Okay so, I had a craving for a real Donair. A real Halifax Donair. The Donair, or the Donner as the Lebanese call them, was introduced to Canada in 1971 by a restaurant in Bedford Nova Scotia. The owner then came up with the "sweet sauce" to differentiate it from the Shwarma and the Gyro. It quickly became a hit and then King of Donair in Halifax bought the rights to it and the Halifax Donair was born. Later it has been moving across the country but seems to have stalled in Alberta since so many Maritimers stayed there and couldn't figure out how to scale mountains.
So... I research where I can get a Halifax Donair. This place comes up on 12th Street in New West called Donair Star. They advertise a Halifax Donair.
This is what happened:
-He gets out a full dry pita and opens it up to make a pouch. WRONG
-He puts in large wedges of tomatoes. WRONG
-He puts in diced onions. RIGHT
-He then turns around and shovels out of a hot bowl the sliced anemic beef and stuffs it into the pocket of the pita. WRONG
-Pulls out a white squeeze bottle and squeezed something into the pocket. WRONG
-Then he folds it all up into a tightly packed ball and hands it to me. WRONG
-All of this took about 25 seconds.
I left cringing.
This is how you make a real Halifax Donair:
-Slice the properly flavourful and spiced pressed beef from the spit.
-Place the pile of sliced meat on the hot flat oven plate.
-Spray the meat with water and or oil.
-Mix the meat. This will cook the meat further and provide the golden brown colour of the meat and seal in the flavours.
-Place a pita that is sized to the order (small, medium, large), whole, on top of the meat on the grill.
-Spray the pita and meat again with water/oil. Not too much.
-Place a flat tray or pan over the meat and the pita to trap the juices and flavour.
-Remove the pita and mix up the meat. The pita should be warm and slightly moist.
-Move to another station and lay the pita down and place the meat on it then layer the diced onions and diced tomatoes on it.
-Ask the client how much sauce they want.
-Ladle the appropriate amount of the signature Halifax Donair sauce over the meat and vegetables.
-Wrap up the pita with a fold at the bottom and then in a round so that the top is open.
-Wrap the whole thing tightly in tinfoil.
-Give to customer
It should take about three or four minutes.
If you don't do these steps above. Don't ever call it a Halifax Donair.
What Donair Star created was a bland and flavourless ball of grey meat, dry pita and chunky tomato.