Location: 224 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
The Haifa Room has been up and running for a bit more than a month, and while the dining room isn’t open quite yet, they do have a take-out window where you can get a variety of sandwiches.
I went with the falafel sandwich: “Falafel, tahina, hummus, z’hug, cucumber and tomato salad, marinated red cabbage, parsley, onions, and pickles.”
I asked them to hold the onion, but otherwise got it as is.
It’s a solid sandwich, though nothing about it particularly blew me away. The falafel itself is crispy and flavourful, with a nice fluffy interior that’s almost creamy (it might have been a tad undercooked, but it was tasty regardless). And the healthy amount of parsley they top it with is a nice touch, adding a herby punch that complements the falafel quite well.
None of the other toppings particularly stand out, however, and I missed the red pickled turnips that you typically find in a sandwich like this; there were copious amounts of tahini and hummus, and in the absence of something with some zip, it felt overly rich and a bit one-note in its flavour. It did have pickle slices, but they weren’t assertive enough to add much of anything.
(The menu also says the sandwich is topped with z’hug, a herby Yemenite hot sauce, but I didn’t see or taste anything even remotely hot-sauce-like in the sandwich.)
The vaguely stale pita bread probably didn’t help, which came out of a bag and tasted like it came out of a bag.
I feel like I’m complaining a lot for something I actually quite enjoyed, but pretty much everything here is one small step away from being very good, so it’s easy to notice the flaws that are holding it back.