I am not as adventurous food wise as my fiancé is, but definitely willing to give it a try. I embraced my love for the movie Casablanca and channeled my inner Ingrid Bergman as we set off to The Western Kingdom of Morocco. For those geographically disinclined, the country of Morocco is located on the northwestern tip of Africa, bordered by both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic. Morocco is a vibrant county and each city is distinctive in character, providing a steady mix of culture, ancient traditions, and modern insight. Although Casablanca is a well known tourist spot, the city of Marrakesh is most popular and what Winston Churchill referred to as "simply the nicest place on Earth to spend an afternoon." And that is just what we did.
We sat at a small table for two and my fiancé ordered the mint tea, iced. Normally, this tea is served hot and it is considered the national drink in Morocco. But with the heat of the day, iced was the only way to go. I chose to re-hydrate with water and the server kept each of our glasses filled. Our server brought us a small, crusty bread with butter. It was warm and the perfect accompaniment to the soup my fiancé ordered—the Harira Soup. It is a hearty soup laden with tomatoes, lentils, and beef. I'm not a soup fan, but had to try it because it smelled amazing. And the flavors didn't disappoint, it was delicious.
For the entree, I ordered another national specialty, couscous. The dish was called Couscous M'Rouzia Fassi, which the server highly recommended. It's made with braised beef and served with raisins, balsamic vinegar, honey, sesame seeds, and half a hard boiled egg. The only way to describe the first taste is ah-maze-ing! The sweetness of the raisins and honey balanced with the neutralness of the couscous and tangy balsamic vinegar. The beef was tender and broke apart easily with my fork. Couscous is made with semolina wheat and essentially a pasta, a staple in Moroccan cuisine. I wanted desperately to finish it, but it wasn't to be. The waiter was right to warn me on how filling couscous is! My fiancé ordered the shish-kabob, a grilled tenderloin of beef and vegetables that was served beautifully on top of yellow rice. He was gracious enough to give me a bite—the tenderloin was perfectly cooked and rich in flavor. No wonder I only got one taste!
After loading myself up with couscous, I realized I had no room for dessert. Which was a shame, because they had bastilla (also known as Ktefa)—crispy leaves of pastry topped with vanilla cream and sprinkled with cinnamon, powdered sugar, and toasted almonds. And for those foodies who like just a little more cuisine knowledge, the bastilla is traditionally made with chicken as an entree in Morocco—the American equivalent to the chicken pot pie. This is also on the menu as an appetizer. There are definitely many authentic Moroccan dishes to try. I do highly recommend stepping out of your food comfort zone like I did by venturing to Restaurant Marrakesh.
Additionally, Disney Passholders like us get a 10% discount! So, with the International Food & Wine Festival is going on, we used that savings to grab a dessert in Ireland (after walking off some of that meal around the park). My fiancé and I shared the warm chocolate pudding made with Irish cream liqueur. The pudding was chocolatey dense with the texture of a moist cake. It was pure chocolate heaven with every bite. A perfect ending to our day at Epcot.