There’s something special about a restaurant on an unremarkable stretch of Greenwood Ave. that attracts a lineup at 11:30 a.m. on a Thursday. If you’ve been to Maha’s Fine Egyptian Cuisine—and many of my blog readers have—you’ll know its popularity is well deserved. The brunch spot, which opened last fall at 226 Greenwood Ave., offers a rare combination of fresh food, home-like atmosphere and excellent service.
I started off the meal with a cardamom latte, which was smooth and soothing, similar to chai. Then I tried the date grilled cheese, a luxurious sandwich crammed with oozing havarti, gouda, and swiss and layered with buttery sautéed dates. The sweet-savoury combination may sound odd, but it’s absolutely irresistible. On the side I had the cumin-dusted home fries, which had a nice sour kick from the pickled red onions.
For a neighbourhood cafe, Maha’s takes an unusual amount of effort to create visually appealing dishes. The Cairo Classic is a carefully arranged platter of foole (ful), a chunky, rich stew made from fava beans. The foole is covered with thin slices of hardboiled egg and a crispy ball of falafel, which, as per Egyptian custom, is also made from fava beans, not chickpeas.
Spice City Toronto explores Toronto’s great hole-in-the-wall restaurants and strip-mall joints serving food from all corners of the world.