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Restaurants

Me Va Me

Posted by Simon Yau / Reviewed on March 7, 2011 / review policy

Me Va MeMe Va Me is, for many North Yorkers, a neighbourhood institution. Situated in the corner of a strip plaza, the restaurant specializes mainly in Israeli/Middle Eastern cuisine and has proven so popular a sister location for take-out orders was opened nearby to handle the overflow of business.

Loyal patrons rave about Me Va Me's heaping portions as consistently as they bemoan the restaurant's ubiquitous lines; on this evening we predictably experience both. Thankfully, a reservation saves us from standing amongst the jam packed foyer, even though it's past 8 p.m. on a weeknight.

Recently renovated, the family-style restaurant has adopted more contemporary decor these days with beige walls, banquettes and plenty of dark stained wood.

Protein and carbs are the name of the game here, and in the comfort food department Me Va Me does not disappoint. We nosh on some complimentary peppers and a pickle the size of a footlong hot dog while mulling our menus.

Me Va Me TorontoWe start with the dip appetizer mini combo ($6.99) which consists of pita bread served with your choice of three dipping items. We go for the hummus, beets and baba ganoush.

The pita (sourced it seems) is slightly cold but still soft and eager to accompany the velvety and slightly sweet hummus. The beets are almost preternaturally sweet, as is the baba ganoush, although the eggplant dish has some nice lemony zing to it. The diverse appetizer satisfies despite proving somewhat homogenous in flavour.

Me Va Me North YorkAll entrees come with a "side" house salad that could easily be a light lunch. The greens are fresh and the lemon honey vinaigrette (either that, or it's a crazy sweet Italian dressing) is again more honey than lemon and vinegar.

Me Va MeMy lamb skewers ($18.99) arrive with rice on the side and a container of tzatziki. The two sticks of meat are perfectly cooked medium rare, tender and succulent. They are simply seasoned and the portions are heart-stopping, although I can't help but polish off my plate.

The chicken shawarma ($14.99) is served with a container of hot sauce and mashed potatoes on the side. The chicken is a little dry but otherwise par for the course for this popular dish. The mashed potatoes are unbelievably rich and taste like cream and butter with a dash of potato mixed in rather than the other way around. No complaints here, but be forewarned.

MeVaMeThe Jerusalem platter ($14.99) is a mix of sautéed chicken hearts, liver and boneless thigh meat. The platter is savoury goodness, with hints of cumin in each bite of chewy aorta. The fries accompanying the poultry potpourri are definitely the best of our three sides -- freshly fried to a golden crisp, lightly salted and pillowy soft inside.

The service is hit-or-miss depending on the server this night, with individual staff ranging from charming and attentive to amusingly spacey.

Me Va Me BathurstIt's not an exaggeration to say Me Va Me is insanely popular. The wait times regularly range from 30-45 minutes at basically all times of day, every day of the week, and it's understandable why. The food is, if not spectacular, at least spectacularly consistent; the menu rarely (ever?) changes and you are basically guaranteed to be stuffed silly.

People will pay for reliability. Me Va Me is living proof of that.

Me Va MeMe Va Me is open Sun-Sat (11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Discussion

19 Comments

Jane / March 7, 2011 at 11:14 pm
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Good fresh food! Not great service!
Wazoo / March 8, 2011 at 08:53 am
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People love this people. It's always insanely packed, but I find it to be the worst Israeli/middle eastern places in the area. I found it at best ok. It's just not nearly as good as the others around it.
Adam / March 8, 2011 at 11:28 am
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great spot. Food Snobs on Facebook has been promoting it for ages!
lucas samuels / March 8, 2011 at 03:10 pm
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for much better israeli/middle eastern food check out Sofra Grill
there's one up in Thorn Hill and one downtown
best israeli/middle eastern food in the city, guaranteed
HECK YEAH / March 9, 2011 at 02:46 pm
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Chewy Aorta sounds appetizing.
Naveg / March 9, 2011 at 04:20 pm
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I prefer Shoom Shoom at Bayview & Laureleaf. It gets busy as well and also has massive portions, but the food is better!
abe / March 9, 2011 at 04:35 pm
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by far the best place in this are is Sababa restaurant in the plaza just east of the BMW dealership on steeles, few blocks east of bathurst.
s@l / March 9, 2011 at 05:57 pm
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Shoom Shoom and Sofra are both really good Middle Eastern places...
John replying to a comment from abe / March 9, 2011 at 08:14 pm
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Agreed - Sababa is the best.
Downtown Jersey Brown / March 14, 2011 at 08:55 am
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Sababa is the best mideastern food in this area. The pink neon tapestry alone is worth a visit. Paramount at Yonge/Clark is also very good.
jc / March 16, 2011 at 03:28 pm
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This place is really not very good, in my opinion. Paramount is much better.
Irving / April 6, 2011 at 02:15 pm
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Me Va Me is fantastic, top 10.
Josh / June 10, 2011 at 08:57 pm
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WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE and MANAGER EVER!!!!
Manager's name was NATALIE (Potiah i think her last name is)

I just had the ABSOLUTE WORST EXPERIENCE at Me Va Me. Instead of a salmon burger, which I ordered because I'm a vegetarian, they brought me a veal burger. I knew it didn't look like any salmon burger I've ever had, so I asked the waitress. She confirmed 100% it's the salmon burger, so I ate it. Near the end I pulled the manager over (who was RUDE to begin with) and asked her and she said "that's the veal burger"!

The manager - NATALIE (think her last name is Potiah) - DIDN'T EVEN APOLOGIZE. She said 'it must have been a mistake, so i took it off the bill' and she walked away. Then when I asked to speak with her, she IGNORED our table, YELLED at us, and didn't even care to discuss and hear my concern. NOR would she give me a piece of paper and pen so I could write down her name. She looked blankly at me like I was an idiot, felt her pockets and said 'I don't have one' and walked away.
Adrienne / November 19, 2012 at 10:27 am
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Worst customer service ever. My friend took me here for my birthday we waited in line for over 45 minutes to be served. We ordered our food and the waiter brought my food which I ordered chicken sharma and it tasted disgusting. It tasted funny it did not taste right, I also made my friends taste it and they all said the same thing that it didn't taste right. I told the waiter that my food does not taste right and she sent the manager who arrived after half an hour and was very rude and loud at the table. Did not eat my food and she made me pay for it. I was very disappointed and will never go back to this place again. The service is absolutely bad.
upset / December 5, 2012 at 11:45 am
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Dont ever go here. Although staff and food is mediocre - the type of people that frequent this restaurant are snooty, pretentious and looking to cause trouble. A family at the table next time to mine was making racial slurs and comments all night... the restaurant said they felt bad as they heard this too yet did nothing about it or nothing to compensate for our bad experience and earlier departure from dinner. The owners should be ashamed of themselves.
Simon / January 12, 2014 at 06:43 pm
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THE WORST SHAWARMA IN TOWN. DRY, OLD< CHEAP< CRACKED
McDonalds probably has better shawarma than this dump
Jamie / February 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm
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dry food
small portions
rude 'service'
Shashana / March 8, 2014 at 05:59 pm
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WORST Arabic food EVER
so terrible
when mentioned they screamed at us! SCREAMED

left no tip of course and will never come back
jaklama / June 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm
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me va me has always had good food but bad customer service; the staff and waitresses are pretty racial, in a sense if you're not white or jewish or russian, they will give you bad customer service.

portions got a lot smaller than before; i usually just come for the for the food & i know that customer service is bad. and it makes sense so because they are russian, they dont even have a grid for good customer service.

there's better meditarenian food with better service out there;

overall good food, but bad service.

7.5/10

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