Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Dinner at Cafe Mogador

I feel honored to write the first food-related entry!

Yesterday, in the lovely stormy weather, I went to Cafe Mogador in the East Village. This was my second time going there and I remembered it being good so I was excited for some yummy Moroccan food.

The atmosphere was cozy inside. Not fancy at all, but clean and homey with candles on the tables and lights strung about the restaurant. It was pretty crowded especially for a Monday evening with terrible weather, but we had made reservations and were seated promptly.

I decided to order the merguez (a heavily spiced lamb sausage) combination plate which came with the sausage, hummus, salad, harissa and pita bread. Also, because the price was so nice at just $8.95 for my dinner; i decided to try a small pot of Moroccan tea, which was advertised as green tea with mint and sugar . Most everyone else I was dining with got some sort of tagine dish.

The one negative thing I have to say about this place is that service can be quite slow. The waiters are attentive, but the food just takes a while to come out. I would guess we were waiting 30-45 minutes for our dishes.

Anyways, back to the food. My merguez came out and it looked ... umm ... interesting. It was skinny and all coiled up. Several dining companions made crude jokes about it resembling certain body parts, etc. Hardy har har. I was just plain hungry so I dug in. The merguez was fabulous! Nicely complex with warm spices like cinnamon and cloves (maybe?). The hummus was creamy and soft with a pool of olive oil drizzled in the nucleus. The salad was fresh and simple. I think it was mainly cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, parsley, and a little shredded iceberg lettuce. The harissa was fair. Not spicy enough in my opinion but still added a nice zing to the little bundes of pita, sausage, hummus I constructed.

The tea was also just as it was advertised. It was light and not too sweet with fresh chopped mint floating in it. Sort of like a mojito but not alcoholic, not cold and no lime. hahahaha. so yeah, JUST like a mojito. Actually, I liked the tea so much that I tried to recreate it in my humble office cubicle. I used 1 teabag of green tea, 1 teabag of mint tea, and about half a teaspoon of sugar. Not too shabby but no snowglobe effect with the fresh mint.

Overall, a wonderful dining experience. Everyone seemed to love their various tagine dishes and the food was very affordably priced. I think it's a good standby restaurant with a lovely atmosphere and an addictive menu. Just don't be in a rush and enjoy the tea!

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