I'd passed by Zeitoun during the recent Taste of the Danforth festival and made a note to return when I had the chance. Last night a friend and I decided to check out Zeitoun for dinner. I've learned from past experience not to have high expectations with Turkish food in Toronto (but one still hopes) and besides, it's perhaps unfair to expect the same quality from a Toronto restaurant as you might from a gem hidden in an alley near Taksim Square in Istanbul. But I digress.
The sign outside the store proudly advertised kokoreç (grilled sheep intestines) so that's what I tried to order first. Sorry said the man behind the counter, we don't have any right now. Okay, can I have some Iskender Kebap instead? Sorry, we don't have that either. I should have figured out something was wrong when two of their mains were unavailable (it wasn't that late either) but I persisted. We finally settled on 2 types of pides: sucuklu pide (sausage) with an egg cracked on top, another ground beef pide, adana kebap, and pacha (trotter) soup.
The adana kebap was a single stingy piece that was accompanied by your typical salad (onions, cucumbers, tomatoes), and plain rice. The kebap was dry and bland. The pides weren't really pides -- they were an oily, sorry, soggy, mess barely resembling the real deal. They didn't have minced beef and so they replaced it with shredded chicken (which tasted stale) without asking us. But the ultimate insult was when the sucuklu pide arrived -- there were no sausages on the pide, but sliced HOT DOGS. The egg wasn't cracked on top as it should have been, but congealed along the side. Did they really think we wouldn't notice? Finally, the pacha corba (it arrived last) was a watery excuse for soup. Squeezing my lemon slice from the salad didn't make the soup taste any better. The only redeeming thing about my meal were the 2 ayrans (and you can't go wrong with a prepackaged drink - http://www.dairyfountain.com ).
By far one of the worst dining experiences I've had in Toronto.
980 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 1M1, CA