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Jan 28, 2010 01:05 PM

Tunisian/Turkish/Moroccan restaurant suggestions

Hello everyone! Can anyone suggest to me a good Turkish/ Moroccan restaurant that not only has good food (I love lamb!) but also very nice middle eastern decor that get you feeling like you were in Turkey or Morocco? ie. sitting on cushions rather than tables, carpets, chandeliers etc.

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  1. Tunisian - I can only think of one restaurant in Toronto - Djerba la Douce on the Danforth. Solid fare for the price point - I go when I can't go to a Tunisian friends' house. Decor would be lacking if that is what you desire though.

    Turkish - Anatolia is no good. Turkish Grill on Wilson I would pass on. Pizza Pide is solid but they don't exactly offer variety and their decor is VERY sparse. Alara - even though the original fellow from Pizza Pide is at Alara now and his pide's were better than the current PIzza Pide - Alara's fall short now. I haven't been to Istanbul Grill at Keele and Hwy 7 but my hopes aren't exactly high.

    Tunisian - Marrakech recently reopened, I haven't been post-reno but prices are now much higher than they used to be. Walima wasn't very tasty the time I went. I have yet to make it out to Tagine which gets good reviews on this board. Sultan's Tent is forgettable.

    93 Harbord makes some pretty solid Middle Eastern fare. A bit more high end than your regular Middle Eastern joint but the decor is modern and not traditional.

    *sigh* I guess I'll stick to home cooking when it comes to this.

    1 Reply
    1. re: radiopolitic

      << I guess I'll stick to home cooking when it comes to this.>>

      Forgive the minor hijacking...

      Costco have/had an good deal on tagines for $20. I bought two about 3 weeks ago.

    2. Sofra Istanbul, 400 & Steeles, has generally solid food

      4 Replies
      1. re: shekamoo

        Not exactly tunisian/moroccan but Pomegranate on Bathurst and college has the ambience and lamb that you're looking for.

        1. re: chillihigh

          Yes Pomegranate is Iranian with good food and sometimes very good specials. The sister joint next door has a good Kebobs and a great Dizi....

          1. re: shekamoo

            I love Pomegranate. And while you won't sit on pillows, the decor is very nice.

        2. Tagine is outstanding and worth the drive to deepest Scarborough. We had the chicken tagine and the lamb couscous and both were deep and rich and fragrant. Owner/server is great - shares a mint tea with you before the meal. No liquor license. Bonus: right down the road is the amazing Arz grocery store, with the one of the best best nuts and sweets displays in town.

          5 Replies
          1. re: romanruin

            I had couscous, pastry and tea at this little decor store/cafe yesterday. The food was really good. Just like a better than usual meal in Morocco would taste. She only had two choices - vegetable couscous and bastilla. I had the couscous, which was definitely steamed and not made instant-style. Great spicing and inexpensive. Pastries were also finely done.


            Marrakech Colors & Cafe 170 Bedford Rd, Toronto Bus:416 920 CAFE(2233

            1. re: jmk60

              I tried Djerba la Douce on Saturday evening. My SO and I had a truly enjoyable experience, from top to bottom. We arrived at 7:00 p.m. and were greeted and seated immediately. We ordered a pot of mint tea and began to peruse the menu. The owner came over to say hello and make suggestions. He quickly helped us make some choices and gleaned from us that we had travelled to Tunisia (as well as Morocco) and were fans of the cuisine, as well as all things hot and spicy. The tea was very minty and sweet, just like the teas we'd had in both countries. First out was the Djerba soup, which we shared (on the owner's advice). It was a vegetable puree drizzled with olive oil which was redolent with spices. As mentioned already we'd indicated that are fans of heat and the soup delivered. The owner spiced to our specifications and the soup rocked our worlds! It was delicious and very filling. We were grateful that he had suggested we share one. We also enjoyed the meshwi salad, the pan-fried calamari (also made spicy as per our request) and the merguez platter. Everything was scrumptious. We shared everything and were quite full by the end. Next time I think we'll each have our own soups, try a Tunisian salad and share a different platter. The meal was reasonably priced, though it's worth mentioning that payment is cash or debit only. My only complaint about the meal would be that they aren't shy about using copious amounts of olive/vegetable oil. I recall our meals in Tunisia being on the oily side, so I wasn't completely surprised, but I personally don't need to have that much oil drizzled on the meshwi salad. If I order it again, I might ask them to go easy on the free-pour. It's also worth noting that the accompanying flatbread is a thick Greek-style pita that comes straight from the bag. I can't necessarily expect them to be baking fresh bread, but I'd personally prefer a crusty bread (flat or loaf) from a solid nearby bakery. The nicest aspects of the meal, in addition to the food, were the attentive and courteous service by all staff members and the time that the owner spent chatting with us. I suspect he will remember our faces and greet us with familiarity next time we visit. In fact, I expect it. We experienced the same hospitality in North Africa and it's something we'll never forget. I'm so happy we wandered into Djerba la Douce.

              Djerba la Douce
              1475 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1N5, CA

              1. re: 1sweetpea

                I have to second the big ups for Djerba la Douce. The food is well seasoned and rich in textures and flavours. The place is family run and if you phone the chef a day before you go in he will make you a special tagine. This is our go to gathering place for our friends when we are hungry for some home cooking.

                Djerba la Douce
                1475 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1N5, CA

                1. re: mussetto

                  And I will third it. Very nice people and surprisingly good food, given the surrounds.

              2. re: jmk60

                There is a Marrakech on the Danforth discussed in this thread...


            2. There is a new place on the north side of Queen Street in the Beaches. It used to be a Sushi place and now it is a brand new Libya restaurant called Shakshouka. West of the Fox Cinema by a couple blocks. I can't wait to try it out. Anyone else been there yet?

              1 Reply
              1. re: jmk60

                I saw that yesterday. The menu looks good. I will try it on the weekend and report back.

              2. The only place in Toronto to get authentic Turkish food is at Nephes on Yonge St.

                2 Replies
                1. re: evansl

                  I should amend this to say read "The only place in Toronto to get authentic Ottoman food is at Nephes on Yonge St." Some people regard Ottoman as the only authentic Turkish food, others don't. It depends on what you mean authentic. Kebabs, lamachan, etc are very very common in Turkey so they are authentic in that sense. But they are not especially Turkish in origin (except for Iskender) like Ottoman food and few other things such as lokum and simmit.

                  1. re: evansl

                    Do you have the address. What is the cross street for Nephes?