Bears in Morocco Pt 3: Food

Happy day after Thanksgiving. 😛 Today is a day to be lazy and hang out with your family, picking at leftovers all day. When I was at home back in the states, I tried to convince my mom to make two turkeys so that we’d have Thanksgiving leftovers for longer. It didn’t work. -_-

Anyway, what’s better than food? More food! So, click “continue reading” to see some pictures of what we ate in Morocco! This is part 3 of Bears in Morocco. You can find part one here and part two here.

Cheers!
Cheers!

I posted the pic above before, in the Essaouira post. Morocco is a Muslim country and so alcoholic drinks are not common in restaurants. This was fine by us, but it was nice to have a cocktail at the Taros Cafe. Cheers to the food post!

A quick note: I hadn’t eaten much Moroccan food before, just a bit here and there, so I’m just going to do a quick overview of the dishes we ate.
As I understand it (correct me if I’m wrong) a tagine (or tajine) refers to a meal cooked in a specific kind of earthenware pot, seen below.

Tajines, picture by Arnaud 25, Wiki Commons

We usually had our tajines served with a side of bread, rice, or couscous.

Couscous as a meal, refers to the dish where the stew is served on top of a pile of couscous.
Tangia  is similar to tagines in that it is named after the vessel it is cooked in. The dishes cooked in a tangia are slow cooked for hours, making the meat inside very tender.

Ok, here we go:

Chez Yassine – Fish Tagine

Fish Tagine at Chez Yassine

Chez Yassine was such a great find! It was recommended to us by the girl running our riad. She said she eats there everyday. Chez Yassine is a narrow, tall, restaurant in the heart of the medina. Mr Bear and I climbed all the way to the top and had our lunch on the terrace (we like terraces).  Our meal was about 40 dirham I think. As you can see from the picture above, it was very spicy! I couldn’t even finish those little chilis!  It is a tasty, simple place, perfect for lunch and guess what? It’s only open for lunch – so go!

Le Sirocco – Sardine Tagine
I have to admit, Mr Bear and I kinda blew it on this one. We were told that there was a restaurant that has great live music at night, and we planned to go that evening. Instead we got mixed up and went there for lunch. I think we were the only people there, and no music. Luckily, the food was AMAZING.

Sardine Tagine – Le Sirocco

I ordered a sardine tagine because, why not? 😛 When it came to the table bubbling, and looking and smelling like it did, I was sure I made the right choice. It was so good I kept burning my mouth –  I couldn’t wait for it to cool down! The tomatoes, preserved lemons, sardine…everything was so aromatic and delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I wanted to go hug the cooks, it was so good. 😛 So I can only imagine that this would be even more amazing at night with live music. Definitely worth a visit.

Chez Brahim – Couscous Royale and Couscous with Merguez
Back in Marrakech, Mr Bear and I knew to steer clear of the touristy street food stands in Djemaa el Fna. Instead we went to Chez Brahim, in the medina, to have some couscous. This time, we made it in time for the live music. 🙂 The restaurant had a really nice atmosphere, lots of people and two musicians. We also found the bonus that if you know where you are going, people are less likely to try to bother you to go to their restaurants.

Couscous
Merguez Couscous

Our dinner was pleasant. Waiters were attentive and food was good. I ordered a couscous with merguez, spicy north african sausages similar to mexican chorizo, but less spicy.  Mr Bear ordered a couscous royale (sorry not sorry) which had merguez, and a whole lot of other meats:

Couscous Royale
Couscous Royale

Somewhere in Djemaa el Fna – Tangia
Ok so, sorry I don’t remember the name of this place. But it’s the one I mentioned in this post remember? Delicious smoothies in a million flavors? Well, aside from smoothies Mr Bear and I enjoyed some delicious tangia here. I don’t even know what kind of meat it was. Lamb? Beef? Who knows, it was good. Really greasy, but good. My lips were coated in fat after this meal, and I kinda had a stomachache, but I’d do it again!

Tangia

See all that fat? Yep. But that meat was falling off the bone tender. And though I don’t remember the price, I think it was a good deal.

Places mentioned in this post:
Chez Yassine
Rue Zayan, Essaouira
Open only for lunch

Le Sirocco
Rue Ibn Rochd, Essaouira
Open 11-2:30, 6:30 – 11

Chez Brahim
(I’m getting different addresses for this place, as navigating the medina is hard. Best to ask someone at your riad or hotel for directions).

So there you go, not everything we ate in Morocco, but the highlights of it for me. Happy travels and happy eating!

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