Yesterday, some friends and I met for breakfast/brunch at a fantastic restaurant specializing in Middle Eastern food called Paramount. It's located in Mississauga and serves everything from shawarma to baklava. From the outside you might miss it and drive by but, once you enter you're surrounded by a dazzling display of fruit drinks, baked savories and mouthwatering pastries. The entire two hours we were there, not a table was vacant with families coming in for a meal as well as a steady stream of people doing take-out.
I ordered tea and a cheese mana'ish - a Lebanese flat bread topped with cheese that came piping hot out of the oven. There are many varieties of this popular menu item including zaatar (a thyme, sumac, sesame seed and olive oil mixture), spinach, sausage, tomato and egg.
My friends tried a wide sampling of pastries including maamoul (date-filled cookies), nammoura (a semolina and coconut sweet) and baklava filled with cheese. The ingredients used in Middle Eastern baking are not expansive but come in an astounding array of variations. For example, baklava comes as bourma, balouria and kol wa shukr to name a few. There is a wide use of nuts, phyllo, honey, semolina and dates as well as knafi (Lebanese pastry), cream and cheese.
In addition to the amazing pastries, Paramount also serves fresh fruit drinks, kabobs, shawarma, hummus, baba ghanoush, Middle Eastern ice cream, nuts, dried fruit, coffee and pita bread. It is definitely a place to visit especially if you want authentic Lebanese cuisine in a comfortable, friendly setting.