Donair: The Breakfast of (hungover) Champions

Halifax Donair

Just as Philadelphia has cheeseteaks, Chicago has deep dish, Toronto has peameal — Halifax has the donair. And like those other great cities, Halifax’s greasy signature snack is loaded with more fat and calories than one should consume in one sitting — or one week for that matter. All the same, nothing removes a hangover quite like two Advil gel caps and a regular donair.

As you can see, it’s served on pita piled high with a special blend of spiced meat, tomatoes onions and topped with a creamy sweet and sour garlic sauce. I’ve been in cities across Canada and seen sandwhich boards in front of pizza shops advertising “Authentic East Coast Donairs”, but they’ve never been anything more than a beef shwarma with some kind of yogurt on top.

No, for the real deal you have to head east until you can smell the salt water of the Atlantic. Find Halifax and follow the shitty celtic music downtown until you see an intersection lit on all sides by the neon lights of Pizza Corner. If your timing is right, you’ll hear the drunken cadence of hundreds of pilgrims slowly making their way along Agyle, Grafton and Blowers towards this holy spot.

Order fast and be patient, these things take time to prepare. Once you have it, tear in. Despite what some locals might say, there’s no right way to finish a donair. Some pick away at it like popcorn, others eat it like a sandwhich. Know this —  no matter how hard you try, your hands will be covered in grease and sauce and you will get some on you shirt, pants or shoes — a souvenir you’ll enjoy forever. Also, don’t expect to get any kisses from vampires as the smell of garlic will linger on your breath long after the lights of Pizza Corner have faded in the rearview.

These little pieces of heaven start at about $4 a pop. Do yourself a favor and give one a try while blood can still make it’s way through your un-clogged arteries.

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  1. cuzoogle

    Thank you for introducing this piece of Halifax to be almost two years ago. I have never been drunk enough since to try it again.

  2. DrewMac, I concur. Easily hands down the ulitmate hangover cure. I also love the fact that “donair sauce” is readily available as a condiment at most East Coast pizza places, great for dipping!

  3. I don’t doubt the EC donair is good, but if you’re really hungover try the one from Beruit Fallafel on Bloor near Ossington. The trick is to tell Frank the cook you’re visiting from Israel, and withing ten seconds of your first bite, everything inside of you will try to get outside of you. You’ll quickly forget your hangover and marvel at the fact that your can shit out of your kidneys.




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