Mississauga Restaurant Gem: Tarboosh


First Impression:   
An interesting spot. Decorated with a huge mural of camels riding through the dessert and lots of warm wood, the aroma when we entered Tarboosh was enticing.  I was excited to give it a try.  In business here in Mississauga since 1988, this Lebanese family-owned restaurant is a treasure waiting to be found.

The Good: 
The hummus!  Made with ground chickpeas and tahini, it was the smoothest, most flavourful hummus I've had in a long time.  The bonus?  When we were leaving, our wonderful server packed an extra container in the bag with our leftovers.  What a nice surprise when we got home!

The Unique:     
One side of the restaurant is devoted to a vegetarian buffet with a delicious looking salad bar and soup, rice and vegetable-stew type dishes.  If you want to augment your meal with meat, it can be ordered from the menu.

What they can improve on:    
Our server didn't mention the buffet to us at all -- nor did I see it on the menu -- so we didn't know it was an option we could try.  Also, when I went to look at what was on it, nothing was labelled so I didn't know what anything was (other than the obvious!).  It should be listed on the menu with the associated price and each dish labelled with the name, in both Lebanese and English.

What else we tried:     
For an appetizer, we chose the fried eggplant ($5.95) and were presented with thin circles of eggplant lightly fried and served with lettuce, onion and tahini sauce. The eggplant was slightly smoky and was a good contrast to the slightly bitter tahini.

For our main dishes, we chose from the ample selection of combination plates on the menu.  We both decided to have the mixed grill ($17.95) and then varied our choice of sides.  My husband had the hummus (mentioned above) and the Mediterranean salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce, very lightly dressed.  He asked for a little more dressing on the side.  My side was tabouli -- a delicious, fresh parsley salad, mildly sauced with a hint of lemon and chunks of tomato and rice.  The mixed grill had three skewers:  very tender, juicy chicken, lamb and mildly spiced ground meat.  Served with the same tahini sauce and a fluffy garlic sauce, it all was very mild but also very good.

Final Thoughts:   
The portions were very large, the food very tasty and the service excellent.  All in all, it was a great night out.  Give it a try the next time you're craving some Lebanese cooking.  I know you'll enjoy it! 

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