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Iranian dinner in Thornhill; Iranian sweets in North York

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Iranian dinner in Thornhill; Iranian sweets in North York

Heather | Apr 13, 2003 01:10 AM

Went to Shomal Restaurant for dinner the other night. (Not sure if the official name is Shomal or North; it's listed as Shomal in the phone book, but their website says North, and so does the sign above the restaurant. "Shomal" means "north" in Persian.)

The place used to be a Greek restaurant until several years ago, and it shows in the decor! The restaurant was busy, and the staff were nice. We had several different appetizers: the Mirza Ghazemi (a smoky dip made of mashed roasted eggplant and garlic),the Valvishgeh (a stew-like dish of beef cubes in a tomato sauce), and the Bademjan Kebab (eggplant stuffed with a tangy, mashed mixture of pomegranate juice and walnuts) were all tasty.

We all ordered kababs for our main course. These were all good, although less interesting than the appetizers. Upon tasting a bit of everyone's kabab, I'd say the best of the lot was the Sultani Kabab - you get a long strip of ground-beef kabab (which kind of reminded me of cevapcici from the Balkan region) and another long strip of beef tenderloin(?) kabab. Quite filling, especially with the huge mound of basmati rice on the side. My only complaint was that the big chunks of meat and the big mound of rice left my mouth....dry. Maybe I'm just used to more saucy or moist food?

My overall feeling about this restaurant? The next time you feel like having a casual souvlaki dinner, consider Shomal/North instead. Me, I'm still on a quest for a Persian restaurant that serves something more sophisticated. Elixir Restaurant at Bathurst and Bloor is wonderful, although as someone posted a while ago, it's more like "Persian fusion" cuisine.

After dinner, we headed to Red Rose Patisserie, which is on the west side of Yonge, just south of the first lights south of Steeles (sorry, I don't know the address, and they don't seem to be listed in Canada 411). This is a coffee/tea shop that has a lovely selection of Iranian pastries and sweets. It's full of attractive young Iranians. I really like this joint!

An aside to Estufarian: I asked for "nabat" and the staff pointed me to a big bin full of chunks of crystallized sugar (it looked like a bunch of rocks and minerals!). I described the disks that you were looking for, and alas, they didn't know what I was talking about. Still, I think you might like this cafe.

Below is the link to the Shomal/North Restaurant website.

Link: http://www.northrestaurant.com/

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