Shalom Life | October 31, 2014

Sofra Grill Brings Age-old Tradition to Toronto

Recreate the Mediterranean experience of dining at the Sofra (dinner table).

By: Adena Lazowski

Published: May 3rd, 2010 in Culture » Food » Interviews

Sofra Grill Brings Age-old Tradition to Toronto

In ancient times, Mediterranean families would gather around the dinner table, or Sofra, to share food, laughter, and enjoy good company.

Sofra Grill, a Mediterranean restaurant in Thornhill, aims to adopt this age-old tradition of welcoming, entertaining, and filling their guests’ bellies with generous plates of Mediterranean cuisine.

Well, it certainly succeeded. Welcome to Sofra Grill, where the atmosphere is alive and bustling.

Since opening in 2006, Sofra Grill has become one of Thornhill’s most popular restaurants. Its success has led them to open another location in Toronto on St. Clair Avenue West.

They do not take reservations, but while you may have to wait for a table, the waiters are very efficient. Once you are seated, a waiter promptly brings a fresh basket of pita to the table. This service is unlimited – they were able to keep up with my family, who has been, very unfortunately, cut off from free bread at countless restaurants.

The menu is inspired by their chef, Hidir Pazarcikli. The prices are moderate, with meals ranging from five to twenty dollars, yet the portions are large. This especially holds true for the salads. One small salad is plenty for one person, while the large can be shared. One of their best is the Chicken Breast Salad, a fresh bed of spring greens pierced with red and yellow peppers and cucumber. The Chicken Greek Salad, topped with an abundance of feta, is my favourite menu item.

The soups are hearty and full of flavour. Choose from Chicken Lentil Soup, Goulash Soup, or the Soup of the Day. My family adores the Goulash soup, which is a traditional Hungarian soup made of beef and vegetables. Sofra’s version is made with potatoes and carrots, with moist beef that melts in your mouth.

There are a variety of specialty dips available on the menu. Order a platter for the table to share, or bring it home as the perfect party hors d'oeuvre. Among the various dips, the fried eggplant is a must-try.

As for their entrées, Sofra knows how to do chicken right. Once you’ve had shawarma in Israel, it’s difficult to compare, but Sofra’s version comes close. Stuffed with shavings of tasty chicken, the shawarma makes for a great meal. Another prime choice is the schnitzel, which has a crunchy breading that far surpasses the American chicken finger.

If you’re not in the mood for a sit-down dinner, Sofra Grill has an extensive take-out menu that is very popular and sure to please. And don’t worry – they’ll still send you some fresh pita bread on the house.

Sofra Grill, Thornhill: 8707 Dufferin Street, Thornhill Woods Plaza, (905) 907-9999.

Sofra Grill, Toronto: 1166 St. Clair Ave. W, (416) 653-6536.

www.sofragrill.ca

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