I feel like a broken record, but the offerings at the kiosks outside of the Morocco pavilion during Food & Wine and Flower & Garden don’t live up to the items you will find in Restaurant Marrakesh, Tangierine Cafe, or even Spice Road Table. I will say, however, that Taste of Marrakesh during Flower & Garden does an overall better job with its offerings than Food & Wine.
One of this year’s new items is the Falafel Pocket ($5.00), which features a Cucumber Tomato Salad and Tahini Sauce. The “pocket” concept isn’t new in these Festival settings, as Food & Wine sees a Kefta Pocket a the menu, as well as the Baklava. This year, the Baklava takes the place of 2013/2014’s delicious Baghrir.
While its been a while since I’ve ordered the falafel at Tangierine Cafe or at Restaurant Marrakesh, this reminded me of what is found in those restaurants. There were two large falafel tucked into the pita, which was topped with diced tomato, cucumber, and sauce. Underneath the falafel, however, was dry pita. With the vegetables on top, it made it a bit messy to eat.
The falafel itself was well-prepared, with a nicely browned, crisp crust and soft yet slightly crumbly cooked exterior. The parsley flavor was prominent as well.
The Harissa Chicken Kebab ($5.00) is served with a Sweet Couscous Salad. Last year, I wasn’t too impressed with the dish, so I wasn’t interested in ordering it again. The chicken was lacking flavor, was served nearly chilled, and dry.
The couscous was similar, if not the same, as what’s served at Tangierine Cafe, where you can order it as a side.
Below is the Cashew Baklava from the Pastry Counter inside of Tangierine Cafe, where you can also find Walnut Baklava and Pistachio Baklava. Last I was there, it was around the same price for a larger portion than the kiosk. But if you’re already ordering and convenience is important, it might be worth it for you to order the Pistachio Baklava ($3.00) from the kiosk.
Casa Beer is a decent lager, but it’s not something I’d necessarily feel the need to order at Taste of Marrakesh. I’d rather spend $8 on a larger beer in Japan. When I can get so many imports locally, and the fact I’m not big on giving beer reviews, I tend to just pick up a full bottle to try for $2-3 at the store.
While I’m not crazy about Taste of Marrakesh kiosk – despite my love for the actual restaurants at the pavilion – I will say it’s a decent and tame introduction for those who might not be as apt to dine in the other establishments. That being said, I think the Falafel Pocket was okay but could use some tweaks. Last year’s Harissa Chicken Kebab could have been better, which kept me from revisiting it this year. If you’ve had a better experience, I’d love to know! As for the Baklava, I tend to skip it due to its relatively small portion in comparison to what I can get yards away, but it’s still I treat I very much enjoy.
Have you stopped by Taste of Marrakesh? What is your favorite item?