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Monday, July 25, 2011

Sofra Grill

Location Review:
8707 Dufferin St
Vaughan, Ontario
(Major Intersection: Dufferin Street and Highway 7 Road)

Out of all the places I've reviewed so far, Sofra Grill wins the award for the most visits from me! This restaurant is located in the rarely crossed upon city of Vaughan and is relatively close to Rob's house, so it's a frequent go-to place for dinner. I probably eat here once a month at least. You'd think eating here so often I would grow weary of it, but this is hardly the case. Yes people, it IS that good! 

Sofra Grill serves mostly Mediterranean food with more of an Turkish and Egyptian influence. When Rob first introduced the restaurant to me, I almost thought he said "Sofa Grill". Later I would find out that "Sofra" is actually an Arabic term meaning dining table, and has a synonymous meaning for generosity and hospitality. I think these words capture the restaurant experience at Sofra Grill well. But most important of all, the food is AMAZING!

Pitas served with entrees and dip salads

Combo Salad ($14.95) -choice of 6 cold appetizers

A meal at Sofra grill would be just not be right if you didn't order one of their dips. Because one order of a cold dip appetizer at Sofra Grill is already $5, it's definitely a better deal to order the Combo Salad if you have a bigger group. You get more variety this way too! I've tried most of the dips they have here, and the Fried Eggplant, Hummus and Baba Ganoush are my favourites! I find the dips at Sofra are much chunkier than dips I've had elsewhere, like Me Va Me for example. Those who prefer the smoother paste-like dips may be turned off by this, but the taste will more than compensate. I have still yet to find a Baba Ganoush that tops the one at Sofra. So good that I could eat just pita breads and dip for dinner!

"Beef Shish Kebob" (Garlic Red-skinned Potatoes as a side) ($15.95)

"Chicken Shish Kebob" (Fries as a side) ($12.95)

The Shish Kebob dinners here are quite a bit of food, and I've never actually had one to myself. All their entrees come with a salad, and a choice of a side (fries, roasted garlic potatoes, another salad, rice, seasonal vegetables, or baked potato). I've tried most of the sides, and they are all very good. The roasted red-skinned potatoes are the usually go-to side whenever I come. It is topped off with a paste consisting of butter and crushed garlic. The red-skinned potatoes used to be actually roasted, but I've noticed that now they deep fry them a bit before roasting it, giving it a crunchy exterior like a tatter tot. I personally prefer the former, but it doesn't make a huge difference.  The rice is actually another side that I surprisingly enjoy, which has a fragrant oil on it. My favourite side would have to be the Sofra Grill salad. There is just something about the salad dressing that keeps me coming back. It's very thick with a consistency almost like sour cream, and has a soury-sweet flavour. It doesn't really taste like any other salad dressing I've had, but I am just addicted to it!

House Salad

Okay, so now that you've read an essay on the sides, let's proceed to the actual meat of the entree! On this occasion we ordered the chicken and the beef, but I've actually also had the lamb and salmon as well. I don't think I've ever had a bad experience with the meat skewers here. They cook everything so very perfectly allowing the meat to be juicy and tender. I find this particularly hard for with salmon which is often cooked too dry, but it is done well here. The beef is my favourite, and is almost like eating steak!

Piece of the Beef Shish Kebob cut open

Whenever I come to Sofra Grill, I always leave feeling full, satisfied, and happy. It never disappoints! There are only two downsides to this restaurant that I can point out. #1) they charge 40 cents for pitas when you order take out. This doesn't seem quite fair since dining in would get you bottomless baskets of pitas. #2) They don't take reservations. As a result it gets packed at peak eating times and on the weekends. The wait times can get as long as an hour! Waiting can be a pain, but I think this just reinforces for how good it is. Aside from that, I see no reason why anyone wouldn't want to come here. I highly recommend you to try Sofra Grill if you ever happen to be on the west side of Toronto.

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