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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What The Critic Saw: Dar Salam

Posted by Chris Onstad on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Last week's review of Dar Salam found yours truly enjoying the comforts of home-away-from-home as a central theme. Not my home, and not my comfort food, but it was somebody's version of both, and the soul put into them communicated something genuine. I'll take genuine over $500 leather seats and a sommelier who knows a thing or two about Saint-Emilion any day.

I didn't mention the backstory of Dar Salam, which would have overshadowed the food itself (which is quite good). You can piece it together through the news links on their site, but its latest turn can be found here. That's a rather poignant bit about American veterans who helped the Iraqi family rebuild their kitchen after a fire wiped it out this summer. There's a message in there somewhere about the inner nature of man, but I just can't seem to find it.

It will be sunny this week. Enjoy lunch on their front patio, and watch the steady stream of Northeast Alberta's would-be Bob Geldofs and Joanna Newsoms amble past.

I put a ridiculous amount of stock in how well I liked this tasty little side salad, but in the end felt it warranted.
  • I put a ridiculous amount of stock in how well I liked this tasty little side salad, but in the end felt it warranted.

The four staples, on a mezze plate that reads almost like a heraldic shield.
  • The four staples, on a mezze plate that reads almost like a heraldic shield.

Torus-shaped falafel: mathematically proven to have more fried area.
  • Torus-shaped falafel: mathematically proven to have more fried area.

Fresh pistachios, crunchy phyllo, rich with honey. A great baklava.
  • Fresh pistachios, crunchy phyllo, rich with honey. A great baklava.

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