Reflections on Stripmall Eating

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Name: Little Marakesh
Location: 1825 Limekiln Pike, Dresher.
Personnel: Jesse, Me
What We Ate: Salad Platter (Carrot Salad, Eggplant, Hummus, Tomato, Cucumber and Peppers), Pita Triangles, Bastilla, Chicken Tagine, Lamb Kabobs, Couscous, Baklava, Mint Tea
Condiments: None
Bill Total: $53
Observations: On Little Marakesh's website there are goofily smiling servers wearing fezzes and bejeweled belly dancers peering dreamily out of veils but this Dresher restaurant is way less Epcot in person. As Jesse noted, LM was one of the few stripmall spaces we've seen that has actually been transformed into a charming, cozy and even alluring atmosphere. Sure, there's a little gift shop in the back selling tagines, tea sets and pottery, and menu of hookahs for smoking, which the two gossiping teenage girls across the room seemed to enjoy. But these are just touristy distractions from the food, which is authentic and transporting in its own right. It's worth visiting on the weekends to partake in a multicourse feast, beginning with a salad platter of sweet carrots, smoky charred eggplant and velvety hummus. The bastilla, phyllo pastry layered with cinnamon, shredded chicken, fluffy bits of egg and almonds, was delicious but it was the camel stenciled in cinnamon on top that really left me awestruck. Next is the Berber tagine: olives, preserved lemon, onions and chicken stewed in a clay pot until the meat falls off the bone. Then there are ground lamb kabobs, flavored with the hot chile kiss of harrissa, and sumptuous couscous, laden with sweet caramelized onions, plump raisins and chickpeas. In traditional Moroccan style you are expected to eat with your hands—the server will douse you in hot water at the beginning of the meal—but a plate of forks is also discreetly provided, no questions asked, for those that do not want to dive headlong into soupy tagine with their bare digits. After all, no matter how much hookah you've smoked, you're still in Dresher.

1 comment:

Stelle Sheller said...

Sounds really great. Is it BYOB?