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Voyages: Stockpot Café

Voyages: Stockpot Café

Driving down a busy street in Burnside filled with dull-toned buildings and fast food joints, Google Maps tells me to make a right and I’ll be at my destination – The Stockpot Cafe. Vibrant orange surrounds the entrance to the building, reminding me of a golden opening at the end of a tunnel as I make my way inside.



Upon arriving, I walk up to the front counter and am greeted by Co-Owner Hadi Hafez and his Chef (who is also a Co-Owner). “Feel free to grab a coffee or tea from the self-serve station” Hadi says, while I wait for my lunch to be served.

The three owners of the cafe initially came together for one simple reason: their mutual love for food. Each of the owners takes deep pride in their passion for travel and willingness to try new cuisines; this being the common ground upon which the concept was built. Their dream to share their love for food has brought them to Burnside where they believe the many hard-working people in their neighbourhood deserve a healthy, wholesome, and home-cooked styled meal.

Everything at Stockpot is made fresh every day and is promised to be filled with flavour. Dishes are made unique through special blends of spices, marinating techniques, and with authentic ingredients like garlic sauce, tahini, hummus, and tzatziki.

Awaiting my meal, I can’t help but notice how simple yet warm my surroundings are. The folks at The Stockpot Cafe haven’t gone overboard with trying to fancy up the spot, but rather, the cafe works as a place where you can come by, sit back, and enjoy a quick family style meal. By the time I start to smell something delicious coming from the kitchen, I am relaxed and ready to be wowed. There really is nothing more comforting than simplicity.



Before he brings the first dish out, Hadi tells me “we teamed up to open Stockpot Cafe, a spot for quick homestyle sandwiches, salads, and soups that call on mostly Mediterranean cuisine, as well as some hearty, but not over-the-top fusion dishes like shish shawarma, butter chicken soup, and donair salad. We want to make sure people are getting nourishment while they’re at work using only fresh ingredients, mostly from local food sources.”

Let’s take a second to focus on the in-house sauces, all infused with unique flavours that add the perfect amount of intensity to each dish. Not only does the chef make his own hummus, he also does tzatziki, garlic sauce, tahini, donair sauce and chicken marinades. Aside from what is made in-house, Stockpot stays true to local as much as possible, getting most of their meat, dairy, bread, and veggies straight from local sources.

Just as Hadi and I are getting deep into a discussion, Chef comes out from behind the scenes to tear me away from our conversation with two plates in hand. The first, a falafel plate, is great for you vegetarians out there. Essentially a fried ball of ground chickpeas, parsley, and other spices, this dish is simple and light. Served with pickled turnips, tomatoes, and lettuce, not only is their falafel outrageously delicious, it’s also quite healthy. And of course you have to mention the tahini, I can’t get enough of it.


The second, a chicken plate, is presented beautifully over a bed of curried vegetable rice and pickles. According to Chef, he takes rice very seriously (there are more than six spices), and the attention to detail definitely does not go unnoticed. My first forkful brings me back to eating supper at my Turkish neighbour’s house as a child; I can still picture her father serving large spoonfuls of homemade rice onto my plate.



As the food is set down in front of me, I realize I can’t even tell which dish this impressive aroma is coming from, because they all smell delightful. Before I can decide what to eat first, a third and fourth dish is placed in front of me.

The chicken shawarma wrap is toasty and filled to the brim with goodies, but the item I’ve been waiting for is the beef shawarma plate. Mixed with sautéed onions and green peppers and served atop a bed of curried vegetable rice, Greek salad, pickled turnips, and tahini, the beef shawarma plate brings different flavours to your mouth with each bite. Taking a different approach to shawarma, Stockpot doesn’t use a spit, but rather marinates their meat overnight in a Mediterranean sauce so it absorbs their special blend of spices.





Just when I think I can’t possibly eat any more, Chef returns to my table with one more treat; shawarma egg rolls. These badboys are as crispy and fluffy as any egg roll you’ve ever gotten from a Chinese restaurant, except they’re stuffed with chicken and fries and come with garlic sauce for dipping purposes. If not for any of the other dishes, come for these, as the Stockpot Cafe currently stands as the only restaurant serving this dish (other than a local food truck).



No matter who you are or what your reasons are for coming here, you can be sure that the meal you will be served at The Stockpot Cafe will make you feel at home. With the utmost attention to detail and true respect for authentic flavours, the cafe will deliver you with a nutritious meal at a fast pace, and all at an affordable price.



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