Brothers Alex and Mark Rechichi always enjoyed constructing hearty, Dagwood-esque sandwiches, but noticed that most of the breads they employed in these edible masterpieces literally crumbled under the pressure of supporting a glorious quantity of healthy meats, veggies, cheeses, and sauces. Naturally, the brothers fell in love when they discovered the sturdy pita, which was both nutritious and versatile. Flatbread in hands, the two brothers founded Extreme Pita in 1997 with a goal of delivering enormous, structurally sound sandwiches to the masses. Since then, the eatery has spawned franchises throughout the U.S. and Canada, where customers can enjoy a variety of pita-based creations ranging from made-to-order wraps to pizza-style flat bakes to jalapeño cheddar chips. Extreme Pita's locations put an emphasis on reducing their carbon footprint by implementing an array of green practices, such as recycling and reusing, using energy-efficient light bulbs, and warming pitas with the sighs of a dragon.
She may be from Whitby, but Shelagh Pirkl is no stranger to hot weather and hotter flavours. She spent years eating her way across California, enjoying the fresh, flavourful cuisine of Mexican-American regions. Along the way, she and her husband Darren—a California native—decided to bring their findings north. So they opened Los Cabos Cantina & Grill, which is named after the Baja peninsula to perfectly capture the eatery’s Mexican-Californian cuisine.
Inside, diners feast on everything from corn-dusted red-chili calamari and monterrey club sandwiches to traditional enchiladas blanketed in melted cheese and wrapped in papier-mâché. Chefs can customize meals to the customer’s preferred spiciness level, and they can also create gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan options. Live music, an outdoor patio, and freshly muddled margaritas lure guests into the eatery’s laid-back Californian atmosphere, though tempers occasionally rise during Leafs games and Monday night football.
Nestled in the heart of Durham region, Signature Indian Cuisine beguiles tastebuds with the potent aromas and evocative flavours of authentic Indian dishes. Signature Indian Cuisine imbues succulent meats and fresh produce with meticulously mixed spice bouquets of coriander, cinnamon, clove, and saffron to concoct traditional and tasty curries, vindaloos, kebabs, and more. The lamb roganjosh ($10.99) invites tender chunks of lamb to take a vow of silence along with onions and yogurt in an enchanted sauce of saffron and mint, and the palak paneer ($8.99) nestles cottage cheese cubes into a purée of fresh spinach and fragrant spices. The warm, attentive staff help guide naan neophytes through an extensive menu, soothing parched palates with imported beers and wines and mango lassis all presented in an authentic Indian super soaker.
The fully homemade menu at Melanie Pringles fills bellies with diner favourites in a bright dining room with touches that hark back to the '50s and '60s. Burgers ($8.99+) and wraps ($10.99+) fill essential stomach spaces, and fall-off-the-bone smokehouse ribs ($12.99 for a half rack, $18.99 for a full rack) make fingers regret not having their own mouths. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., enrich the midday desert with multifarious lunch options, such as the barbecue meatloaf sandwich ($9.99) or chicken souvlaki skewer ($8.99). Sunday brunch, served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., contrasts sweet options such as stuffed french toast ($7.99) with savouries that include the breakfast pizza with cheddar mashed potatoes, bacon, veggies, and a fried egg ($8.99). Shakes, and ice-cream drinks ply thirsts earned from energetic chewing or from watching the coolest guy in school struggle to work his tabletop jukebox with the tap of a fist.
Feed the sweet beast within with Cup of Tea Bakery and Cafe’s assortment of loose-leaf teas and organic, gluten-free, vegan, and sugar-free baked goods. As you steep one of the bakery’s 100+ varietals of tea or slurp a fair-trade coffee, 100% nut-free baked goodies beckon you hither for a divine taste of the oven’s fruitful specialties. Fresh-baked scones and squares of the organic variety promote clean eating ($1.75), and gluten-free cupcakes ($2.50 each), coconut cookies, shortbread, and cranberry-white-chocolate cookies ($0.99 each) make a case for banishing wheat to an oubliette. Tear into sumptuous gluten-free and sugar-free date squares or lemon squares ($2 each) or a healthful triad of organic, sugar-free, and vegan oatmeal-raisin cookies ($1.25 each) that are as good on the tongue as they are enveloped in bronze, the only kind of preservative they’ll ever encounter.
The team of grilling maestros at Lick’s Homeburgers & Ice Cream bring a menu of burgers, wraps, and diner fare to life with quality ingredients, such as lean ground steak and fresh vegetables delivered daily. The Lick's homeburger ($4.99) is a savoury patty made from steam pasteurized Canadian beef, that can be topped with mango chutney or zucchini relish before it chugs toward expectant mouths atop a fresh-toasted bun. Lick’s soy-based vegan Nature burgers ($5.49) sate palates with their hefty quarter-pound composition virtually devoid of cholesterol. A Chick’n Lick’n wrap ($6.99) snuggles barbecue chicken breast and melty cheese into a soft tortilla, and trans-fat-free regular fries ($2.89) cooked in 100 per cent canola oil before dutifully accompanying main dishes on the harrowing voyage from kitchen to human stomach to whale stomach.