Monday, May 25, 2020

RIP Chamsine/Kababana, 2017-2020

In addition to the mounting death toll from the current COVID-19 pandemic, we've started seeing a restaurant death toll. Among the more prominent examples in Toronto are Vesuvio's, a family-owned Italian restaurant near High Park that was in continuous operation from 1957 until April 19, 2020; and Prohibition Gastro Hub, a notorious hangout for Raptors fans with a hankering for happy hour deals at Yonge and Eglinton or in Leslieville.

Now there's a casualty at the corner of St. Clair Avenue West and Vaughan Road.

April 13:

This morning:

Chamsine, and then Kababana (you can see the red Kababana sign over the old bright orange Chamsine menu) served some of Toronto's most delicious Middle Eastern takeout food at affordable prices. For $5, including tax, you could have a falafel wrap. $6.19 got you a chicken shawarma wrap. $7.08 got you a shish taouk. I can recall those prices from memory due to the sheer number of times I went. Their fries with garlic sauce were a great Canadian side.

I ate from Chamsine/Kababana at home, on the 512 streetcar, or walking to Wychwood Barns. Given the propensity for takeout there, as the tables were frequently vacant despite the lineup at the counter.

Gone but not forgotten.

I worried about this exact scenario on Quora over a month ago.

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