I am on a mission to eat an authentic dish from every country in the world, right here in Toronto. You can find all past recaps here.
As my map has been filling up, the African continent has been remaining quite bare. The only African restaurants we seem to have in the city are the countries with the “trendy” food, so, Ethiopia (eaten), Morocco (eating on my birthday), and Egypt. I don’t yet know how I’m going to eat all the countries in Africa but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. In the meantime, Egypt was calling me!
After our failed attempt at a selfie someone offered to take a picture for us. Much better.
Shanondoah, Jeannette (who is a fairly new and awesome addition), Casey, me, Michelle. I don’t want to get too cheesy here but I am so thankful that blogging has introduced me to these ladies. I like them a lot.
If you’re in the city I’m sure you’ve heard of Maha’s. It seems to be all the rage these days, and fair enough, it is super cute.
It is so bright and fresh and welcoming inside. However, it is not very big and it is very, very busy so we did have to wait for over an hour. We were expecting it though, so it was no big deal. We had great company and it was a gorgeous day so we set up shop up outside on a bench for our wait. When we did finally get our table it felt a little crowded but I didn’t really notice after a few minutes.
The coffee menu was quite extensive so I asked our server for a recommendation and she suggested their signature honey-cardamom latte.
It is apparently their take on a latte with Egyptian flavours and it was smooth, creamy and cardamomy, and it was really freaking good.
As I am finding with many other countries, Egypt has culinary influences from different countries that occupied them at some point in its history, in this case Greece, Turkey and France. This is definitely obvious in their delicious food.
We started with the dokka for the table, a dry mix of chopped nuts, seeds and spices paired with olive oil.
You dip the pita into the olive oil first so that the seeds will stick to it. It was delicious, but obviously was not enough for five and we should have ordered two. Or at least more bread (always our complaint).
I also ordered the red lentil soup because a couple others at our table did and I couldn’t resist after I saw theirs.
It was so good. I want to learn how to recreate it.
For my main I went with the Cairo Classic, since it included a variety of foods and was really a taste of everything.
I’m just going to write the description for you:
On every street corner in the bustling streets of Cairo you can find vendors serving foole out of large copper vats. This traditional breakfast dish consists of fava beans and is prepared in multiple variations. In the Cairo Classic, we mix tomatoes and onions into our perfectly seasoned fava beans, and enjoy them with a hard boiled egg, a falafel, a dollop of our creamy home-made tomato feta (OMG HIGHLIGHT!!!! I could have eaten this all day!) charred balady bread and our house greens.
Delicious. It tasted just as good as it looks. I looooved the feta cheese and I tried to make sure that every bite had some in it. Seriously so good. I also really loved their pickled onions. Unfortunately I was almost full from my soup when it arrived and I couldn’t finish it all. It was a huge plate!
Everyone else really enjoyed their dishes, too. I only have pictures from my side of the table, but Casey got The Max, which was basically just a ton of things shoved into a pita.
It had foole, two pieces of falafel, a boiled egg, sweet onions, and their homemade tahina sauce (not to be confused with tahini sauce, though it is similar).
Jeannette went for the Egytian Falafel, served with cumin fries.
The falafel was crispy on the outside and wrapped around a medium boiled egg. I didn’t try it but Jeannette liked.
We had such a good time and I would definitely go back to Maha’s. Everything was unbelievably fresh and it truly had the vibe of an authentic family-run restaurant. Just be prepared to wait. We met at 11am and we didn’t get out of there until at least 2:30, so go early or be prepared for it to take a good part of your day! For me it was worth it.