Location: 1335 Lawrence Avenue East, North York
The burek at Mak European Delicatessens is shockingly heavy. Based on the photos I saw online, I assumed it was going to be roughly the size of a large bagel. The delightfully affordable price (six bucks!) also made me think it would be on the smaller side. Instead, it was as big as a dinner plate and surprisingly substantial.
Burek is a dish served throughout Eastern Europe (and beyond) in which phyllo pastry is stuffed with meat, cheese, or spinach.
Mak European Delicatessens — an Eastern European supermarket with a small restaurant in the back — serves one of the GTA’s more well-regarded versions of this dish. You can either buy them frozen to take home, or you can eat in the restaurant.
It was really good. I wish it had been a bit fresher — the would-be crispy phyllo pastry was mostly somewhat soggy, though the bottom remained quite crisp.
The filling was what made it stand out. The meat, in particular, was fantastic — it was juicy, nicely spiced, and quite tender. It reminded me of a slightly milder version of a cevapi sausage, and worked really well with the phyllo pastry.
The spinach was a bit more subtle in its flavour, but it was rich, cheesy, and enjoyable.
It’s not kidding around, however. I had half of the spinach and half of the meat, and it was a meal. The amount of filling is surprisingly generous, and the pastry is laden with grease.