Unbeknownst to the hungover hipsters who line up at College Street diners for their weekend brunch, one of the best breakfast joints in the city is an Ethiopian restaurant just off Ossington. Lalibela, a popular restaurant at 869 Bloor Street West, serves a killer breakfast with coffee guaranteed to get you moving.
Breakfast is served from 10am at Lalibela, and most of the items are different than those served later in the day. One excellent dish is the firfir special (below left; $8), which is made from the spongy Ethiopian injera bread cooked with butter, hot peppers and yogurt. The dish gets its punch from berbere, a curry-like spice mixture.
Other breakfast dishes on the menu include foul, a mashed bean dish common across North Africa and the Middle East, and qunta firfir, a cube of dry meat that resembles jerky.
There are also some interesting drinks to sample. Our waitress, Rahel, chops up some fresh ginger for tea and serves it in a glass with a regular tea bag. After the meal is eaten, it's time for the Ethiopian coffee ceremony. Rahel brings out a metal ladle, where she roasts fresh coffee beans (shown below). The coffee is served in a clay pot and comes with smoking incense and an enormous basket of popcorn. Syrupy and potent, the coffee is guaranteed to jump start your day.
Lalibela is located at 869 Bloor Street West, with a second location at 1405 Danforth Ave. It's open 7 days a week, 10 am to 2 am.
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