While we were in Toronto as part of the Hot Docs Podcast Festival, we took the opportunity to team up with Toronto-based food and travel writer Suresh Doss, who is amazing at capturing the stories and flavors of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). He was our guide to a small handful of places in the borough of Scarborough, population approximately 600,000. It's an incredibly diverse area with a lot of different neighborhoods, all teeming with restaurants. These places are made to cater to the local community and they’re off the grid, rarely visited by tourists. Francis Lam talks with Suresh on stage at the festival to recap their culinary journey. The photos below were taken by our Senior Producer Jennifer Russell and Francis Lam during their visit. Learn more about Suresh Doss's GTA Food Tours here.

GHADIR MEAT MARKET & RESTAURANT: Lebanese and Middle Eastern food market

Exterior of Ghadir Meat Market & Restaurant. Photo: Jennifer Russell
Food writer Suresh Doss talks with Ali Dbouk, owner of Ghadir Meat Market & Restaurant. Photo: Jennifer Russell
Ali took us to the back area of his shop where an older couple were making saj, a Lebanese flatbread, in the traditional way (above and below). Photo: Jennifer Russell
Photo: Jennifer Russell
Ghazal el banet, a Lebanese cotton candy, which Suresh Doss brought from Ghadir to share with Matty Matheson at Hot Docs Podcast Festival. It's safe to say Matty bit off a bit more than he could chew!  Photo: Jennifer Russell (left) Gabriel Li (right)

TATA HOT SAUCE EMPORIUM: Jamaican Hot Sauce Shop and Kitchen

Outside of Tata Hot Sauce Emporium. Photo: Jennifer Russell


Odaine Davidson in the kitchen of his family-owned Tata Hot Sauce Emporium. His mother makes the sauces while he makes jerk chicken salads, beef patty sandwiches, and deluxe beef patty sandwiches with jerk chicken (at right). Photo: Jennifer Russell
Suresh Doss goes in for a flight of hot sauces, tasting many of Tata's spicy concoctions. Photo: Jennifer Russell
Odaine wouldn't let Suresh leave without signing The Shirt! (left) The Splendid Table producer Jennifer Russell showing off a maple-leaf shaped bottle of hot sauce alongside Odaine and Suresh. (right)  Photos courtesy: Jennifer Russell

Armenian mante dumplings being made at Mamajoun in Scarborough, Ontario. They're finished - baked - and served in the small bowls with tomato sauce. Photos: Francis Lam

Za'atar lamajoun (left) and beef- and pepper-topped lamajoun (right) from Mamajoun. Photos: Francis Lam