On opening day, Neil Dominey Hohn had to shut down his new East Coast-style donair shop earlier than anticipated.
“We had 50 pounds of meat prepared and we sold out by 6 o’clock,” he says. “I figured I’d have enough for the next day to start at least, but we had to close the door since they bought everything out.”
After nearly 20 years in the culinary industry, the Nova Scotia native launched The Fuzz Box, named after his band The Fuzz, on the Danforth near Greenwood Avenue. Even though he expected he’d have to educate customers about donairs, he quickly learned many had already heard about the dish from friends, he says.
“Back home most people eat it after the bar closes and they’re nice and sauced — and they want donair sauce,” he says. “It’s spicy beef, not extremely spicy, about medium-spiced, in a pita with tomatoes, onions and a sweet milky garlic sauce.”
Although he planned to serve the fare in the traditional thin pitas, an ordering mishap led him to a slightly thicker Greek pita, he says.
“The thing about the Lebanese pita is after the first bite it always explodes and it gets all over you,” he says, adding he does have both kinds on hand for those wanting the authentic experience.
“This one when I tried it, it held in the meat and sauce better. It still drips, it’s still messy like it’s supposed to be, but it’s more filling.”
Dominey Hohn is already thinking of adding a second location downtown, which would be open late to serve post-bar crowds and would also double as an entertainment venue.
“It seems to be drawing in people not just from the neighborhood but all over the city as well as the outer areas,” he says. “I have one lady who comes here every Saturday from St. Catharines, orders a whole bunch and takes it back so that’s kind of neat.”
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