Today we’re talking donairs; specifically, the Nova Scotian donairs served by The Fuzz Box (1246 Danforth Ave.). The Danforth restaurant aims to bring this East Coast speciality to Torontonians. We’ve been hearing a ton of buzz about this newly opened spot, so decided to take a field trip out east to sample their wares for ourselves.
The place to go for donairs.
While waiting for our food we chatted with the delightfully charming owner, Neil Dominey. An East Coast native, Neil told us that he wanted to import more than just donairs to our city, he also wanted to bring along the friendly community vibe that his home province is famous for. We can’t speak for all Nova Scotians, but if they’re anything like Neil then come the next Porter sale we are booking a one-way ticket to Halifax.
All kidding aside, Neil was super friendly and happy to chat with us about his band (The Fuzz, whose music is most often heard playing in the restaurant), his expansion plans and the great support he’s been receiving from local media and food fans. He also urged us to try a cookie (chocolate coconut “frogs“) while waiting for our order. Dessert before dinner? Neil is our kind of guy.
Speaking of dinner, let’s talk about the food. Our first bite was a little shocking – we weren’t expecting the sauce to be that sweet – but once we got accustomed to it, it was damn delicious. Typically donairs are made with beef, but Fuzz Box also offers a chicken version. Other than meat and donair sauce (secret recipe, of course), a real deal donair should only have tomatoes and onions, all wrapped in a soft pita which soaks up every drop of that delicious sauce. Fuzz Box also offers donair pizzas, soups, salads and a daily catch. Unlike most places, “catch” doesn’t necessarily mean seafood. The day we were there the catch was rabbit. Yum. Check their Facebook to see what that day’s special is.
What we should’ve asked for – extra donair sauce.
Now, being the landlocked, city girls that we are, we weren’t too familiar with what constituted an authentic donair. All we knew was that they were de-licious. We decided to get the input of an East Coast transplant, our good friend Ashley Ballantyne. She told us that Fuzz Box is “legit” and is “basically as close to a real NS donair as you’ll get in this province.” She did say that nothing can beat the real thing though, something about the ocean air. Whatever. Ballantyne did issue some words of caution though, specifically warning against the sneakily named, East Coast Donairs. According to her it is “totally NOT authentic. They are more like shwarma and put parsley on the top. WTF?!?” Consider yourself warned.
Apple coleslaw. Get on it.
From what we’ve tasted and heard, the only thing inauthentic about The Fuzz Box is their hours. For Haligonians especially, donairs are meant to be eaten after the bar (i.e. in the wee hours of the morning, whilst intoxicated). Currently, The Fuzz Box closes at 10 p.m. or whenever they run out of meat, but Neil says this is something he’d like to rectify in his next location. Speaking of which, Neil has a few ideas of where to open next but nothing locked down. Want him in your hood? Tweet him @theFuzz_Box.