Prince of Egypt (closed end of 2007)

135 Danforth
416-463-2228

Prince of Egypt recently opened on the Danforth and Wendy and I avoided it for a long time. We were always curious to peek in to see but we were not gutsy enough to walk in. Probably because of our fond memories of the Schillings Cafe, the lovely place we used to go for brunch and decadent chocolate.

We decided to satisfy our curiosity by finally going. We immediately felt comfortable when we entered Prince of Egypt, a spacious, casual restaurant owned by Adam Soliman (he likes to be called president) and his father. Adam is a bubbly 25 year old, friendly, cute, and enthusiastic about his new restaurant on the Danforth he runs with his dad. His demeanour is genuine and very animated.

Menus are quite interesting as this place has re-used old menus and taped pieces of paper over top with their selection of delectable Middle Eastern dishes. Kudos for being creative with not throwing out old menus!

Despite the fabulous, fresh food and desserts, the decor is dreadful. Bright fabric adorns the restaurant, attachd to lamp-post type woodwork that looks cheaply designed and built. The tables in the large dining hall are covered in plastic tablecloth with kitschy designs.

I see too much styrofoam and I can’t help to think that this restaurant was designed on a very low budget. I must admit the whole experience was quite positive, despite the tacky and kitschy renovation. The decor looks authentic than any restaurant on Gerrard street (in Little India) but I want to emphasize that the food is to die for.

For our appetizers, Wendy and I order the eggplant dip with pita (babaganouj) and it is chunky and not too creamy like traditional Middle Eastern fare. Wendy orders an Akane tea, which resembles rosehip and tastes divine. For our mains, I order the hummus, tabouleh, and babagonouj pita sandwich, and although it’s not jammed packed with those three delicious ingrediants, it’s fresh and delicious. It comes with any salad of my choice so i choose the grilled veggie salad with grilled eggplant and pepper and other fresh veggies. Wendy orders the African meat pita sandwich with the ** salad which she loves. Both dishes are $11.95 and portion size is not overly huge, but not skimpy.

For dessert, we share the Egyptian rice pudding which is spicy and aromatic. It is made with rice, milk, sugar, coconut, and rose water. This is the second runner-up for rice pudding (1st goes to Indian rice pudding for its pistachios, cardamon, and nutmeg medley).

Other items include beef kebabs, Roasted chicken legs, Lamb shank, vegetarian lentil soup, grape leaves with rice and lamb, and funky designer salads that come with each meal.

For dessert, we ordered creamy rice pudding with coconut, milk, rice, and rosewater, house-baked baklava (both $2.50) with deep red akane tea ($1.25), that according to Wendy, tasted like rosehips. I ordered a Cinnamon tea with milk and cream. It resembled a spicy Indian tea (known as Chai to most).

Decor is kitschy and cheap, but the food is fabulous, fresh, healthy, large portions and there are many vegetarian (and even vegan) dishes.

Complete meals for $15 per person ($7 at lunch), including all taxes, tip, and an anise tea. Average mains are $6-$10. Open Monday to Wednesday 10:30 am to 9 pm, Thursday to Saturday 10:30 am to midnight, Sunday noon to 8 pm. Unlicensed. Accepts all cards.

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