2680 Lawrence Avenue East
You could transport yourself 16 years back in time to El-Sabil at Midland and Lawrence in Scarborough and you’d still be greeted by the same welcoming smile and smell of shawarma.
No rookie in the game, El-Sabil has been a long-time community staple delivering a classic middle-eastern take-out menu with a variety of shawarmas, shish taouks, kaftas, and burgers with rice or fries. Situated directly across from Masjid Abu-Bakr, a visit on a Saturday afternoon made apparent his connection with the community, as I observed two customers walk in and out without even mentioning an order. The only thing the owner asked outside of their conversation was, “how spicy?”
The years may have gone by even faster than he’s felt; as I asked him how long he’s been in business he responded with, “16 years..not too long. You’re young until you’re 65.”
Be sure not to come too late though! Although El-Sabil operates during regular hours, they do (at times) have a shortage of shawarma meats as his busy mid-day hours provide him plenty of business. Seating is fairly limited too, as the small venue designed mainly for take-out only provides enough room for only 5 people to sit alongside two of the walls. And don’t be so quick to pull out your credit card either. El-Sabil accepts only cash or debit.
These small inconveniences aside, I recommend having his Shish Taouk plate with brown rice and extra (extra) garlic sauce. Just remember to have some candy or gum right after.
– Cookie Mobster