One of the places I wish I visited while living in France was Northern Africa. For years the French people have taken their vacations in places like Tunisia and Morocco due to the proximity and the affordability. Although I’ve never taken one of these trips, I have recently found my plate filled with Mediterranean cuisine (which I am grouping as Moroccan, Greek, Arabic and Middle Eastern). I am not new to Mediterranean cuisine; in high school our friends used to meet at Arpeggios (a Mediterranean BYOB) sometimes simply for the pita and humus, and in college I almost always ordered the lamb souvlakia from Daves Taverna (the go to Grille), dipping my fries in the excess tzatziki sauce that dipped from the sandwich. Here in Hoboken, I found Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant, a very affordable and delicious place where you can fill a plate with an assortment of Baklava, Tabbouleh and stuffed grape seed leaves among other things. So although this cuisine isn’t a new discovery, I am just realizing how much I prefer it, especially after this weekend’s trip to Williamsburg and the realization that I had eaten a ton of food and didn’t feel the need to unbutton my pants.
Café Mogador, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is not only adorably cute in its décor (we sat in a greenhouse type room with colorful throw pillows and neat light fixtures), but the food is beautiful as well. For our meal this weekend we ordered humus and matbucha to start. Matbucha, a cooked tomato and roasted bell pepper salad, was new for me and I found it nicely complemented the humus. For my meal I got the grilled merguez with basmati rice and veggies. It was served with a tzatziki sauce, brining me back to college, and an Arabic salad – extremely simple yet perfectly balanced with refreshing herbs and a tangy lemon vinaigrette. We ate a lot, and yet, as I find with this food, I didn’t have that stuffed feeling at the end. Café Mogador is also located in Manhattan’s East Village and I recommend it for those who enjoy this type of cuisine.
Honestly, Morocco wasn’t a place on my radar for travel before living in France, but since my recent food experiences I must say that it has jumped to a high-ranking on “places to go” to do list.
Have you been to Morocco, Tunisia, or any middle Eastern or Mediterranean countries? Do you enjoy the food?