So we drove down to
Morrocans are a clean bunch - so before your food is served the you hold out your hands over a silver basin and Maurit's brother pours warm water over them for you from a silver kettle. You dry your hands with a fluffy white towel that serves as your serviet during the meal; handy, because the meal is largely eaten with your fingers. All the above delights, plus, Fridays & Saturday evenings are accented by live belly dancing.
Alternately, two young women shimmied and shook for our dining entertainment. We had the ‘Royal Dinner’; each guest choosing an individual entrée which is served after several courses of Moroccan food. For starters, iced or hot mint tea is served with fragrant hot lentil soup. Next is 'salad' - cold spiced veggies such as stewed carrots & spicy spinach. That is followed by Pastilla. I was surprised Don didn’t remember the Pastilla, but I think on his last visit the pastilla was wolfed down so quickly he didn't form a memory of it. Pastilla is layers of phillo dough, sprinkled with powdered sugar. At Casablanca the Pastillas are all etched with a heart of drizzled honey. Inside the delicate hot pastry is a delicioius mix of eggs, chicken and almonds. Sounds strange perhaps but it is amazingly yummy.
Next the main dishes are served. Don chose Moroccan spicy meatballs. I skipped my usual favorite, rabbit, choosing instead to have the chicken (Cornish hen) with honey sauce, sesame seed & prunes. Like all the other dishes, the 'Chicken with Prunes and Spices' tastes far more delictible than it may sound.
When last we ate at Casablanca, Rose, Don's young daughter was with us. The girl can be quite a fussy eater. She put up her nose at the first course, the lentil soup. She did not even want to try sipping it straight out of her small bowl. “I want a spoon!” she demanded, and she was given one. Then she sniffed the soup as if it might be poisoned. Hesitantly she touched her tongue to the liquid on the spoon. OMYGAWDITSGOOD! She gulped down her soup and when the salad came Rose dug right in. From that moment on the meal was competitive eating and for once, I lost! I have never before or since seen Rose eat so much or so eagerly. Don too, come to that.
A bit down the bench I sat on was a family of five who chatted in Spanish. When not enjoying stuffing bills into the dancer’s belts, Don commented to them, in Spanish which he learned in the Peace Corps. By the meal’s end our groups merged a bit, enjoyin a chat. The father is an American whose father is from Central America (sound familiar?) and his wife - four months pregnant - is a lovely lady from
Then the to my delight, the owner Maurit came in! I hardly recognized him at first, it's been such a long time. He sat with us for a bit to chat. What a nice guy – he always makes his guests feel like you’re the most special people to ever walk through his doors. No wonder I'm so fond of dinner at the Casablaca.