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The Amazing Mystic Muffin

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Meet Elias Makhoul, falafel master and owner of the Mystic Muffin. Elias came to Canada from Lebanon at age 21 and fell in love with our fair city — enough that he ran for mayor in the last municipal election. At his lunchtime eatery he works at a hyperactive pace. He’ll take time to ask your name, ask how your day is, ask if you have any stories — and when you come in weeks later he’s ready to continue the conversation. It’s hard to catch his photo in focus.
Behind the counter he’s a magician, conjuring up fantastic falafels, salads, and his self-proclaimed work of art, “chili on the rocks,” a carefully-arranged combo of rice, chili and salad. The food is fresh, healthy, and inexpensive. Muffins are only $1. Most sandwiches are $3.50. You can also get coffee, banana bread, bagels, and soup.
Our favourite menu item is the Better Life Combo. You’ll receive a plate piled high with green salad, chickpea salad, cabbage salad, hummus, spicy potatoes, two falafel balls, lentils and pita for only $6.25.
The Mystic Muffin is also home to his famous apple cake. First-time visitors get a piece for free. You won’t have to tell anyone — Elias will recognize you’ve never been there before. He’s got an elephant’s memory for faces.
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The Mystic Muffin is on the corner of Jarvis and Richmond. It’s open Monday to Friday from 6:30 am to 5:00 pm. Saturdays from 8:00 am to 3:00. Closed Sundays. It’s also home to some of Torontoist’s favourite chalkboard menus. Crammed between the items and prices are little messages (“It’s good — trust me”) and imagined conversations between the staff. They alone are worth the trip.

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