I grew up in Castle Downs, in a super multicultural neighbourhood with lots of Lebanese and Middle Eastern kids in our school. And growing up, we used to go get our hair cut at this place in Delton Square on 81st Street. I didn’t actually like getting my hair cut, but I loved going to get my hair cut there because next door there was this Lebanese bakery that used to sell these flat breads with ground beef and spices. They’re called Manakeesh, which I didn’t know at the time — I just called them meat pitas. And my mom, if we were good kids, she would take us next door and buy us some. You’d get this big bag of like eight or 10 and we would just eat them all on the way home and not leave any for anybody else.
It’s not there anymore, but as we got older, we would go and get them from Sunbake Pita. And if you’ve never been to Sunbake Pita, it’s awesome. You walk in there, and they have a ticker of how many pitas they’ve made in a day because they supply pitas to different restaurants and grocery stores from across Canada now. They’ve grown so huge.
But then there’s still the owner who will hand you your specific Manakeesh. One time we were there, and we’re waiting for our orders and my brother-in-law was like, “Hey, where do you get some of these ingredients from?” And the owner took him in the back and basically spent an hour with him, showing him all the equipment and talking about where he gets everything. So it’s just one of those neighborhood family friendly places. And you would never guess that they make like a million pitas a year and supply them to all your favorite places.
Sunbake Pita Bakery
10728 134 Ave. NW
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