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Chowfind- Djerba La Douce- Tunisian

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Vinnie Vidimangi Oct 16, 2005 01:13 PM

Djerba La Douce
1475 Danforth Ave
Between Greenwood and Coxwell
416-778-7870
Dinner only so far
Hallal and organic, so says the sign
Nicely but inexpensively done up room
This one should be your next one.
The Ms. says that our waiter speaks very good French

I am always interested in finding new middle-eastern restaurants(the old ones aren't very good, with the exception of Aladdin's Place, McNicol and Victoria Park). So I saw the favourable synopsis revue in NOW magazine and looked forward with great expectations. I called repeatedly and the voice on the phone said that the number was not in service. In the issue of NOW that I had that week, Djerba had disappeared. I thought, oh oh, but they are in a weird location.
Don't know why I did it, but I called again yesterday. I am happy to report that they are going strong. What happened was that they were without service for a number of days in the course of changing telephone service providers.

We attended last night. The cooking is Tunisian and I would think with influences from Italy and France. Forget about anything that you know about Arab food in Toronto (which is mostly Palestinian: generally akin to Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony played by an out of key (screwed up marinades and dressings) recorder orchestra. This is different; complex but refined and controlled flavourings and sauces, first class ingredients, nice European presentation. (The chef owner had worked for many years in nice western restaurants I was told.) Interesting, delicious, dirt cheap. I could have been (I think)in France for one of the amazing prix fixe lunches.

What we had: good whole wheat buns (not pita), a salad, seafood soup, vegetarian couscous, stuffed (young) kingfish fillets with vegetable sides, two pastries, cafe au lait, mint tea for two. $44.36 including tax.) Beautiful cooking, nice presentation, lots to eat and a bargain. A complete pleasure.

VVM

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    tuqueboy RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Oct 16, 2005 03:54 PM

    good to hear. always up for more maghreb food in toronto. vinnie, as you discovered, tunisian food doesn't have lots in common with lebanese/syrian/palestinian. it's got a lot more similarities (largely because of geography/culture) with moroccan and algerian food. couscous, merguez sausages, whole grilled lamb on a spit. mmmmmmm. oh yeah. and wicked desserts and mint tea.
    --tuqueboy
    p.s. does anyone know if that algerian place bloor and ossington-ish is still around? can't remember name/street number

    3 Replies
    1. re: tuqueboy
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      ministerofkebab RE: tuqueboy Oct 18, 2005 07:21 PM

      Re: Algerian Place at Bloor and Ossington

      Yep its still around and seems to be doing quite well -its a great place for takeout and the menu has expanded a bit recently. Its one block before Ossington on Bloor - north side - I also can't remember the name.

      1. re: ministerofkebab
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        Vinnie Vidimangi RE: ministerofkebab Oct 20, 2005 10:39 AM

        The place is called Jaja, address 858 Bloor St west,ph 416-537-7334.

        The place when I went there, is essentially a snack bar. The cooking was not bad when we started to go, then tailed off and there were feweritems. We stopped going. Please let me know how things are now.

        Djerba is infinitely more ambitious and accomplished; as for cooking style, it is only one country over; what I know as good Moroccan cooking differs more even though it too is a neighbour.

        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
          v
          Vinnie Vidimangi RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Oct 20, 2005 10:43 AM

          Sorry.Prior post should have had this catch line

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      toothpick RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Oct 16, 2005 11:26 PM

      Sounds great, but is there any booze at this joint?

      1 Reply
      1. re: toothpick
        v
        Vinnie Vidimangi RE: toothpick Oct 18, 2005 12:18 PM

        They do not have alcohol. Thus is a manifestation and consequence of authenticity. But you can buy a bottle of very good but reasonably priced bottle of olive oil from them

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        pammycakes RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Oct 18, 2007 09:07 PM

        I totally agree with VVM that this is a total find and the food is delicious. I would caution though, that people looking for a lot of atmosphere here will not find it. It's very much hole in the wall. The food is definitely way beyond average though and the owner is great (though you may need to be patient if there are more than a few people in the restaurant).

        1. Full tummy RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Oct 18, 2007 10:03 PM

          I third the recommendation; I very much enjoy the food there, especially the curry seafood crepe. However, it is a bit of a hole in the wall. It's family run, and my table was not as spotless as I would have liked. Nice people, though, and great food.

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