Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Restaurant Review: The Fuzz Box

I spent a little time thinking about this restaurant and how to review it. My first introduction to donairs was in Ottawa during my formative (read that as occasionally drunk student) years. It was served with sweet sauce, pronounced schweed, hot sauce and garlic sauce. The hot sauce was typically srirachi and the garlic was a modified tzatziki sauce. Most of the donair shops were run by Lebanese and I believed that most of them were great when I was drunk. Often, this analysis did not hold up during the time that beer money was tight and the sandwiches were still cheap.

A donair is roasted meat on a stick claimed by the Turks and the Greeks. This meat is used to make a delicious sandwich redolent of garlic and served with fresh vegetables and pickled turnip. Add this disagreement of who created this dish to the long list of grievances between the two civilizations. Other nations have their versions; the aforementioned Lebanese, other Middle Eastern nations and even Mexico. I am not here to try and claim anything about this nebulous dish but rather to talk about a great sandwich.

Ever since leaving Ottawa for the Big Smoke, I have asked every shawarma, donair and gyro place whether they had the sweet sauce. Blank stares followed by suggestions that I really meant tzatziki or some other sauce they had at the ready were all I got for years. I had not realized how special that sweet sauce was against the roasted meat, the harsh raw garlic flavour and the crispy vegetables. I missed it dearly. Then there was the Fuzz Box. It promised me a return to my idyllic days of academia and beer raising.

So, the first time I goes into the store, I spends a time in the local craft beer mecca, the Only.  I excuses myself and take a short walk down the ways. One donair, please. Yes, I would like sweet sauce. Oh and you have homemade hot sauce! Sure. I'll take that.

That first one went down so fine. The meat was supple and tasted meatier against the sugar sweetness of the sauce. Crispy bits of meat were in contrast to the soft pita and interrupted in texture by the veggies. The hot sauce tasted vaguely fruity when taken in mouthfuls with the sweet. Not too much can beat sweet plus heat. The hot sauce was served on the side so that the creamy sweet sauce doesn't dull it down.

Okay. That's pretty hyperbolic but I was drunk and that is what it tasted like. The true test happened weeks later when I discovered that this donair sandwich tasted as good sober as it did drunk. It matched my drunk memory pretty well. To top it all off, they serve fried pepperoni and Pop Shoppe drinks.

I'm not even going to describe this place. I will mention that it is at Danforth and Greenwood. I would love to tell you about the great game specials. They always look good. This guy can cook.

But I can't. I can't leave the donair alone. If you know me, then you know I am not one to get the same thing over and over again. This place could turn me into a creature of habit. I know such bliss that I haven't even noticed if it has the pickled turnip and you know what, I don't care.

The Fuzz Box on Urbanspoon

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