Just in Time for PanAm/Parapan Games
Owner/operator Saber Chowhdury celebrates his “Silver Maple” anniversary
SERVING CORKTOWN: “This is an exciting time for our neighbourhood,” says Saber Chowdhury, owner/operator of Flame Shack.
By Dennis Kucherawy
With Toronto’s PanAm/Parapan Games 60 days away, Flame Shack’s Saber Chowdhury doesn’t need a medal. He’s a champion already. This proud new Canadian is celebrating not only the games, but also 25 years of life here.
The year 2015 is his “Silver Maple” anniversary.
“I had $50 in my pocket when I arrived in 1990,” he said. “ Now, I have my own business, two houses and two beautiful children.”
As an immigrant from Bangladesh, the owner/operator of Flame Shack relates personally to the Games and how Toronto/Corktown is welcoming athletes and visitors from more than 40 nations. “Canada for me is the land of opportunity,” he enthuses. “I know they will discover that for themselves. They will see how they can improve their lives in Canada.
“That’s what my family, my friends and I will be celebrating on Canada Day when we expand our hours, how grateful we are for the wonderful opportunity with which our great country continues to provide all of us. I hope many people will join us not only on July 1st, but throughout the games.”
Located on Queen Street East, just a block west of River Street, Flame Shack is renowned for its fresh, delicious food and is especially popular with people from local businesses and Corktown, Cabbagetown, Riverdale and Leslieville residents as well as visitors for its eat-in and takeout service.
As of Canada Day on July 1, it will be open daily from 7 a.m. until midnight. “We’re located only about two blocks from the Athletes’ Village,” explained owner and operator Saber Chowdhury. “We know that late at night people will be looking for a place to eat and drink, gather and watch the game highlights on our new HDTV set.”
It’s new, expanded menu will include Breakfast dishes with additional sandwiches, bagels, steak and eggs and a Mexican Fiesta (Huevos Rancheros) made with sautéed onions, green peppers, fresh tomatoes and a hint of jalapeño on a flour tortilla topped with two eggs.
Lunch and dinner entrées will include classic New York strip steak, lemon herb chicken, Cajun chicken breast, lamb chops, smoky beef ribs and grilled chicken kebob.
Appetizers will include chicken fingers and buffalo smoked wings, calamari and a Greek Mezes platter of thyme roasted red peppers, hummus, herb feta cheese, tzatziki, stuffed grape leaves, kalamata olives with pita bread of dipping.
Other highlights will include pasta and fajitas/sizzles, chicken avocado burger, triple decker clubs and taco dishes featuring a fish taco, comprised of wild caught atlantic cod chunks in a crunchy breading, served on a soft flour tortilla with jalapeño salsa and cilantro lime sauce. Seafood will include fillet of sole and grilled Atlantic salmon.
Chowdhury opened Flame Shack two years ago on June 18th, 2013. Before that, he worked as a chef in Greek and Italian restaurants as well as in a steakhouse. Flame Shack’s quickly became popular and successful because all the food it serves is fresh, not frozen. He and his colleagues grind their own meat daily for the wide variety of burgers they serve. The menu also includes vegetarian and low carb burgers.
Fresh chicken breasts are cooked to order and the fries – both regular and waffle – are fresh cut. Salad, wraps and fish and chips are popular as are daily specials that vary from jerk and butter chicken to shish kebobs and Philly Cheese steaks.
“We want our guests to eat and feel like champions,” Chowdhury quips.
He is modernizing the décor in the spirit of the Games and will have an HDTV television so guests may watch the games and late night diners may catch up on the day’s sporting highlights.
Chowdhury says Flame Shack’s new menu will live on after the Games, reflecting the growth and sophistication of the new Corktown and growing Canary District development. “This is an exciting time for our neighborhood. Following the Games, many people, and students, will move into the condos that were the athletes’ accommodation. The village will become condos.
“The Toronto Star called this development `a bold, new vision of Toronto,’ and we’re proud to be part of it.
“Our celebration is just beginning.”
About Flame Shack Restaurant:
It is located at 506 Queen St. E., Toronto, ON.
For reservations and takeout, please call (416) 603-3526.