Introducing: The Fuzz Box, a new Danforth restaurant serving classic East Coast donairs
The view from the Danforth (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)
What, exactly, is it about Haligonian donairs that always has Maritimers waxing rhapsodic? “The trick,” says
Neil Dominey, owner of The Fuzz Box, “is that there should be so much sauce that it runs down your elbows!” After being disappointed time and time again by this city’s ubiquitous shawarmas, Dominey decided to take on the problem himself with his new eatery on the Danforth—home, he says, to a surprising number of Nova Scotians.
A native of Annapolis Valley, known for its apple crop, Dominey’s been back and forth between Toronto and the East Coast for much of his life. “The first thing everyone does when they get back home,” he tells us, “is grab a donair.” The restaurant, which he’s named after his band,
The Fuzz , features a number of musical touches: brightly painted canvases by mom Selina Drake ; guitars hanging on the walls; and a TV playing music videos in the corner, with which Dominey hopes to promote local acts.
The donair was introduced to Halifax back in 1973 by a Greek immigrant named Peter Gamoulakos. After arriving from Greece, he opened a gyros shop, which failed, so the story goes, because Haligonians didn’t like to eat yogurt on their meat. Shuttering his windows, Gamoulakos tinkered with the recipe and reopened as
now a well-known Halifax franchise. We’re told the key to a proper donair is the sauce: a super-sweet blend of evaporated milk, sugar, garlic powder and vinegar. Wrapped up in a soft pita—wetted slightly before heating to ensure it remains soft—the seasoned ground beef is joined by tomatoes, onions and the all-important sauce (Dominey charges $4.99 for a small and $5.99 for a large). With King of Donair, Hopgood’s Foodliner and The Fuzz Box putting the humble post-bar favourite on Toronto’s culinary map, and lobster rolls popping up left and right, it’ll take only one more Maritime or Newfoundland dish before we’re smack in the middle of an East Coast comfort food trend.
136326 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox11-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox11.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox11.jpg 624 421  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox11/ may12fuzzbox11 0 0
136327 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Annapolis coleslaw (small, $2.49): shredded apple, carrot and cabbage in sweet lemon vinaigrette Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox12-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox12.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox12.jpg 624 421  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox12/ may12fuzzbox12 0 0
Annapolis coleslaw (small, $2.49): shredded apple, carrot and cabbage in sweet lemon vinaigrette
136328 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Donair (small, $4.99): seasoned beef with tomatoes, onions and sweet garlic sauce served on a pita Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox13-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox13.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox13.jpg 624 421  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox13/ may12fuzzbox13 0 0
Donair (small, $4.99): seasoned beef with tomatoes, onions and sweet garlic sauce served on a pita
136325 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Soup of the day: hodge podge ($3.99) Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox10-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox10.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox10.jpg 624 421  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox10/ may12fuzzbox10 0 0
Soup of the day: hodge podge ($3.99)
136324 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Spicy fried pepperoni with house-made honey mustard sauce ($4.99) Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox9-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox9.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox9.jpg 624 421  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox9/ may12fuzzbox9 0 0
Spicy fried pepperoni with house-made honey mustard sauce ($4.99)
136323 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox8-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox8.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox8.jpg 624 421  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox8/ may12fuzzbox8 0 0
136322 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Owner Neil Dominey Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox7-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox7.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox7.jpg 624 430  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox7/ may12fuzzbox7 0 0
Owner Neil Dominey
136321 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Owner Neil Dominey named his restaurant after his band, The Fuzz Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox6-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox6.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox6.jpg 624 430  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox6/ may12fuzzbox6 0 0
Owner Neil Dominey named his restaurant after his band, The Fuzz
136320 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox5-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox5.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox5.jpg 624 430  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox5/ may12fuzzbox5 0 0
136319 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox4-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox4.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox4.jpg 624 430  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox4/ may12fuzzbox4 0 0
136318 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox3-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox3.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox3.jpg 624 430  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox3/ may12fuzzbox3 0 0
136317 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox2-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox2.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox2.jpg 624 430  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox2/ may12fuzzbox2 0 0
136316 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) The bright paintings are by owner Neil Dominey’s mother, Selina Drake Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox1-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox1.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox1.jpg 624 430  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox1/ may12fuzzbox1 0 0
The bright paintings are by owner Neil Dominey’s mother, Selina Drake
136315 (Image: Karolyne Ellacott) The view from the Danforth Introducing: Fuzz Box https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox_intro-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox_intro.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/may12FuzzBox_intro.jpg 656 435  https://torontolife.com/food/introducing-the-fuzz-box/slide/may12fuzzbox_intro/ may12fuzzbox_intro 0 0
The view from the Danforth
The Fuzz Box, 1246 Danforth Ave., 416-769-1432, thefuzzbox.ca, @theFuzz_Box
7 thoughts on “Introducing: The Fuzz Box, a new Danforth restaurant serving classic East Coast donairs”
Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God!!! I have to get me one of them right quick!!!
I love how The Fuzz Box is next to a Pizzazz Unlimited.
On the other hand, I always thought that donairs were Turkish and gyros were Greek? As I understood it, the high number of Turkish immigrants were admitted through and settled in the Maritimes in the earlier years and somehow their donairs were all the rage there.
PS the food looks great!!!
I made a run into Toronto with friends to sample the donairs of the Fuzz Box. Although everything sounds like it should be an East Coast taste …. I was quite disappointed.
Not a Halifax donair.
The donair is tasty but it is not 100% authentic. The meat seems to be from a loaf that they prepare themselves. It is not from a cone cooked on a vertical spit so its texture is way off in fact the meat is crumbly.
The portion was not very large either. I ordered a medium donair for $6.00 plus tax and was still hungry afterwords.
I suspect the small portions are a result of the costs and logistics of making their own meat loaf. The costs are probably higher and when they run out for the day they cannot sell anymore donairs so they skimp on the portions.
My advice to them would be to find a supplier of Donair cones – 20lb cones can be purchased from wholesalers for about $90 (make sure the cone is NOT Halal!). They should invest in a couple of vertical spits and then offer LARGER donairs for the same price or less.
I understand that they are still very busy now with all the “buzz” but when the buzz wears off they will need to do something to remain successful.
They have the advantage that the rent is not very high and people will travel a fair distance for an authentic and reasonably priced donair.
I don’t know whether these are “authentic” or not… but they are definitely delicious, and definitely reminiscent of growing up eating donairs in the Maritimes! How good are they? Well, I’m vegetarian and I could not resist…
@Dan T. “I was quite disappointed.” Really, because I’m a Haligonian and have eaten there a few times now with other Maritimers and no one I know has been disappointed yet. Quite the contrary. The food and service at this place is excellent and aside from slightly differing pitas these donairs are the real deal.
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