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Canadian steak houses courting Muslim diners with halal options
by Andrea Chiu
At Barberian's Steak House in Toronto, the Canada Prime steaks are butchered and aged in-house. Hungry beef lovers can tuck into a rib steak or prime rib cooked just the way they like it – and that includes Muslim diners, because for the past year the 58-year-old restaurant has catered to customers looking for a halal 24-ounce porterhouse.
The halal steaks are available for the same price as their non-halal counterparts, said Bob Bermann, the restaurant's projects manager, who added: "Now suppliers are providing larger primary cuts of halal meat, so we are doing the aging and butchering ourselves."
There were more than a million Muslims in Canada in 2011, according to the National Household Survey, double the number of the 2001 survey. That growing population has meant good things for our culinary landscape, as the cuisine of such countries as Turkey, Lebanon and Iran has become increasingly available. More recently, non-Muslim restaurateurs have begun courting this burgeoning customer base, with even traditional establishments such as Barberian's adding halal items to their menus.
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