Amo’s Restaurant in the Beach serving up Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavours

Amo's Restaurant on Queen Street East offers breakfasts, dinners and a wide variety of milkshakes and smoothies. Photo by Erin Horrocks-Pope.

By ERIN HORROCKS-POPE

Amo’s Restaurant, named after the Italian word for love, “amore,” opened its doors in February in the Beach. It’s perfectly situated on Queen Street East, right across from Kew Gardens and the Beaches Public Library.

The owner and chef, Abe Halder, moved to the Beach from Bangladesh 12 years ago. He studied culinary arts at George Brown College in anticipation of opening his own restaurant and is thrilled to have done so in the community he loves.

“It’s a beautiful area, a very beautiful neighbourhood, and beautiful people are here,” said Halder. “I love being close to the beach; we see many people out here now that the weather is warm, which is nice.”

This is Halder’s first restaurant, and based on its success, he is already in the process of opening two new Amo’s locations: one in Bayview Village and the other in Greektown.

“I have always loved cooking,” Halder told Beach Metro Community News. “I have some other businesses, but I’m very happy to have a restaurant. I know that in this city, restaurants always have the potential to do well, and we’ve been doing really well.”

Gabriela Camara, the restaurant manager, is an integral part of Amo’s success. She handles customer service, orders, marketing, and more, creating a welcoming atmosphere that keeps customers coming back, despite a delay in obtaining their liquor licence.

According to Halder, their customers always leave happy, well-fed, and eager to return, thanks to Camara.

Although Halder missed the cut-off for applying for curbside patios as part of the CafeTO program this year, he is planning a sidewalk patio to serve customers outdoors. The restaurant also features a horizontal rolling window that opens up the interior, an excellent feature for hot summer days when people want to experience the outdoors without facing the sun.

Halder said he looks forward to expanding his seasonal patio to the curb for next season.

Amo’s menu, developed in partnership with head chef Nahid Islam, features a blend of Italian and Mediterranean flavours. Islam, originally from Italy, has worked in various Italian eateries since moving to Toronto.

The breakfast menu at Amo’s is a local favourite, particularly the Middle Eastern Latka Benedict and the California Latka Benedict. Halder described these dishes as a fusion of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours with a gluten-free twist. Instead of the classic English muffin base, the poached eggs and dressings are served over crispy baked and deep-fried potatoes.

California Latka Benedict from Amo’s Restauramt’s breakfast menu features eggs poached to preference, smoked salmon, fresh tomatoes, avocados, crispy onions, and goats cheese with hollandaise served over crispy latka hash browns. Photo submitted by Amo’s Restaurant.

Breakfast is served daily from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekends and until 3 p.m. on weekdays. The dinner menu, available from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, features popular dishes like the Rib Eye Steak Dinner and Pistachio Crusted Salmon. Halder’s personal favourite is the Halibut with White Wine Lobster Corn Sauce.

Amo’s also prides itself on having a great selection of gluten-free options with the ability to substitute the menu’s latkas, bagels, wraps, bread, and pasta.

The restaurant also offers a diverse assortment of unique non-alcoholic beverages, from Oreo Cheesecake Milkshakes to Watermelon Cucumber Smoothies, all made in-house with fresh ingredients.

Halder wanted to offer a wide variety of non-alcoholic and fun beverages, knowing that there are many kids in the neighbourhood and people who enjoy something other than standard juice or soda.

“We wanted to have a lot of options for smoothies and milkshakes because a lot of places, if you go and if they have a milkshake on the menu, it’s just a chocolate milkshake or a strawberry milkshake,” said Halder. “We want to be the place where people want to get a cool drink on a hot day, and so many people love to have smoothies with their breakfasts, so it’s been perfect.”

All smoothies and milkshakes at Amo’s are 25 per cent off on Fridays, making it a great spot to drop into before or after supper as customers welcome the weekend ahead.

All of the restaurant’s ingredients are picked up or delivered every morning, so customers can be happy knowing they’re only eating the freshest ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible.

Looking ahead to summer, the neighbourhood’s busiest season, Halder said is looking forward to the Beaches International Jazz Festival’s StreetFest along Queen Street East on July 25, 26 and 27.

“I’m so excited about the Jazz Festival, and I have already been planning and having ideas about having a booth outside with takeaway finger foods and fresh drinks because we do that really well,” said Halder.

Amo’s also offers catering services with a diverse menu ranging from breakfast platters to family pasta nights and sandwich platters.

For Beach Metro Community News readers, Amo’s is extending its June Catering Promotion of 10 per cent off catering and free delivery within five kilometres, until the end of July.

You can visit Amo’s Restaurant in person at 2014 Queen St. E. or online at https://theamos.ca/


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