Man travels 6,000 km to dine with the King of Donair

The owners of King of Donair say the late Peter Gamoulakos came up with the donair back in the 1970s. He at first sold it out of his Bedford, N.S., pizza shop before moving to the famous Quinpool Road King of Donair shop in 1973. There it became part of late night, bar hopping Halifax lore.

Where better to celebrate National Donair Day than in the city that declared it the official food?

Staff at the King of Donair welcomed the out-of-town visitor today. (CBC)

How far would you travel for a donair?

This being the first National Donair Day, Chris Bullock from B.C. travelled more than 6,000 kilometres to get to the place that proudly calls itself home of the first donair: Halifax's King of Donair.

"I actually flew in from White Rock this morning for this. I just heard so many amazing stories about King of Donair," he said after snapping pictures of the restaurant and chatting with owners Norman and Nicolas Nahas.

He then ordered and ate his drippy donair.

Favourite with foodies

The donair has grown to be a star on the foodies' list. The owners of King of Donair say the late Peter Gamoulakos came up with the donair back in the 1970s. He at first sold it out of his Bedford, N.S., pizza shop before moving to the famous Quinpool Road King of Donair shop in 1973. There it became part of late-night, bar-hopping Halifax lore.

Now, the Nahas family is keeping the tradition going.

"It's good for a hangover," Norman Nahas said from behind the shop counter. "It's the fountain of youth and good for all that ails you."

The donair consists of a mystery meat that slowly rotates on the vertical rotisserie. Then there's a generous splash of the white sauce. Add tomatoes and onions and wrap it in a warm pita and foil. There are many ingredients to a great donair, Nahas said.

"The meat needs to be cut perfectly thin, the proper ratio of sauce, veggies and meat — and it needs to be wrapped properly," Nahas said as he prepared one.

Official food of Halifax

On the walls at KOD, he hangs all the awards they've won and photos of famous people who have come and eaten there.

But perhaps nothing did more for the donair's reputation than when Halifax Regional Council declared the donair the official food of Halifax.

That's one of the reasons Chris Bullock made the coast-to-coast trip to dine on three donairs.

About the Author

Colleen Jones

Reporter

World champion curler Colleen Jones has been reporting with CBC News for nearly three decades. Follow her on Twitter @cbccolleenjones.