Toronto·SURESH DOSS

This diner offers Jordanian-style brunch, including a Middle Eastern take on the breakfast sandwich

Fattoush Levantine Diner is located at 253 Gerrard St. E.

Fattoush Levantine Diner is located at 253 Gerrard St. E.

From left: Fattoush is owned by Gene Carpenter, Linda Jong and Moe Mashal. (Suresh Doss/CBC)

Metro Morning's food guide, Suresh Doss, joins us every week to discuss one of the many great GTA eateries he's discovered.

This week, he talked to guest host Jill Dempsey about a diner that offers Jordanian-style brunch in Toronto.

So set the scene for us first. Where is Fattoush?

It's on Gerrard Street, near Regent Park. There is this very small strip on Gerrard Street, just before Parliament. That is at the centre of a lot of culinary activity over the past few years

There's a new taco spot that opened, there's a bakery that is specializing in cakes flavoured with pandan, and then there's this little diner-style place run by three chefs that opened during the pandemic: Fattoush. 

Fattoush is located at a small strip on Gerrard Street in Regent Park. (Suresh Doss/CBC)

It took over the spot that was once occupied by It's Jenny, which was this wonderful Korean restaurant and coffee shop.

Fattoush is run by three chefs, Moe Mashal, Linda Jong and Gene Carpenter. They've all known each other for years, and have worked in Vancouver together. They started off as a pop-up a few years ago, and they're doing something really unique. 

We don't really have a restaurant like this in Toronto where you have really incredible Jordanian food kind of remixed in the diner form. Plus, it's also incredibly healthy and vibrant in flavour.

Tell me more about this type of cuisine? 

So when they started doing pop-ups at the Depanneur, their focus was regional interpretations of Levantine, Middle Eastern dishes. That soul is very much Fattoush. The menu is limited in a great way, with a small list of sandwiches and bowls through a breakfast and brunch lens. 

Fattoush is known for its Jordanian take on breakfast food. (Suresh Doss/CBC)

Can you give me an example? 

So, one of the very first things I tried there last year was the falafel. You can get it as a sandwich, a pita that is stuffed with chickpea falafel and vegetables, some strategically placed pickles that accent each bite. There's a generous amount of tahini that coats it altogether.

The falafel is really wonderful the way Moe and Linda make it. You can also get it in a bowl with a good amount of hummus, a soft boiled egg and some vegetables. Everything is complementing each other.

Fattoush's chicken shawarma dishes are known to offer a generous amount of toum, a form of garlic aioli. (Suresh Doss/CBC)

So, instead of the big rice and chicken platings, here you can get Moe's version of chicken shawarma wrap. 

This wonderfully marinated protein is punched up by a generous amount of toum — a garlic aiol — that brings this everlasting garlic flavour in your mouth.

There is a beef sandwich as well, which is beef smothered with pomegranate molasses and tahini. That has this wonderful sweet and sour thing going on, which reminds me a lot of Iranian cooking. 

The Sausage Egg Mo Muffin, a Jordanian-style take on the traditional breakfast sandwich. (Suresh Doss/CBC)

And playing with that breakfast theme here, the trio have a tongue in cheek take on a popular breakfast sandwich that you should try. It's a muffin with homemade chicken sausage, egg, cheese and a house sauce

They call it The Sausage Egg Mo Muffin, which, Jill is far superior to the one you'd get at the Big M.

now