordered.
BTW: TA gave it two Ashdod surfer thumbs way up!
Dr. Laffa is located at 401 Magnetic Dr, Unit 39-40. Magnetic Drive is one block west of Dufferin and Dolomite Drive.
For contact information and map, click here.
Photos by Jesse Milns as they appeared in Robyn UrbacK’s BlogTO article, Dr. Laffa.