Two sisters just blogging about their passion: halal food!


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Muslim Fest 2015

We had an amazing time at Muslim Fest this year. Since we went on both days, we got to try food from most of the food vendors. Please excuse us for the horrible pictures; we didn’t plan on blogging about this event and so we had just taken casual pictures of the food we ate.

We had the Lahmacun from Pasha’s, which was a thin bread topped with minced beef, vegetables and herbs. The giant bread was cooked fresh and wrapped with salad. It was quite filling but we thought it was dry. A bit of sauce would have been great. We took a really cool video of it being cooked for Snapchat but…it’s gone now.

We heard a lot of the BBQ Brothers at the Halal Food Fest and had been looking forward to trying their meat lovers poutine. As we lined up, the idea of tandoori chicken, kabob and jerk chicken on poutine just didn’t sound so appetizing. We ended up just getting regular poutine, which was average.

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Aside from Pasha’s, there was another Turkish vendor that had interesting things on the menu. One of us got the Doner Shawarma, which was delicious. We had asked for extra sauce, but it still wasn’t enough for us. We also tried their Spinach and Feta Cheese Borek. This was light and fluffy and for $1.50 we didn’t mind trying it. We also got their Baklawa.

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Our favourite vendor, by far, was the Chill Out booth. Their mango bubble tea with lychee jelly was the most incredible drink ever. It was so good that we went back three times. The third time, they actually gave us a discount. This drink alone was worth going to the Muslim Fest on both days. We also tried their lychee bubble tea, which was also good, but couldn’t beat the mango one.

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East Meats West sandwiches are our weakness. We got the Pastrami sandwich and it was worth every single ounce of saturated fat and every milligram of sodium. Yumm!

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Our mom tried the falooda flavour Kulfi and we also tried fries from the Popeyes booth. Both items were priced well but not really worth the calories in our opinion.

Overall, the beautiful weather, the great food and atmosphere really made Muslim Fest 2015 a great event.

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Chef Aleem Pop-Up at The Midpoint

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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.

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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.

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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’.

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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.

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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.

Address:

1180 Queen Street West, Toronto

Website: 

https://www.facebook.com/kravebistrotoronto

Chef Aleem featured in:

http://www.torontolife.com/daily-dish/restaurants-dish/2014/11/21/pop-pick-paralyzed-chef-aleem-syed-gives-sneak-peek-menu-new-halal-food-truck/

http://globalnews.ca/video/1742479/young-paraplegic-chef-to-open-his-own-business


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Intense Poutine Craving

 

We had the biggest poutine craving a few weeks ago. What triggered our craving were our blog stats, which kept showing people searching for “halal poutine Toronto”. The problem was, we didn’t know where to go. We wanted GOOD poutine; a poutine that would be worth the calories. For someone living in the east end of Toronto, we were surprised that we had such a hard time finding a place. Our options were:

– Crown Pizza

– Affy’s

– Flavour’s Cafe

– Big Moe’s

All three options were a bit of a drive so decided against them. That is where our list ended.  We were certain that there must be more places to grab poutine at but nothing was coming to mind!

After a lot of thought we remembered that Sizzling Skillet has decent poutine. Since we live a few minutes away, we hoped this place would satisfy our craving.
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One word for the poutine: awesome! It doesn’t get any better than waffles fries smothered in gravy and cheese. They sprinkle red pepper on top which really elevates this french fry dish.

So the next time you are in the east end and are craving poutine, visit Sizzling Skillet.

Address: 

2290 Markham Rd

Toronto, ON M1B 2W4

Phone: 

(416) 321-9991

Website:

https://www.facebook.com/sizzlingskillet


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Big Al’s Flyin’ Phillys: Revisited

Check out our review from our third visit to Big Al’s Flyin’ Phillys:

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“The Notorious BBQ Sandwich consists of thinly sliced sautéed ribeye steak, cheese (we picked American cheese), onions and BBQ sauce. It was the most scrumptious cheese steak we ever took a bite of. There was a generous portion of well-cooked, super tender steak, which is the heart and soul of any good cheese steak sandwich.”

Click here for full article.