Carb city: all the bread on Bathurst

Head to this busy mid­town ’hood in April as many of its res­i­dents prep for Passover

Richmond Hill Post - - Food - by David Ort

For seven or eight days this April, ob­ser­vant Jews will cel­e­brate Passover. As well as fam­ily gath­er­ings and plenty of matzo, the week-long holiday in­cludes a strict pro­hi­bi­tion on leav­ened food, or chametz.

For those not in the know, this means that any food made from wheat, rye, bar­ley, oats or spelt must be pre­pared in less than 18 min­utes.

To get set for this holiday from bread, we’ve put to­gether a tour of one of T.O.’s most es­tab­lished Jewish neigh­bour­hoods. On Bathurst, from Lawrence to Wil­son, you’ll find some of the most de­li­cious ways to carb up be­fore Passover starts.

GRODZIN­SKI BAK­ERY

With both savoury and sweet of­fer­ings, Grodzin­ski’s is one of the gen­er­al­ists among the many bak­eries on the Bathurst strip. De­spite the wide ar­ray of bas­kets to choose from — cook­ies, dan­ishes, loaves and buns are all rep­re­sented — there are a few im­por­tant spe­cial­ties.

The sold-by-the-pound rugelach are good but it’s re­ally the kokosh and bubka that draw the week­end line­ups. Ob­vi­ously, you’ll want to ar­rive be­fore the last choco­late babka is eaten. 3437 Bathurst St.,

416-789-0785

GRYFE’S BAGELS

The Gryfe fam­ily has been in the bak­ery biz for long enough (about a cen­tury) and been through enough recipes that they have cre­ated their own hy­brid of the Mon­treal and New York bagel. With a small hole, just a touch of rich­ness and a light chew, this bagel is great eaten straight from the pa­per bag but per­fect for a sand­wich.

At the Bathurst HQ, the flavour se­lec­tion runs 10 va­ri­eties deep. Cream cheese and lox are on hand for sand­wiches, but do you re­ally need any­thing more than a dozen pop­py­seed? 3421 Bathurst St., 416

783-1552

DR. LAFFA ON THE GO

Af­ter the orig­i­nal part­ners split, Dr. Laffa on the Go kept the faux doc­tor­ate and strict ad­her­ence to kosher rules. The menu in­cludes ev­ery­thing from the var­i­ous dips and spreads on the ex­cel­lent sabich plate through to steaks, skew­ers and chops from the grill. The ob­vi­ous heart of the restau­rant are the seven va­ri­eties of sand­wiches (lamb and beef ke­bab is best) that are based on the epony­mous Jewish-Iraqi flat­bread.

The un­miss­able wall mu­ral is a smaller ver­sion of the one from Dr. Laffa’s orig­i­nal T.O. lo­ca­tion and fea­tures the cast from the ’70s

Is­raeli com­edy Char­lie and a Half. 3027 Bathurst St., 647-352-9000

AMAZ­ING DONUTS

Hear­ken­ing back to a time when dough­nuts were glazed or sprin­kled — and def­i­nitely not trendy enough for flavours like s’mores, caramel corn or PB&J — Amaz­ing fo­cuses on the clas­sics. The se­lec­tion leans to the yeast-risen style and is es­sen­tially a de­liv­ery mech­a­nism for sprin­kles and ic­ing. They’re also known for their cake­sized dough­nuts, cus­tom-made for spe­cial oc­ca­sions. 3772 Bathurst St.,

416-398-7546

SEA-HI FA­MOUS CHI­NESE

And for the less ob­ser­vant among us … if you feel a pang of nos­tal­gia for a time when an egg roll was the manda­tory start to ev­ery meal in a Chi­nese restau­rant, Sea-Hi should be a go-to. They pull lib­er­ally from the chop suey canon (think pineap­ple chicken chow mein), but the North Amer­i­can­iza­tion reaches an early apogee with item num­ber four on the long menu.

These are chicken sticks wrapped in ba­con, bat­tered and deep-fried — just as in­dul­gent as it sounds and per­fect with the house­made plum sauce. 3645 Bathurst

St., 416-789-1258

Clock­wise from left: Grodzin­ski’s swirls of choco­late babka, a shawarma laffa at Dr. Laffa On The Go, Sea-Hi’s fa­mous ba­con-wrapped chicken sticks

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