I’ve always been curious to try to the row of food stands on Dundas just west of Bathurst on the south side. The Market 707 shipping container food court boasts an interesting variety of international foods and has been on my “to-eat” list for awhile now, so when my friend suggested we try Mnandi Pies before heading to the AGO, I was game.
When Evis Chirowamhangu came to Canada as a refugee in 2005, she missed the meat pies from her homeland of Zimbabwe so much that she decided to recreate her favourite childhood food. Developing the recipe solely on the tastes and smells from her memories, she opened up a stand here earlier this summer.
A simple menu lists four different kinds of pies: steak and onion, chicken and mushroom, carrot and kale and beef and kale. I opt for the beef and kale pie: stewed beef and kale cooked in a tomato gravy and seasoned with a special Zimbabwe spice mix. The tender, savory filling is perfectly packed into the light, flaky pastry, oozing out with every bite. I was tempted to try all four at once, but was glad I held back because the hand sized pies are surprisingly filling! I guess I will just have to come back…
An inspiring story and a testament to the diversity of the Toronto food culture, I’m so happy that our city welcomed Evis’ Zimbabwe pies with open arms. “Mnandi” means delicious in Ndebele (a tribal language spoken in Zimbabwe) and nothing could describe her pies more accurately.