While the name calzone might bring to mind your favourite Italian pizza place, Baba Calzone, Woodbridge’s newest dining destination, has a distinctly Mediterranean twist. Think fresh veggies, coleslaw, donair, tandoori chicken, spinach, beef and, yes, pepperoni, all halal.
The calzones feature in-house, fresh-made dough and come served with a classic garlic sauce. You can also customize your own calzone from scratch.
“We had enough of COVID,” says Mustafa Khamis, owner of Baba Calzone. “We’ve been trying to open for about a year. And every time we tried to get started . . . there’d be another lockdown.”
Khamis and his family were already paying for the space but turning no profit, “so we decided just to open it up and see if it would work,” he says. The family has been in the foodservice business for 15 years and owns two other restaurants in Manitoba.
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Their decision to open was largely influenced by the local community. “We took a look around at the other restaurants in the area, and they’re still working, they’re still at it,” says Khamis.
In addition to calzones, Baba also serves pitas, platters with yellow curry rice and garden salad, as well as an assortment of Middle Eastern favourites like baba ghanoush and fatoush salad.
So what does the future hold? Baba’s small dine-in space is ready to open at the end of lockdown, and the family already has its eye on bigger things: “we’re looking to franchise over the next few years . . . around Ontario and possibly around Canada,” says Khamis.