According to some of my buddies, finding good Middle Eastern cuisine is tough to find in Toronto. Actually, it’s damn near impossible.
How can that be? Such a multi-ethnic town like this one and not one great place to rave about?
I’m sure I’ve had some killer shawarmas and falafel in my day. Haven’t I?
I listed a bunch of places, all of which my Lebanese, Palestinian and Egyptian buddies laughed at. Actually they laughed at me too.
Apparently, I’ve been misled for years. Lied to. Cheated.
So, where to go for good Mid-Eastern grub? Where do those who really know, go?
All of them, almost in unison, gave me one special place: Tabule!
Followed the advice. Reservation, a must. In advance, recommended. Place is packed with a lineup on a Saturday at 5pm!
In the mood for apps? Go with the trifecta of dips to start. The Hummus, Baba ghanouj and Tabule, of course! Delicious, the tabule especially stands out. Parsley, whole wheat bulgur, tomatoes, onions and a hint of mint tossed in a light lemon and olive oil dressing, it’s a perfect-for-dipping-and-soaking-your-pita kinda dish.
That’s why dips come with hot pita. Dip away!
Falafel. Crushed chick peas, split fava, parsley, garlic, onions and spices, fried and served with tahini. What makes them killer at this place? They aren’t oily. They’re lighter as a result and you can experience, savour their full flavour.
Entree time. Kefta. Two skewers, charbroiled ground mixed lamb and beef with onions, spices and parsley. Comes with a massive amount of rice. If you’re not full after this meal, you’re crazy.
Keeping it veg? Give the Vegetable a go. A couple of skewers of marinated onions, peppers and zucchini, served on a bed of rice that will make your eyes pop and your stomach stuffed.
And not stuffed in the sense that you regret eating so much. Satisfied stuffed. Fulfilled stuffed.
Dessert? Not a chance. Had Lebanese coffee though. Strong, it’s got plenty of cardamom to give it that extra kick. Definitely an acquired taste. If you’re adventurous, give it a try.
The bill is easy on the eyes too. Reasonable considering the quality, quantity, high and respectful level of service you get. Dinner for 2 with all the fixin’s, including wine, apps, entrees, dessert, tax and tip will cost you anywhere between $60-$75.
Tabule, easily my go-to spot for phenomenal Middle-Eastern.
Details. You know you want ‘em.
2009 Yonge Street (just north of Davisville subway), Toronto