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The Quintessential Snack: Al-Taib

Posted by Kim / May 28, 2008

20080528_altaib2.jpgI feel a little silly writing about Al-Taib, as this Lebanese fast food place is a staple among all poor (and rich) students, night owls staggering their way home after the bar and pretty much any person who has ever visited the downtown core.

If you are feeling slightly embarrassed now, it’s probably because you haven’t yet tried Al-Taib’s offering, and so, this post is for you.

20080528_altaib4.jpgI almost always order the same thing. While they are very well-known for their pizza slices, I have to say I am not overly impressed; they’re fairly decent, but nothing spectacular.
20080528_altaib7.jpgTheir hot and cold salad bar never strikes me as looking very fresh or recently prepared. So, I stick with the manakish, which Al-Taib does remarkably well and for wonderfully cheap.

Manakish consists of thin dough, rounded like a pizza, which comes with a variety of toppings. The most popular seems to be the half and half, or the za’atar (thyme) and Akkawi cheese, or just cheese, or just the za’atar. At Al-Taib, this usually becomes just the platform for the toppings, which you get to pick yourself; choose from tomatoes, mint leaves, onions, pickled turnip, peppers, olives and lettuce. 20080528_altaib5.jpgI usually go for all-dressed, and all these fresh ingredients get rolled up in this toasted, crispy pizza-like dough that has been sprinkled with olive oil, thyme, sesame seeds and cheese. Fast, easy, cheap, and most importantly, absolutely delicious. Every time I’m downtown, I make sure to pick up a few of these rollups.

2125 Guy
2002 Mackay



Stefan / May 28, 2008 at 07:57 pm
Note that there is also an Al Taib in McGill's Shatner building basement (Gerts) on McTavish...though I'm not sure whether it lives up to two described above...
kim / May 29, 2008 at 09:45 am
This stuff is made for the university student - I'm not surprised they're invading all campuses!

Thanks for pointing that out, Stefan.
Jon / May 29, 2008 at 10:00 am
My favourite is to get an all-dressed Za'atar with two falafels and tahini (or what they call 'tahina') sauce. It's only 50 cents extra.
Oh, and there is a secret location on Guy street just BELOW sainte-catherine that never has a line up. I almost never go to the one above de maisonneuve anymore, it's always busy (and the people are much nicer at the lower Guy one).
Katy / September 18, 2008 at 11:19 pm
Al-Taib has the freshest food around. You can actually see the guys taking out the manakishes from the oven! The all dressed za'atars are so delicious. And how can you beat that price?! They have great salads and don't get me started on their pizzas. So good! Everyone has to taste their falafels.
Their newest location on Guy below St-Catherine is the place to go because it's much quieter than their main lines, no stress. I think the building they're in used to be a castle, which is pretty cool. It's a chill vibe.
Anytime I'm hungry I can count on Al-Taib to satisfy my belly.
golu dolls / February 14, 2019 at 04:40 am
kanchipuram sarees / February 14, 2019 at 04:41 am
kanchipuram sarees / February 14, 2019 at 04:41 am
herbal powder / February 14, 2019 at 04:41 am

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