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Zeerah

Posted by Guest Contributor / Reviewed on November 1, 2012 / review policy

Zeerah MississaugaZeerah, a family-owned Pakistani fast-food joint, might just be my new favourite place in Mississauga to grab Pakistani roadside burgers (bun kebabs).

The delectable bun kebab has made its way from Karachi to the corner of Artesian Drive and Winston Churchill Boulevard in the most unassuming suburban plaza. A gas station encroaches on the landscape with a gloomy parking lot by its side. But Zeerah is the light at the end of the sprawl.

Bun KababThe flavours in Pakistani cuisine are similar to those in some Indian dishes with generous doses of cardamom, garam masala, cumin and turmeric. The roadside burger includes these predominant flavours with a choice of aloo (potato), daal (lentil), beef or chicken. Any one of these ingredients is sandwiched in a simple white toasted bun topped with lightly spiced chutney, tomatoes and onion.

Zeerah RestaurantBut apparently the roadside burger is merely a "snack" food. To get the real taste of Pakistan, I decided to order barbeque chicken - which was marinated in yogurt, herbs and spices - and beef, along with a classic garlic-speckled naan order paired with an oil-soaked serving of daal. Nothing felt too rich, and the heat left on the tongue from the black pepper and chili powder was even inviting. A tangy rice pudding with crumbled pistachio topped it all off.

Zeerah TorontoWhile Zeerah is subdued in its d├ęcor, the take-out joint has a large following. The most amazing thing about the restaurant is their meal plan option.

Zeerah MississaugaThe owners of Zeerah explain to me that because so many international students and families don't have time to cook in the area, the restaurant offers meal plans, a progressive move on their part. For one week or seven meals, you're supplied with two chicken biryanis, two more chicken items, one daal, and two vegetable items for $35. Add five naans or paranthas for $5. The same deal can be spread out over a month or 28 meals for $130, and can be vegetarianized as well.

Zeerah MississaugaWhen I found out about the meal plan, I wondered why more restaurants weren't doing something like this. Basically, Zeerah knows where it's at. They know how to make a mean Pakistani takeout dinner, and they understand the needs of their community. Does it get any better?

Bun Kabab TorontoWriting and photos by Erin Pehlivan

Discussion

24 Comments

yoche / November 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm
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Wow, makes me want to check it out for sure!
Adeem Zafar / November 1, 2012 at 01:04 pm
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They definitely do have some great, tasty dishes.
handfed / November 1, 2012 at 03:02 pm
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Is it appropriate to write reviews as "guest contributor" ? Why are you anonymous?
Ace McNugget / November 1, 2012 at 03:14 pm
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The food in these photos looks disgusting!
P. replying to a comment from If I ever... / November 1, 2012 at 03:27 pm
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It's takeout food, for fuck sake. How glamorous can it get?
Sidra / November 1, 2012 at 03:33 pm
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Hey Ace McNugget and If I ever, I'd like to nominate you for the most relevant and interesting comments I've read so far on BlogTO.

No, seriously, keep going with the racism. It has everything to do with this article, and it's also really enjoyable to read for Pakistani-Canadians like myself. And yes, you're so right, our food is fucking disgusting, all covered in spices and shit, especially when compared to the incredible diversity of North American cuisine. I'll pick bland mayo-slathered chicken over 'ethnic' cuisine any day.

You also raise a GREAT point - Canada has a completely clean human rights record, don't ya know? No travesties have ever happened here, and you should pat yourself on the back for being responsible for that.
Emily / November 1, 2012 at 03:49 pm
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Handfed: please note at the bottom of the article (which you clearly did not bother to read) the name of the guest contributor. Not anonymous.

Sidra: kudos to you girl. Zeerah is amazing, Pakistani food is amazing, and unfortunately ignorance is as abundant as lentils in Pakistani food. Hold your head high and ignore all these trolls looking to bait you into an attack. They're the ones missing out and failing in life!
Rick replying to a comment from Sidra / November 1, 2012 at 04:28 pm
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You are awesome.
Food looks Great, a must try.

Ace Mcnugget needs to go back to his half-way house and enjoy his canned beans with canned vienna sausages.
McRib replying to a comment from handfed / November 1, 2012 at 06:00 pm
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the writers name is at the bottom of the article, champ.

the photos may not make the food look its loveliest (its difficult for take out food in styrofoam to "look" amazing), but man do i ever want to try some of those bun kebabs.

and the chicken. and the beef. and the rice pudding.
Junction / November 1, 2012 at 06:09 pm
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Ace Mcnugget is always a Mcdouche!!!
Don't worry about folks like this...totally not worth anyone's time.
I would definitely give this a try..something new and different!
sauga / November 1, 2012 at 06:55 pm
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I like the idea of the meal plans... that's super affordable too! more places should do that kind of thing
Ace McNugget / November 1, 2012 at 09:17 pm
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Whoah Sidra, you obviously have some issues bubbling along there- although congratulations on crying racism at every comment you don't agree with! This is the kind of Rob Ford cry-baby attitude that's ruining our city.

disclaimer at this point: punjabi cuisine is one of my favourite go to foods.

But the pictures of the food from Zeerah look disgusting. Throw up in my mouth disgusting. It might be delicious but who knows- chances I'll ever try it are as small as the overly sensitive/aggressives are abundant on BlogTo - it appears to be located outside what any rational person could call Toronto.


Rick- nothing wrong with beans and vienna sausages. It's called diversity, you should try it sometime.
pfft replying to a comment from Ace McNugget / November 1, 2012 at 09:29 pm
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You're clearly a racist idiot. Time to shut up and leave now before embarrassing yourself further.
PJ replying to a comment from pfft / November 1, 2012 at 10:31 pm
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What exactly did Ace McNugget say that was racist?

The food looks... well, like nothing special, IMHO. I'm sure it tastes fine.
NJ / November 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm
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Oh I love zeerah ...although i totally agree the pictures are total disservice to it. My friends and I love their kebab rolls, their bun kebabs and their samosas are like mom's. I was so intrigued by a bun kebab title on blogTo twitter post that I was like what who else has bun kebab (there's just one other place opp.lahore tikka on gerrard with good bun kebabs). So I click and find zeerah here!

Now, for some samosas and a kebab roll, I would volunteer to take professional photographs for them anytime!
If I Ever... replying to a comment from Sidra / November 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm
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Your comments make me as sick as these pictures.

The fact that you're pulling the race card over comments on how shitty these photos are is sad.
Furthermore, comparing Pakistan to Canada is insulting.

Deal.
chittral patel replying to a comment from Sidra / November 2, 2012 at 02:30 pm
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i second that
asma / November 4, 2012 at 01:53 pm
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I went to Zeerah, after reading this review, on Saturday evening; amazed to see that the place was jam packed. I had to wait for 20 minutes for my order. I ordered the Bun Kababs, since I am from Pakistan and I love these kind of Bun kababs. Also ordered Bihari Kabas and Nihari.
Thanks to the blogger, Erin Pehlivan, for such a good tip and review otherwise we did not know about this place. The food was excellent. We love this place and definitely will be going there again and again.
for some people who didnt like the photographs, I found the website for Zeerah; www.zeerah.ca and after a little bit of searching on the net found about there twitter (zeerahtakeout) and instagram(zeerahcuisine) account where they have very good professionally taken photographs.
Jennsanerd / November 4, 2012 at 02:58 pm
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Speaking as an artist, food photography is actually no easy task. It takes a pro who understands lighting and exposure to properly capture a dish. Maybe the photos above don't do the food justice, but from this post, it sounds like the meals were made by a very kind and caring staff. I'd love to partake in some of their vegetarian options next time I'm in the area.
Sofia replying to a comment from Jennsanerd / November 6, 2012 at 03:34 pm
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I agree with JENNSANERD. I have tried the food at Zeerah multiple times and they definitely make some good dishes; specially Bun kababs and BBQ.
guy / November 13, 2012 at 10:51 am
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How is Ace McNugget Racist? I hate this city
Ruby / December 10, 2012 at 02:26 pm
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I went to zeerah after reading this blog.
the food was really good. I ordered a bun kabab and the chicken shown in the picture.
The photographs actually dont do justice to the food and the quality they provide. An obviously, food photography is a difficult thing to pull off anyways. So I wouldnt judge the place by photographs taken in styrofoam dishes.

they're butter chicken and rolls are a must try.
skhan / March 5, 2013 at 05:28 am
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Food is way expensive, it's takeout food for the price of dine in (or higher), orders are almost never ready on time. There are far better venues in the area for better food and service which aren't a rip. Also, my sister once found a hair in her bihari kabab.
skhan / March 5, 2013 at 05:37 am
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Food is way expensive, it's takeout food for the price of dine in (or higher), orders are almost never ready on time. There are far better venues in the area for better food and service which aren't a rip. Also, my sister once found a hair in her bihari kabab.

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