Limon Beaches is open for takeout and delivery. Masks are mandatory and hand sanitizer is at the counter.
Limon is a Middle Eastern restaurant that serves up falafel, hummus and pita Israeli-style.
Nestled on Queen Street East in the Beaches, the space features a lot of exposed brick, sleek black benches running along the course of the dining room, and Persian rugs laid on the floor.
There's also plenty of artwork hung on the wall by the same local artist who painted the eye-catching storefront.
Brothers, Benjamin and Jonathan Mishaev opened the spot when their family-run Mediterranean restaurant, The Elm Tree closed its doors due to the pandemic.
They bounced back fast, opening this spot that features Mediterranean-style cooking with a heavy focus on Israeli cuisine. Having grown up in Tel Aviv and spending plenty of time in their family restaurant, serving good Israeli food is just second nature for the two brothers.
The pair make a good team with Jonathan offering his exceptional service and wine knowledge to their customers while Benjamin runs the show in the back having been formally trained as a chef at the Culinary Institute of America in New York.
After working at various restaurants in Manhattan, he cooks up a selection of interesting flavours at Limon.
The menu features a wide variety of salatim to start. Although the word can be translated from Hebrew to "salad", the selection includes a lot more than a leafy green. More broadly, it can be defined as dishes that are meant to be eaten with others at the beginning of the meal.
The shareable starters include a number of dips like a silky smooth Labne yogurt (small: $6, large: $9) and Babaganoush prepared with eggplant (small: $6, large: $9) and of course, the Middle Eastern staple, chickpea Hummus (small: $6, large: $9).
Vegetarian dishes dominate the menu with the Fried Cauliflower ($13) as one of the most popular main dishes. breaded cauliflower comes on a bed of labne with pickled radish, red onion, scallion, sumac, tomato and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Another meat-free, and colourful option thanks to the pickled radish, is the Falafel which can be served on a plate (eight pieces: $8, 12 pieces: $11) or wrapped in a warm pita surrounded by hummus and Israeli salad ($8).
Alongside the pita, they serve up a Chicken Schnitzel ($12) on a crusty baguette.
Dressed with the slightly tangy, slightly spicy amba aoili, coleslaw, tahini, tomato and zhug, a hot sauce originating from Yemen for some added spice, the sandwich hits the spot.
A selection of a la carte items on the menu makes it easy to add on some more substantial shareables to your meal including the massive chicken and beef skewers (chicken: $8, beef: $9). They don't skimp out when cutting the chunks of meat with each one seemingly bigger than the next.
I'm told the Lamb Kefta ($4 per piece) is up there with the Fried Cauliflower in terms of popularity. It's easy to tell why with juices flowing out of the sizeable patties on the first cut through the extremely tender meat.
The desserts definitely shouldn't be overlooked, so make sure to save some room.
The Goat Milk Malabi ($5) offers up some unique and possibly acquired, tastes with a faint touch of rose mixed in with the ultra-creamy Israeli milk pudding and topped with plenty of fresh fruit, jam drizzle and crushed pistachios.
Along with a lengthy wine list, they serve up coffees and teas with the most notable of which being the Halva Latte ($4.40) which is infused with the traditional Middle Eastern fudge-like dessert. With halva translating to "sweetness" in Arabic, it offers up a balance of sweet and nutty.
The bright blue storefront helps Limon stand out among a number of other restaurants and stores in the Beaches, drawing people in and quickly hooking them with killer Middle Eastern flavours.