Check out our review of the newly opened Moods Eatery and Cafe on Halal Foodie.
Click here to read the review.
Halal upscale ethnic street food is what Chef Aleem Syed is serving up at The Midpoint from Thursday-Sunday in downtown Toronto. This is in anticipation of the launch of his food truck “The Holy Grill” in February 2015. Chef Aleem came to greet us in person and invited us to come take a look at his menu. With each and every customer that came in, he went over the entire menu in detail, explaining all the components of each dish. Rarely do we get to interact and chat with the chef himself, so this was a pleasant surprise for us. Chef Aleem is passionate about his food and is really excited about his new venture. He knows exactly where his food comes from. He places a great emphasis on using local ingredients and supporting local farmers.
Chef Aleem has worked for reputable restaurants in Toronto including Canoe, North 44, and Terra, before a spinal cord injury put him on a wheelchair. His extensive culinary training and experience was evident in the way he ran the kitchen and how knowledgable he was about food.
The menu changes up every week and most items are under $10, which is great! Chef Aleem recommended the burgers, so we ordered both of them and also got poutine.
Mom’s Butter Chicken Poutine ($6) was a poutine with a South Asian flare. It was a combination of fries smothered with butter chicken curry, topped with cheese and garnished with chopped vegetables. It was a savoury dish that explained in one bite what Chef Aleem meant by ‘ethnic street food’.
The Cheese Burger ($9) was one of the best cheeseburgers we have ever had. We were pretty stoked by the bun alone that everything else was a just a bonus. For the big, mean meat patty, this soft and hearty bun with a distinct sweetness did justice to the burger. The halal bacon and cheese completed the cheeseburger and made it perfect.
The Big Diesel ($9) was our absolute favourite dish of the evening. We mean, just look at it! Does the picture not force you say Mashallah, TabarakAllah? This burger was heaven. The toppings were a marriage made in heaven: sweet and tangy sauce, a fried egg, pickles, halal bacon, cheese, crunchy bits on top of a juicy beef patty. They may just bring tears of joy to your eyes!
Two disclaimers for Muslims visiting The Midpoint: Chef Aleem only rents the kitchen from the owner of The Midpoint. The Midpoint does have a full-service bar but Chef Aleem’s menu doesn’t offer alcohol. Since a diverse population visits to try Chef Aleem’s food, some customers do order alcohol. However, all profits from the bar go straight to the owner and aren’t affiliated with the pop-up. Furthermore, the ambiance with loud music and dim lighting may not be to the liking of some customers.
1180 Queen Street West, Toronto
Chef Aleem featured in:
Not too long ago we heard about Big Smoke Burger and our immediate reaction was: omg not another burger place!
Anyway, given how much we enjoy trying out new places, we thought why not give it a try, especially since it was highly recommended by a friend. We ordered Crazy Burger (requested halal beef patty) ($14.95 with onion rings and pop) and Spicy Burger (requested halal beef patty) ($14.72). Upon seeing the total ($29.67), we were skeptical and were waiting impatiently for our order to be prepared and for us to dig in.
To our surprise, the fresh beef patty (non-processed) lived up to our expectations and we loved the toppings on both the burgers. Actually one of us loved the Crazy Burger (alapeno havarti, coleslaw, chipotle mayo, bbq sauce, hot peppers & lettuce), whilst the other one thought Spicy Burger (caramelized onions, spicy chipotle mayo, tomato & lettuce) was better.
We thought the fries were quiet good. They were very similar to New York Fries in taste. The onion rings were good as well; just that we personally find it difficult to finish an entire order of onion rings.
We visited Big Smoke Burger’s Square One (Mississauga) location. The sign clearly indicates that you have to ask for halal beef and/or chicken. We wanted to try out their poutine, but we were informed that the gravy on poutine is not halal. We were very thankful for their honesty.
We can’t wait to go back and try other burgers on the menu!
Big Smoke Burger is located in Square One Mall’s food court. For more information, please visit: http://www.bigsmokeburger.com
We had been wanting to try Hwy 55 for quite some time but always backed out for one reason or another. So this past Ramadan, we decided to visit this diner for their Islamic Relief fundraising event. The restaurant was packed with people, with people lined up outside of the doors! Luckily for us, we had made reservations and got seats.
Since we were all fasting, we decided to go all out with the order. We ordered the John Boy and Billy BBQ Bacon (halal beef strips) Burger, fries, gravy fries and onion rings. The wait for the food was quite long, but it was due to the crazy rush that day. Let us tell you, the food was definitely worth the wait!
The John Boy and Billy BBQ Bacon (halal beef strips) Burger had a burger patty topped with an onion ring (yum!) along with mustard, chill, halal beef strips aka bacon, cheese and their special sauce. It was a solid burger and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Gravy Fries was also one of our favourites. Finger licking good gravy was smothered on top of crispy fries and it made for the perfect combination.
This diner, with its old school style and decor, is worth a visit. We can’t wait to visit again, except that we probably should be fasting to justify the high fat, high calorie meal.
548 Trafalgar Road
Oakville, ON L6J 3J2
We have been wanting to try Big Mamma’s House – Burgers & Ribs since we heard about it at the Halal Food Fest. Unfortunately, we couldn’t try it at the Halal Food Fest due to long lineups and along with the fact that it was pouring that afternoon. Since we were in the Durham area recently , we decided to try it out.
Big Mamma’s House has a look that resonates with burger joints from the 60s and 70s. We loved how it’s well maintained (nice and clean sitting area). Since it was getting pretty late in the evening and it was almost closing time, we quickly ordered:
The Big Momma’s House burger: This burger was well enjoyed by our guest who was looking forward to a double beef patty burgers. All the ingredients gelled well, that made the burger quite flavourful.
The Big Spice: This was one of the burgers we were very much looking to try. We found this burger just as delicious as the preceding burger.
The menu is expansive you can be assured that hopefully everyone. We could tell within the first few bites that the burger patties were made from scratch and prepared right in front of us.
We tried their fries and loved the fact that they were hand cut with some skin still on. One word: tasty.
There are now gourmet burger joints all across GTA and if you happen to be in Pickering, Ajax and Whitby area, you should try out this burger joint.
For more information, please visit: Big Mamma’s House – Burgers & Ribs
We love The Burgernator. Like, really, truly love! It genuinely makes us happy to know that a Muslim owned burger joint is making waves in the city with their gourmet burgers. It had been awhile since we had visited The Burgernator so we decided to pay a visit after our trip to the Ripleys Aquarium (which you guys should check out).
At our most recent visit, we ordered the Fully Loaded ($10.99) and The Big Bang ($10.99). The Fully Loaded is two beef patties (12 oz total), cheddar cheese, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, tomato, lettuce and burgernator sauce. We asked them to remove the fried egg as we were a little nervous about having a fried egg in our burger (although we are sure it tastes awesome). This burger was awesome! The beef patties were so well cooked that they were falling apart as we ate the burger. The burger was messy to eat but totally worth it. We do not recommend eating this in the car! Make sure you have both your hands free to eat it (a third hand might be useful too).
The Big Bang had beef patty, buffalo chicken strips, cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce with roast garlic rosemary aioli. Om nom nom is definitely the best way to describe it. The crunchy chicken strips definitely are the highlight of this burger. Some people may find the burger a little bit bland, but dip it in the aioli and/or ketchup and you will definitely enjoy it more. The fries were great as well!
The owner, Amer Mokdad, who cooks the burgers himself, took the time to mingle with the customers. He was very nice to bring ice cream for our toddler who was a bit cranky and crying. That is what we call customer service!
We can’t wait to go back and try more of their delicious creations, inshallah! We will leave you with a picture from our trip to the Ripleys Aquarium.
The Burgernator Address:
269 Augusta Ave