Tasty Middle Eastern Flatbread at Manousha Inc.

Manousha Inc.
Location
: 6039 Erin Mills Parkway, Unit 6, Mississauga
Website: https://manoushainc.ca/

Manousha is a take-out gem in Mississauga that specializes in mana’eesh, a Middle Eastern flatbread that comes with various toppings.  They also have a handful of interesting looking subs, but I figured the mana’eesh is probably the way to go.

Manousha Inc.

And yeah, it’s definitely the way to go (though I’m sure the sandwiches are good too — I think another visit is in order).

Manousha Inc.

I went with the zaatar, which comes topped with a mix of zaatar (a Middle Eastern herb blend) and olive oil, along with the chicken musakhan (a Palestinian dish featuring sumac-infused chicken with onions).

Manousha Inc.

The crust is great — it’s slightly crispy on the outside, and it’s got a great balance of chewiness and fluffiness on its interior.  They bake everything in a wood-burning oven, and clearly, they know how to use it.

Manousha Inc.

Both mana’eesh were quite tasty, though the musakhan was the highlight.  It’s a little bit tangy, a little bit sweet, and satisfyingly meaty from the tender chicken.

Lousy food at the Livelihood Cafe

Livelihood CafeLocation: 254 Augusta Avenue, Toronto
Websitehttp://www.livelihoodproject.org/

The Livelihood Cafe is a laudable endeavor — it’s part of a non-profit organization that helps new immigrants build a career in Canada.

So maybe I’m a jerk for saying this (okay, I’m definitely a jerk for saying this), but the food was actually pretty bad.

Livelihood Cafe

I tried a few things.  The first dish featured multigrain toast topped with some kind of pepper spread, cucumber, and cheese (I forgot to take a picture of the menu and I couldn’t find one online, so I’m a bit fuzzy on the specifics).  This was the best of the three dishes I tried.  The grainy bread was a little bit too rustic, overwhelming the mild pepper spread, and the whole thing had an overriding bitterness, but it wasn’t horrible.

Livelihood Cafe

Up next was the baba ganoush, which came with a side of over-toasted pita bread that was halfway between crunchy and chewy.  Baba ganoush is a spread that’s made primarily with roasted eggplant and tahini, so how this managed to taste of neither of those things is a complete mystery.  It was just kind of salty and pasty and unpleasant.

Livelihood Cafe

The last (and worst) dish was the mana’eesh, which is a flatbread topped with a mix of za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice mix) and olive oil.  Only there barely seemed to be any olive oil; the za’atar was overly dry and grainy, and the bread was off-puttingly thick and rubbery.  I could barely eat more than a couple of bites of this.

Also: it was a bagel-sized piece of bread for nine bucks, which is gallingly expensive — though if you think of it as a charitable donation, it takes some of the sting away.

This is going to sound harsh, but everything was so bad I would have rather just flat-out donated money to charity without having to eat the food.