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Brunch at Maha’s Egyptian in Toronto


I travel all over the world looking for an “authentic taste of place,” perfectly creamy hummus in Tel Aviv, scorched pizza in Venice, frothy Pisco Sour in Santiago and a hot mess of poutine whenever I’m lucky enough to find myself in Montreal. Toronto has become a multicultural culinary paradise where you can easily eat through a handful of authentic ethic restaurants in the course of one day.

Last summer I indulged in my own little 24 hour binge to prove the point. I woke up to the world at the St Lawrence Market, nibbling on a maple nanaimo bar and peameal bacon egg sandwich at Carousel Bakery in an attempt to start things off as Canadian as possible. A lunch duo in Kensington Market featured Mexican tacos and Spanish tapas before I headed to Trinity Bellwoods to rest, relax and digest. Early dinner would go down in China Town at always popular Rol San. Hours later I enjoyed a late night Turkish feast at Pizza Pide and an even later indulgence in Little India at curry loving Lahore Tikka House. The day went down in infamy and yet I realized I really only conquered the tip of Toronto’s ever expanding edible iceberg.

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Last November after adventuring through Jordan and Egypt for a month I returned home craving the unique textures and flavours that Amman and Cairo serve up fresh on the daily. When I recently found out that a new brunch spot in Toronto’s East End had opened up shop thanks to an entrepreneurial local Egyptian family I jumped at the opportunity to tap back into Cairo’s swoon-worthy sips and nibbles.

Maha’s Egyptian is helmed by Maha Barsoom, mother to an always smiling son and daughter team who whip up unforgettable creations in their petite kitchen while waiting busy tables with a breeze. The intimate dining room features a cute little bar where sweets like fig and walnut adorned baklava tempt those popping in for a frothy honey cardamom latte (this signature drink already has a serious following).

Most order mains include Maha’s Mind Blowing Chicken (the image of the beast below is serious food porn), Pharaoh’s Po’Boy featuring crispy shrimp stuffed in a pita with creamy tehina, sweet meets chewy date grilled cheese served alongside a bowl of hearty lentil soup and the Cairo Classic plate topped with stewed fava beans, fried falafel, hard boiled egg and charred balady bread.

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1) Honey Cardamom Latte with Fig Baklava

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2) Maha’s Mind Blowing Chicken | parsley, onions, tomatoes, toasted egg bun, tomeya, mayo, tehina

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3) Pharaoh’s Po’Boy | deef fried baby shrimp, pita, tehina, tomeya, lime

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4) Date Grilled Cheese with Lentil Soup | gouda, havarti, swiss, egg bread, honey, butter fried dates

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5) Cairo Classic | tomatoes, onions, fava beans, boiled egg, falafel, tomato feta, charred balady bread

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