Category Archives: Halal

Monday’s Munchies: Sizzling Skillet

At the end of summer, Nouman and I finally went to try the breakfast at Sizzling Skillet with some of our friends. Although we had had dinner at Sizzling Skillet before, I was way more excited to try their breakfast – it is definitely more vegetarian friendly.

In a nutshell, their breakfast was delicious! Nouman and I both ordered their omelettes – steak and cheese for him, vegetarian for me. We also ordered their toblerone pancakes to share. Our friends got their steak and cheese panini and their waffles. The omelettes were cooked to perfection and their panini made me drool a little – it had the crunch factor that a great sandwich should have. I did wish their toblerone pancake had more toblerone but the pancake itself was amazing – light, fluffy and melt in your mouth goodness.

Nouman and I will be giving their dinner menu another shot. Last time we went, we decided to takeout because of the wait time. I bit into my grilled cheese sandwich around 20 minutes later and it felt dry. Definitely want to try their dinner menu in store.

Sizzling Skillet looks like an average Halal restaurant on the inside; boxy but clean. The servers are all friendly as is everyone working behind the kitchen counter. If you go on a weekend, you can be sure that there will be a lineup.

moi

Top Row: Toblerone pancakes before and after eating them.
Middle Row: Waffles and the cheese and steak panini
Bottom Row: Steak and Cheese omelette and a veggie omelette

Can’t wait to go back again!

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Monday’s Munchies: Silo Grill

One of the many things I love about summer is having meals on the patio – a hot summer day, yummy food with a beautiful view and good company. Ever since I found out that the Silo Grill at the Angust Glen Golf Club serves Halal food, I have been wanting to try it out. After almost a year of waiting, Nouman and I finally tried it a few weekends ago.

If you’ve been to Angus Glen before, you’ll know that the ground are beautiful. Everytime I visit Angus Glen, I am taken aback by the gorgeous views. I also love that they have an entirely separate Halal menu – not just a little note on the side that marks the Halal items.

We had a mixed experience with the food. I ordered an omelette with homefries and toast (we went for brunch) and I liked it. Nouman did not love his beef burger; although he thought that the patty was juicy, he felt it lacked flavour. We went with two of our friends who ordered a beef burger and a grilled chicken panini. Both of them liked their meals. The vegetarian options are limited; ask for the regular menu and not the Halal one if you are dining with vegetarians. Overall, the atmosphere trumps the meal but I would definitely go again.

Breakfast and Halal menu

Breakfast and Halal menu

The view

The view

His and hers

His and hers

I am always on the lookout for new locations to try out a patio meal so leave a comment with your favourite spot!

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Monday’s Munchies: Halal Food Festival Toronto

Well, this weekend was the much-awaited Halal Food Festival in Toronto. I had been excited about this event for a long, long, long time. Without further ado, I am going to highlight some good aspects aswell as areas for improvements:

Pros:

  • Large Number of Restaurants: I was happy (and surprised) to see that there were many restaurants that I had never heard of. Alot of vendors participated and that made me happy!
  • Food Samples: Many vendors were giving samples in exchange for tickets ($10 for 20 tickets) which was great if you wanted to try/test a place
  • Scheduled Activities: The stage area had fun and educational activities – such as Cake Decorating Competition and Grilling Techniques by Muslim Chefs.
  • Other Vendors: It was also nice to see that alot of Muslim business owners participated. There were stalls for everything – jewellery, Hijabs/Abayas, books, Islamic Art, clothes, etc.
  • Play Area for Children: There was a play area for children that had all sorts of attractions such as bouncy castles

Areas of Improvement:

  • Variety of Cuisines: I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t alot of variety of food. Yes, there were alot of burgers and ribs but I expected more than just that. There was one Mexican vendor but I had so been counting on more! Other food items I would’ve liked to see at the food court: Middle Eastern, Italian, Pizza, Wings, Mexican, Pakistani (okay, so I am not a fan of eating desi food outside but I know that some parents/grandparents prefer that. I know many people were hoping to eat Kabab Rolls and papri chaat) and even snacks such as corn.
  • Taste of Food: Overall, everyone in my family thought the food was not as good as we had anticipated.
  • Lack of Vegetarian Options: I get it. It was Halal Food Festival so the majority of people wanted to eat beef and chicken – anything with meat. However, there are a small number of Muslims who do not eat meat (for health or personal reasons) and were completely excluded. Besides fries, poutine and icecream, there was not much we could eat. I hope that we won’t be overlooked next year!
  • Crowd Control: Since this was the first event, I am assuming the organizers and vendors did not have a good estimate of the turnout. As a result, there were large crowds and long lineups – which obviously upset alot of people. Many of the food vendors also ran out of their major attractions very early. We arrived at Big Mama’s House at 1:30pm on Sunday and their burgers were sold out.
  • Consistency: Some vendors were quoting different ticket numbers to different people. Nouman’s parents bought icecream for 4 tickets, but when Nouman went, they told him it was 5. However, when I went back to the same place, they told me 4 again (all handled by the same person).
  • Sample Tickets: There seemed to be some confusion with the purchase of sample tickets. Many people thought that the vouchers could be used towards the food court but were disappointed (and annoyed) when they realized that the food court was cash only. Next time, the organizers should either make it clearer or allow the tickets to be used towards food court items

Some Funny/Weird Incidents:

  • For the life of me, I could not understand why I heard so many people asking vendors if the food was Halal. Nouman even overheard one person arguing with a vendor about not having a Halal sign up.
  • Alot of people were complaining that the food samples were too small and/or there wasn’t any free food. This was the most absurd thing I have ever heard – why on earth would you be allowed to enter, park and eat for free?!
The line

The line-ups and vendors

Fiesta Poutine: Gravy, Cheese, Sour Cream and Jalapenos

Fiesta Poutine: Tomato Gravy, Cheese, Sour Cream and Jalapenos

Clockwise from Top Right: Hotdog and Chicken Poutine (Big Mama's House), Juicy Lucy (Burger Factory), Pastries (Papa - Pastries & Cafe), Barbican, Churros and Funnel Cake (Burger Factory)

Clockwise from Top Right: Hotdog and Chicken Poutine (Big Mama’s House), Juicy Lucy (Burger Factory), Pastries (Papa – Pastries & Cafe), Barbican, Churros and Funnel Cake (Burger Factory)

  • Beef Sausage: Apparently, these were good
  • Poutines: The vegetarian poutine was a joke – it tasted like I was eating pasta sauce with the nachos. I would never have this again. The chicken poutine was better
  • Juicy Lucy: Although the wait to get the food was extremely long, the boys liked their burgers.
  • Funnel Cake: It was hard to like the funnel cake because the icecream had melted from being outside all day. The cake portion was good – batter was the right consistency and not soft (or too crunchy). I wish they had real strawberries instead of just the strawberry sauce
  • Churros: They offered three fillings: chocolate, strawberry and caramel. Unfortunately, they skimped out on the filling. Otherwise, the churros were good (the ones we had in Chicago were way better).

Overall, I liked the festival. It was a great event and it is always a pleasure to see the Muslim community come together. There were a few places that I wanted to eat at (i.e. The Pie Guyz) – I can’t wait for the event to be even bigger and better next year InshAllah. I would love to be part of it next time!

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Monday’s Munchies: Slice of New York – Review

A few years ago, the sisters and I were routinely checking Zabihah.com when we came across Slice of New York. A Halal joint, with good reviews, that sells stromboli’s and hoagies – we knew we had to go! I’ve been to Slice of NY around 4 times and here are my thoughts:

Halalness
Authorized Halal by an Islamic organization. Even their cheese is Halal :)

Location
In the downtown core – right after Yonge & Dundas. It’s proximity to Ryerson University means that you’ll find lots of students around lunch time.

Customer Service
Amazing – the brothers working behind the counters are super friendly and nice.

Ambiance
It’s a small, fast-food joint so please don’t go in expecting fine dining experience. It can seat about 20-25 people at the most and it’s all self-serve (duh).

Price
Slightly pricey for fast food ~ $10ish per person if you include a side and drink.

Food
This place is more suited for meat-lovers than vegetarians. There is a large variety of food options – Shawarma, Stromboli, Pizza, Burger, Hoagies, Fries, etc

  • Fries: I love their fries – they have just the right amount of crunch and softness. Yum, yum, yum!
  • Pizza: Pizza is definitely good although I do prefer more sauce (I’m more of a Mamma’s Pizza kinda girl rather than Pizzaiolo). They always have around 6-7 different types of pizza’s ready so I do like that they have variety.
  • Hoagies:
    - My veggie hoagie was alright – nothing great. It had tomato sauce, green peppers, onion, mushrooms (I think) and cheese. You have the option of choosing a tomato or cream based sauce. While the hoagie was good, I felt like it lacked something – roasted red peppers or something would’ve added a yummy kick to the flavour.
    - Nouman’s Philly Cheese Steak was great according to him.
  • Stromboli: The sisters love it – they’ve had the Manhattan and Italian. The older one especially likes the Manhattan – it has the perfect combination of meat and cheese; she really likes the sausage in it.

Veggie Hoagie + Philly Cheese Steak

Veggie Hoagie

Veggie - it was good but I prefer a little more sauce

Italian Stromboli

If you’re in the area and craving Halal fast food, I’d definitely give this a try.

Monday’s Munchies: Paramount Fine Foods + Birthday Burgers

Finding Halal restaurants in the GTA is not a hard task, it’s actually quite easy. Finding a good Halal restaurant, that’s another story.

Over the weekend we went to Paramount Fine Foods – a Lebanese restaurant in Mississauga. This is one of our go-to restaurants for Arabic food; the food is yummy and the portion size is huge. Can’t go wrong with that, can you? :)

Food Items Not To Be Missed

  • Manakeesh: This is similar to pizza – dough topped off with cheese and other toppings such as ground beef, herbs, tomato, etc. Paramount has the most yummylicious Manakeesh around the GTA
  • Hummus: yum, yum, yum!
  • Pastries and Other Sweets: Hands down, the freshest Baklawa around – some of the cookies are divine too

Vegetarians
Although I get the falafel almost every time I go here, it’s not that great. I have yet to eat amazing Falafel in Toronto – why are they always so heavy and dense? I’d recommend getting a couple of different types of Manakeesh instead.

I’m not going to write much – the pictures can do the talking today.

Appetizer: Khubz avec Hummus

Beef and Cheese Manakeesh

Cheese and Zataar Manakeesh

Mine: Falafel Plate

Mixed Grill Plate with Rice

Mixed Grill Plate with Fries... and obviously alot of ketchup!

Chicken & Beef Shawarma with Fries... obviously Nouman loves ketchup too!

Kafta Plate with Fries

All done!

It was my birthday over the weekend and as per tradition, Nouman and I got birthday burgers for lunch. We went to Big Smoke Burger (formerly Craft Burger) and it was delish as usual. I ordered the Crazy Burger with a Veggie Patty and Nouman got a Red Burger with Halal Chicken. Yes, they have Halal Chicken! I emailed their main office and received confirmation that their chicken is Halal – however, since they do not advertise it, they can change their chicken supplier at any time without informing their customers – so always call and verify before eating the chicken!

His & Hers

Crazy Burger with Veggie Patty

Red Burger with Halal Chicken

Check out my review of Big Smoke Burger.

JFK Lounge: Review

I thought I’d post about FOOD to get us through Monday morning :)

JFK is close to our house and is one of our regular “go-to” places. I can’t tell you how most of the food at JFK tastes (mainly caters to non-pescetarians) – but whatever I have tried, I have loved. Same with the sisters, they like most of the food they’ve had at JFK.


Veggie Burger

So yummy! I usually prefer a real veggie burger – one where you can taste the veggies as opposed to the soy patty. This one is actually pretty good. The burger is flavourful and not dry. The toppings are just right – sauteed mushrooms, pickles, tomatoes, onion and lettuce. And the fries? I LOVE the fries at JFK.

Veggie Burger

Fish and Chips
The easiest way for me to eat fish is in this form. The fish and chips at JFK are surprisingly good – crispy but not overdone, the tartar sauce has just enough zing, and the fries (again) are made to perfection.

Fish and Chips

Below are pictures of dishes that I’ve never had but my sisters really liked.

Chicken Wrap - Sundried Tomato Wrap

Roast Beef Dip - Roast Beef on a toasted Ciabatta bun

Portobello Mushroom Chicken - in a Reggiano Cream Sauce. Nouman got it with mashed potatoes

 

Grilled Chicken Samwich in a Honey Garlic Sauce

Some things that aren’t the greatest (according to my sisters):

Swiss and Mushroom Chicken
Chicken breast stuffed with mushroom and Swiss cheese; served with rice and veggies. I’ve heard from a few people that the chicken is really dry.

 

Swiss and Mushroom Chicken

 

Meat Loaf
Ground beef meat loaf; served with mashed potatoes and veggies. Little one said she didn’t like it much because it was dry; she is also not a huge meat-eater so that might have made her a little biased.

 

Beef Meat Loaf

Steak Sandwich
Again, too dry.

Steak Samwich

Nachos
The nacho’s are pretty meh. We’ve only ordered this once and probably will never order it again. Do yourself a favour and serve some tortilla chips with cheese, olives, peppers and salsa. You’ll get the same effect and save money at the same time.

Nachos Supreme

Overall – it’s a good option for Halal comfort food. Their sandwiches/burgers are especially yummy  – including the veggie burger.