Adonis is a massive Middle Eastern grocery store in Scarborough only a five-minute drive from Arz . Don't think that it can't compete, though - this location is part of a chain (partially owned by Metro) which already boasts one location in Mississauga and six (soon to be eight) in Montreal.
Upon entering, the first thing you will notice is its unusual floor plan where the produce section occupies the front of the store, meaning that it's the first thing you'll see walking in, and then it's the last thing you see before making your way to the cashier. I like it.
Further back, you'll find a maze of aisles stocked with standard assortment of brand name goods, but unique to this grocer is the floor-to-ceiling glass enclosure where pita is baked fresh on conveyor belts that roll through an ultra-hot oven and instantly inflate, before cooling on course to being packaged in plastic bags.
There's more good stuff to be found around the perimeter, starting with self-serve nut and olive bars, with complementary accessories like hookahs, narghila, and cezve coffee pots stocked nearby.
At the deli, there's a standard array of imported meats and cheeses; most impressive is the fresh cheese bar where unripened cheeses like feta, akkawi, halloumi and beautiful twisted cheeses are sold by weight.
The butcher counter and fishmonger line the back wall. Here, they deal only in halal meat (though the freezer cases do stock some non-halal products, and the deli isn't exactly short on ham).
Whole fish and fresh seafood are proudly displayed on ice at eye level for easy inspection. You can take home your catch raw or have them bake or fry it while you finish shopping.
Rounding the corner again, there's the prepared food section, where mini lahmajoun, manaeesh and spinach-feta hand pies are stocked in multi-packs.
Rotisserie chickens, kebabs, shawarma and falafel are all made fresh on side and available in pita wrap sandwiches ($3.50-$5.50) or combo plates ($8-$12) and family platters ($30-$50) piled with barbecued skewers, grilled vegetables, tomatoes or mixed pickles.
A hot table holds kebbe balls, stuffed zucchini, moussaka, and vine leaves, as well as an array of continental delicacies ranging from lasagna to paella.
Cold salads are sold by weight, or in grab-and-go containers sold alongside house made dips (think harissa-spiced hummus) and within arms reach of bagged pita bread.
In the last stretch you'll find pastry cases filled with beautiful cakes, petit fours and other French-style confections. But, best of all, there's at least 15 feet devoted to baklava in every shape imaginable; flowers, diamonds, fingers, shredded phyllo bracelets.
Past the rows of check-out counters there's ample cafeteria seating for people like me - who can't wait to devour their purchases.
Photos by Jesse Milns