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Mar 6, 2009 02:58 PM

Persian in Western GTA?

Desperate request for help...

Driving from western GTA to Yonge and Finch is costing me mileage, money and sanity...just to feed my persian food addiction. Any one care to recommend a half decent Persian restaurant from ... lets say...Etobicoke to Burlington? Simple as take out for kebabs to nice sit down with curries, interested in all.

Places I like around there, if that helps, include Alborz, Zaffron, Kish, Shomal all the way to Kish. Karoon is next up on the list I want to try.

Failing that, will take recommendations on good afghan food in the area. I only know of Bamiyan on Dixie and spotted a new on Hurontario just north of 407, haven't eaten there yet.

Thanks from my baffled spouse, wearing out tires and sore back.

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  1. None that I personally know unfortunately. A quick Google search revealed an unverified listing of a joint called 'Taste of Persia' in Mississauga.

    Address: 5130 Dixie Road, Unit 2, Mississauga, Peel - Toronto, ON, Canada
    Telephone: (905) 290-0826

    I don't enjoy Karoon that much. How would you rank the ones that you've listed? If you're driving that far you can also stick to downtown and go for Banu or Pomegranate as well.

    4 Replies
    1. re: radiopolitic

      Two I knew this neck of woods was Kebab stop in Oakville and Taste of Persian on Dixie.

      Kebab stop closed a good few months ago and though not bad, was not great. Taste of Persia was certainly not too bad when I went there last, again a good few months ago. I have found them closed last couple of visits, they are in a bit of a cursed location which keeps rotating between one ill fated restaurant after another, (Proximity to Bamiyan would do that to many a mid-eastern restaurant) not sure if they are there any more, will check this weekend. Good reminder though, thanks.

      A few words of my usual haunts then...not that it has to do with Western GTA...

      Zaffron is reliable and quite good if a little pretentious, I really do not see the need for Italian entrees on the menu, haven't seen too many people order them. I guess its a differentiator for them. Food, especially kebabs are fresh with tasty sides, good service and a pleasant contemporary dining room. Safe and non threatening when meeting for business or with non-initiated in tow. Serving Sizes are large and prices are on the upper range of reasonable. I mostly go there preset on skipping dessert and tea in favor of what is two doors down, Gul Surkh (Red Rose) Bakery with its busy, lively ambiance and great Rose Flavored ice cream and tall persian tea mugs with cubed sugar and light on sweet authentic baked goods. That said, Red Rose is a post in itself, probably best written while there!

      For about the same money as Zaffron you can be at Shomal (aka North) for some authentic currries (About the best aabgosht and fesenjan I have ran into north of nyc). Kebabs are very good, portions generous. Place is often busy and service is frustratingly slow at times. Dining room a bit dim and a bit loud for business often, but certainly a good place to while away a cold evening surrounded by what the management wants you to think of a persian themed decor. Bring your patience and experiment a little, I especially like the Tursh (sour) Steak, not too sour really but refreshing.

      Alborz is one of the more authentic places to go to, maybe not for someone starting to enjoy the cuisine, but rewarding once you try a bit here and there. Less busy than Shomal, service is better and prices still reasonable. You often see a more mature crowd than the aforementioned two. Do not expect them to stray from traditions, do expect those to be concert quality and you should do fine. I go there when I am in doubt how something is supposed to taste.

      I mentioned Kish twice in the original post, so I must really like it! Its actually quite unlike the others mentioned, its really a nice takeout really with a few tables, no real service here. Menu is limited, priced on the higher end for a takeout but tastes better than any takeout oriented place I have been to around (and there must be dozens, with half a dozen or so I have tried multiple times). Stick with the basics like berberry rice (rice with berries) and Grilled chicken in sauce and go home happy for $8 -10 (about half of what most above would charge for an entree)

      Some may find that my comments are maybe too positive overall, really because its extremely competitive neighborhood for Persian Cuisine and allows a diner to be pay little and expect more.

      Now, hope someone who knows of some little hidden gem closer to me chimes in...

      1. re: amhutap

        Well now I'm craving me some Persian food.

        amhutap do you know any other Persian places that serve more regional dishes? I know Shomal and Alborz serve mirza ghasemi and its pretty good but anything like torshe tareh, morghe torsh, baghala ghatogh, ash-e anar, kufteh tabrizi, etc?

        Thanks for the writeup though, I like Alborz and Shomal from your list but what I really like about Banu is that they serve their kabobs on lavash instead of rice. Depending on my mood I prefer the lavash at times.

        I hope you find a place out that way, I asked some Persian friends for you and they all had no idea.

        1. re: radiopolitic

          I do appreciate your effort to help radiopolitic.

          Morghe Torsh was oredered by SO at Shomal and was quite good, though felt the serving size was small for the price. Quality is not really an issue at Shomal I find overall.

          The only kofta I have tried was at the takeout counter of Super Tehran/Khorak Grocery Market on Yonge (not the one in the same plaza as Popeyes, but exactally south of it, bigger store right in the middle) . It is the hugest meatball I have ever seen with a bit of rice and nuts in a tasty if somewhat greasy gravy. For less than $5 its a steal and I gotta have it every other month or so. Does that sound like Kufteh tabrizi or did I totally miss it?

          Their hot table always has couple of rotating dishes so its worth a try, lentils and beef with frenched potato sticks is pretty decent. They also serve an interesting five types of rice layered dish whose name escapes me. Note the pre-revolution flags of Iran in that grocery market.

          Edit: You might be interested in a post-feminist recipe of Kofte Tabrizi which turned up in my search. My farsi gives up after 5 words, sounds like you might get more out of the challenge listed there, which launched half a dozen pots and pans, than I did.

          I have never tasted ash-e-anar but I will certainly look for it next time when I am out chowing.

          I am a sucker for kebabs served not with but on bread, last time I had it was at a hole in the wall Afghan in a DC suburb, if Banu is good for it, I am there! Fresh bread with a bit of juice from a just grilled kebab, you are gonna make me drive there tonight!

          Circled around pomegranate twice at least during lunch and parking is always a mess. I do intend to go though.

          Now I will list another one, with a caveat, its not exceptional but its open late, used to be 24 hours, priced well and you are served quick for lunch with the daily options. Place is called Darban, and is at Don Mills and York Mills not far from David Duncan House. If I get real and possibly interesting lunch for a price like McDonalds and get served in 10 minutes, I am willing to take merely good. Though their Ghormeh Sabzi is not half bad.

        2. re: amhutap

          Agreed. Shomal is my favourite in the area (I tend to stick with the basics as well) and the choice is Kish when I'm looking for a more casual place and better value.

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