What it is: A Turkish style restaurant that serves Middle-Eastern type of dishes located in the Mile-End neighborhood of Montreal.
“Wear loose clothing and reserve the rest of the day for a food coma”
What they serve: Things you wished your grandmother made you for breakfast instead of pestering your mom about how to raise you.
The making of the dough: Bread is made on the spot, right under your eyes.
Watching those dutiful angels of mercy below working through the dough verges on meditation. You feel like you’ve been chosen to partake in a sacred ritual that’s been passed down from generation to generation. The words dedication, respect and tradition come to mind.
A bit of back story on our brunch routine:
Before the restaurant:
Husband: “Okay, we’re gonna go there and we’re not going to eat any bread, right?”
Me: “Of course not! Why do you have to repeat this like I am deaf or something?
Husband: “Well, because the last time somebody promised the same thing but when I tried to stop them from digging in the bread basket, I almost lost a hand.”
Me: “What did you expect? You were getting between me and a fast-releasing dose of happiness!”
Husband: “How far some people will people go to justify their lack of discipline….”
Me: “This time will be different, honey, I promise”.
I said that with all the honesty my dishonest soul could muster. I could see he does not believe me. Heck, I don’t even believe my own damn self! It’s just one of those things you say so often it doesn’t mean anything anymore. Just like saying “I am fine” when somebody asks you how you’re doing. They don’t wait for the answer and we don’t thank them for asking. It is understood that they don’t care.
At the restaurant:
We get to the restaurant, head to our seats. Like secret lovers on a much needed break, we developed a ritual: first coffee and then orange juice closely followed by a session of hand kissing and staring into each other’ eyes. That is until the server drops the first bread basket with two round fluffy and buttery little buns. Then we become like animals when they eat: silent and deadly.
“I am quite sure if somebody were to catch a pic of us eating they’d think we’re hunger games contestants catching a breather. “
For two people who swore a minute ago they didn’t want anything to do with bread, it’s kind of funny. At this point, I think we’ve developed a sort of silent understanding. If we wolf it down without any eye contact, it never happened.
Pafik: A spinach and feta flat bread as an entree. Some people take it as a meal, we take it as an entree. They have different sort depending on your taste.
This is of course followed by the Gurme, their own version of egg benedict with delicious pieces of lamb with yogurt sauce on top with a side of fruit and freshly made potatoes.
There is also the Menenmen au Queli : An egg casserole with tomatoes, spices, beef and lamb. Super warming.
Considering the huge amount of carbs we usually indulge in, we naturally vow to never come back again until of course the next time witch usually amounts to no more than two weeks.
Price point: Affordable, considering the service, ambiance and quality of food.
The staff: Discreet, friendly and courteous. The type who’ll bring you extra bread without charging extra. The rare kind, as you can see.
Final advice: If your conscience tries to pay you a visit by reminding you how much of a pig you really are, shut it down with a power nap.
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Gros bisoux and until next time!