We'd been seeing a lot of buzz about Maha's, famed all around Toronto for their brunch twist on Egyptian classics. So, today we got up at 6 am to head over there by 8 and avoid the lines. (Is there any bigger sign of dedication to the brunch blog life? We think not.)
We arrived at 8:15, and got one of the last remaining tables. An hour later, as we were leaving, there was already a long line outside... so our 6am wake-up hadn't been such a bad idea after all. (Large groups not recommended!)
The small, cozy interior makes it feel as though you've entered someone's home and are about to have an intimate meal with them, as does the soft Egyptian music playing in the background. Although there's limited space inside, there's also a small outdoor space for the summer.
This was definitely one of the most unique brunch meals I've had--and I mean that as a compliment. The central feature was the soft-boiled eggs wrapped in falafel and drizzled with garlic sauce, and they were absolutely delicious. (How do you even do that?) The real clincher, however, was the garlic sauce. It was creamy, smooth, and delicious.
The fresh flavours of the salata balady, an Egyptian specialty made with onion, tomato and cucumber, provided a fresh counterpoint to the cumin fries. I don't like parsley or raw onions, and even though this meal had both, I still found it delicious. (If that isn't a recommendation, what is?)
Scooping the fava beans from this traditional Egyptian dish onto the balady bread, similar to pita, made for a great flavour combination. Although the feta sauce was extremely salty, it was creamy and distinctive.
Although it may seem like a heavy meal, I left feeling satisfied but not stuffed. This definitely wasn't like any other brunch I've had in Toronto, and that made it even more exciting.
Overall: truly a classic
Would we line up two hours for this meal, as some reviewers on Yelp have been known to do? Nope, but it was well worth the journey to the east side of Toronto as well as the hype.
Maha's brunch at a glance:
- You can find their menu here
- Good for: couples or small groups
- Parking: on the street only (but it isn't a busy area)
- Lots of vegetarian + some vegan options
- Brunch hours:
- Monday-Tuesday 8am-7pm
- Thursday-Friday 8am-7pm
- Saturday-Sunday 9am to 5 pm