I've been going to Gabriel's for about 4 years now, not for the pool tables, the patio or the ambiance (which they could remove today and I'd never miss), but for the Chicken souvlaki. And I order it with roast potatoes, not rice. It comes with a generous green salad buried under their own creamy feta dressing, and a small bowl of tzatziki.
And I tell everyone I've ever taken to order the Chicken souvlaki, too. I tell them everyone who I have ever taken here has licked their plate clean, it's that tasty.
Oh sure, I tried another dish once. (The first time was there, I had the souvlaki, quite by chance.) So the second time, I thought I'd try a Moroccan pasta dish. It, too, was very tasty. But it's the souvlaki that I lust after, and every few months, I head up the road for a fix.
(Lucky me, I live just a few miles away. Gabriel's is at 6501 Mississauga Road, just east of Erin Mills Parkway, north side. Phone 905 567 5218. The name includes variations of Restaurant Ristorante Bar Grill but this is the same place.)
When recommending a restaurant, and an entree, you particularly enjoy, it's especially gratifying when others enjoy it just as much, if not more. People who couldn't agree on three toppings for a pizza will agree that this is one of the best meals they've ever had.
So far, by my count, I've converted about two dozen friends and family to the joys of Gabriel's chicken souvlaki. Even kids love it. And when a group of 6 of us sat down this summer, the server had an easy time of it: 6 Chicken souvlaki, please! And give it wings! I only wish I had stock in the place. Even better is the price. When I was there last month, the souvlaki cost $12.95 CAD. Though that's $2 more than it used to be, it's still a great deal!
I mention Gabriel's now as the other night, I had a less-than-tasty meal at a nearby Mexican restaurant. Afterwards, I wondered why we just hadn't gone to Gabriel's, where, for a lot less money we'd have had a meal we enjoyed a whole lot more. At Gabriel's, if you have appetizers, you won't have room to finish your dinner. And we've always been too full to consider ordering dessert.
Gabriel's is closed Sundays, more's the pity. And they are on notice to never, ever mess about with the souvlaki. It's one thing we've come to count on. Check out their web site here.
Update April 29, 2009
Stopped in at Gabriel's last Saturday night - no reservations, at about 8 p.m. Waited about 10 minutes for staff to tweak they had new customers. Place was pretty full, but not totally.
Were seated, handed menus that could stand to be refreshed. Scanned menu for Chicken Souvlaki. Noted price now up to $14.95. Sigh. Placed order. Told sold out of souvlaki.
Kitchen offered to substitute grilled chicken breast for souvlaki. Not the same. Left. Will try again another day.