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Something different in Toronto?

Tboy Feb 17, 2007 02:52 PM

I'm thinking of trying a few different Toronto restaurants this year. I've been to most of the traditional "western" places, as well as fully exploring Chinatown. I've had Ethiopian, and Indian many times.

Any suggestions to something different? Maybe a country/cuisine that I wouldn't have really thought of?

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    estragon RE: Tboy Feb 17, 2007 03:02 PM

    Afghan! Bamiyan Kebab House at 62 Overlea, a strip mall in Thorncliffe Park.

    2 Replies
    1. re: estragon
      Yongeman RE: estragon Feb 17, 2007 06:37 PM

      I had my first Tikka Kabob (lamb) from Bamiyan on Friday. Terrific. If you like these, you'll love the ones from Babos Donerpoint on Eglinton W. at Caledonia. It's Turkish, just as delicious (chicken and beef), and much larger for the same money. Not a Kabob, but a shawarma-type sandwich. Both places are excellent.

      1. re: estragon
        Suresh RE: estragon Feb 18, 2007 09:06 AM

        Definitely recommend this.

      2. t
        Tboy RE: Tboy Feb 17, 2007 03:46 PM

        Lol! Good idea! Bad location for me! I have no car and live way downtown! I should have written that in my original post!

        1. pescatarian RE: Tboy Feb 17, 2007 05:56 PM

          Little Tibet on Queen East. San for Korean? Boujadi for Moroccan? It's at Bathurst and Eglinton. You could take the subway to Eglinton West. While you're in the area you could try Middle Eastern at Jerusalem. You could try Jamaican at Albert's at St. Clair West.

          1. v
            Vinnie Vidimangi RE: Tboy Feb 17, 2007 07:05 PM

            Bamiyan is the McDonalds of Afghan cooking in my opinion. Try Prince of Egypt ( Egyptian "continental" ), Danforth and Broadview and Djerba la Douce , about 1451 Danforth (Lybian "fusion", see website, don't read to much into the fact, I am sure the owner has a friend who did it free). These places are excellent when the cook is on. I would not recommend the couscous at Djerba, I don't like the style and you may not as well. Everything else is good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
              Yongeman RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Feb 18, 2007 04:08 AM

              Hey Vinnie,
              Not sure about the McDonald's comparison, but Bamiyan is modern and clean. Also, I haven't yet been to Djerba La Douce, but it's Tunisian, not Lybian. I would like to try their couscous--what is it that you don't like about it?

            2. v
              Vinnie Vidimangi RE: Tboy Feb 18, 2007 07:23 AM

              You are right. I should have remembered, even when I posted, at midnight, ifrom Tunisia.

              I can only describe Djerba's coucous in comparison. In my mind, a good Moroccan couscous is bright, light, complex and aromatic. Djerba's in comparison is unidimensional and "grey". It reminded me of the couscous I had one Xmas eve in Paris at Aziz Bros, which is a well reviewed Lybian restaurant.. Aziz Bros is kosher; I needn't say more.

              I believe in fniishing my plate, but at Djerba even a starch craving Pole like me couldn't finish. There was far too much couscous and in any event not enough topping to balance . But this maybe my western aesthetic and irrelevent.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                FlavoursGal RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Feb 18, 2007 08:55 AM

                Vinnie, I'm just wondering what type of couscous dish you had. I've never been to Djerba la Douce, nor have I had Tunisian (or Libyan, for that matter) couscous, but couscous dishes are usually best when "doctored" by the diner, with the help of additional bouillon and harissa. I'm curious to know what the stewed dish was that was served atop the couscous.

                1. re: FlavoursGal
                  Leslieville RE: FlavoursGal Feb 18, 2007 12:31 PM

                  Once again I have to agree with Vinnie, this time about the couscous at Djerba. Although I loved my meal there, the couscous was kind of a sodden mass! Tasty, but not pleasant to look at. I think it ha absorbed too much of the sauces of my main dish.

                  1. re: Leslieville
                    FlavoursGal RE: Leslieville Feb 18, 2007 02:57 PM

                    That IS odd. The couscous and the stewed main dish should be plated together just before being served to you.

                    In fact, when I've had couscous dishes in Paris, every element of the dish - the couscous, the vegetables, the meat(s), the broth, and the harissa - are presented separately, allowing the diner to put them together according to preference.

                    1. re: FlavoursGal
                      julesrules RE: FlavoursGal Feb 19, 2007 08:48 AM

                      That is definitely NOT what they are doing at Djerba. The couscous and sauce (it's not brothy) seemed quite intentionally pre-mixed to me. It's all kind of a great mass of spicy, rich couscous. I've always found the meat portions to be way generous, and I love the variety of vegetables he uses - it's always a good day when I eat a new vegetable and love it.
                      It is definitely different from other couscous I've had, but to me that's a good thing as I have never loved couscous until Djerba.

                      1. re: FlavoursGal
                        embee RE: FlavoursGal Feb 19, 2007 01:13 PM

                        It comes as one pile of food -- there's nothing to add. I have liked it and would have it again but, as I keep warning people, it is extremely rich.

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                  robb RE: Tboy Feb 18, 2007 06:44 PM

                  Flavors Gal-I'm heading to Paris in May and would love to try some great North African cuisine especially some great couscous. I'd appreciate any restaurant recomendations.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: robb
                    FlavoursGal RE: robb Feb 18, 2007 07:21 PM

                    The best place for couscous is in the St. Michel district in Paris, robb. I'll get some names from my sister, who lived in Paris for 16 years. I'll report back soon.

                  2. b
                    bluesbreaker1969 RE: Tboy Feb 20, 2007 04:49 AM

                    Try Assyrian Food

                    If you want something different and a precursor to much of the middle eastern foods that you may have tried, try Hanging Gardens on Albion Road, West of Hwy 27. Gus, Tika, Kebabs, stews, dolmeh. Nice mejmah of that...mmmm

                    If you want something similar, try Jerusalem Restaurant on Eglinton at Bathurst

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bluesbreaker1969
                      jmk60 RE: bluesbreaker1969 Jun 3, 2008 03:35 PM

                      Anywhere you go in Morocco, the couscous is always served with the meat and vegetables on top. It should never be soggy. I have been to a few Algerian restos in France where they serve the couscous in a separate vessel. Algerian food is never as flavorful or interesting as Moroccan. Tunisian tends to be more piquant.

                      I don't know what issue Vinnie has with kosher North African food. He seems to think whatever it is is self evident. Go figure?

                      There are lots of North African restos with big portions and moderate prices near the Menilmontant and Belleville Metro stations.

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