When you travel down Kerr Street in Oakville, there is a humble restaurant named Maro’s Bistro. If you haven’t been yet, put it on your must-visit list for a meal. Apparently foodies will drive from up to an hour away just to eat here.
In fact when I came here dinner and saw owner, Maro Al Chamaa busy working the floor and behind the counter, I recalled being here many years ago when his business was focused on take-out pitas and burritos. Don’t worry, there are still burritos on the menu, but the selection is much greater.
It’s a modern, welcoming environment that reflects Maro’s heritage at the same time. On one wall there are pictures of famous Lebanese signers with lines from songs that have special meaning to him.
Everything on the menu is a generous portion (colourfully and cleverly plated) and extremely reasonable. One of his signature/popular dishes is Bella and the Beast; it’s a cauliflower meal in itself. Maro’s Bistro is also known for the creamy hummus, lightly spiced fish Mediterranean Pearl dish, and mouthwatering blends of flavours of Lunch in Beirut and Memories of Persia.
While waiting for a table I asked one diner what one of their table mates had just finished eating; he said it was a rice bowl (and pretty big, too).
It comes in a child-sized potion, which was perfect so I ordered that for my two companions.
I had the Marhaba: fried Croquette stuffed with minced beef, onion and sauteed pine nuts, which was served with Persian salad. It was fun putting the meal together myself on the plate from each individual jar the food was served in.
Maro was born in Lebanon, but proudly became a Canadian citizen in 2016. Above the back counter on the wall there’s a quote from him: “The food is soon gone, but the memories last forever. Don’t just go out to eat, come home for dinner.”
His passion for creating a welcoming community and serving “plates that create memories” seems to be working, judging by the multitudes of people that frequent the establishment.
Be sure to finish your meal with, at minimum, the Turkish coffee. If I wasn’t so full I would have definitely wanted Baklava. Next time.
135 Kerr St, Oakville, ON
by Becky Dumais