Spice City Toronto: Persian Breakfast on College Street
A new restaurant offers a Middle Eastern take on brunch.
Residents of Dufferin Grove/Brockton Village were excited on Good Friday to discover that the long under-construction space at 1120 College Street is now open. Turns out it’s the home of Tavoos, a Persian restaurant from the owners of Pomegranate and Sheherzade at College and Bathurst streets. The restaurant’s full name is Takht-e Tavoos, which means Peacock Throne, a reference to historic Persian rulers.
A full year of renovations in this former bakery space have paid off. The room is ornately decorated with eye-catching Middle Eastern rugs, pottery, and murals. You can choose between traditional Persian seating and regular tables and chairs. Pre-revolutionary Persian pop music floats through the air.
So far Tavoos is only open for breakfast and lunch, but there are plans to expand to dinner service later on. Tavoos’s menu is different than Pomegranate’s, with a fusion feel and a focus on brunch items.
The knowledgable waitress explains the traditional way of eating dizi sangi—a clay pot stew made of lamb shank, chick peas, and white beans—to one of the first diners. You take the pieces of meat out of the stew and soak up the remaining broth with pieces of the flatbread; then you use the remaining bread to scoop up the meat and beans. Other specialities include haleem—a bowl of spiced wheatberry porridge—and kalleh pacheh—a Persian soup made from sheep head and hooves.
I opted for one of the breakfast dishes, the Tavoos Soltani Special. It was a sort of omelette with two sunny-side-up eggs served on top of wonderfully crispy spiced potato chunks. The perfectly prepared plate comes with two pieces of puffy, fresh flatbread; olives; tiny grilled tomatoes; pieces of creamy, rich feta; and walnuts. The olives were a surprising treat, as they were coated with a sweet pomegranate and walnut paste.
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Spice City Toronto explores Toronto’s great hole-in-the-wall restaurants and strip-mall joints serving food from all corners of the world.