THE EXOTIC RESTAURANT MARRAKESH
The first thing to know about my family is that when in Walt Disney World we gravitate to old favorites. As a Concierge Vacation Architect, I always aim to try new restaurants on each trip. I prefer not to recommend something I haven’t tried myself.
I’ve never had a client ask for a reservation for Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion, nor had I ever eaten there. So, it was completely by chance that we ended up there. It was during Food & Wine Festival and we had planned to just eat around the “World” at the different food booths. We found ourselves wandering around Morocco, one of my favorite countries, looking at jewelry and exotic products from the shops. We happened to walk by Restaurant Marrakesh. There were two very friendly Cast Members at the doorway. Seeing how hot we were (it was SWELTERING that day) they offered us a respite in their lobby. The smells were wonderful. We asked if, perhaps, they could take us without a reservation. They laughed and said,” Absolutely”.
We were let into the beautiful restaurant to a table right beside an area with a dance floor and an area for a musician to play. Immediately, two servers came to our table and went over the substantial list of drinks. We had the Marrakesh Express and the Sahara Splash, while our daughters had Shirley Temples. The Marrakesh Express was yummy with two kinds of rum along with pineapple juice and orange juice. It was just a bit too strong for me but was immediately replaced once I mentioned this to our server. The Sahara Splash, basically Russian Vodka with cranberry juice was perfectly mixed and refreshing. The waiters were so friendly. We told them we’d like to spend a little time with the menu and then would have some questions as we were not familiar with Moroccan food. They managed to be readily available without being obtrusive while we studied the large menu.
We were on Disney’s Deluxe Dining Plan, so we were able to get appetizers. We decided to each get a different one and share for a broad variety. The server insisted that the two appetizers on the menu that were advertised as ‘for two’ guests to share only counted as 1 Credit on the Deluxe Plan. Ok, we thought, we are going to be so full! We ordered the sampler for two, (beef brewat rolls, chicken Bastilla and a Jasmina salad), Goat cheese with crispy bread, and a Taste of Moroccan Salads (green pepper & tomato, marinated olives, carrots, and potatoes and a cucumber salad).
Once the appetizers arrived, we finally decided on our entrees. After we ordered the entrees we dug into the appetizers. It all smelled so wonderful. The beef brewart was sort of like a large taquito, deep fried with a savory beef inside. The chicken Bastilla looked like a hot pocket! The chicken lightly spiced was delicious. Both were covered with a dusting of powdered sugar and cinnamon. The Jasmine salad of lettuce, olives, feta, diced tomatoes and green peppers was light and creamy with a refreshing dressing. None of us were very impressed with the trio of salads. They were good but seemed like typical backyard picnic food when we were going for exotic. The goat cheese with the crispy bread was my favorite. Deep fried triangle shaped dough was displayed standing up dipped into a goat cheese and olive mixture. It was so good I could have eaten it all myself.
At this point the musician came out and played Middle Eastern music. Perfectly timed, the entrees arrived. Both my daughter and I opted for beef Shish Kebab. The beef was tender and cooked to our liking and paired with a yellow rice that was very tasty. My husband raved about his lamb shank that was served with vegetables and yellow rice. Finally, my other daughter (the picky one) did not care for her Meshoui style braised beef served with carrots and mashed garlic. But no worries, the rest of us loved it. Again, with the impeccable service our glasses were never empty. The servers “forced” us into dessert and while waiting we were treated to a belly dancer that was completely appropriate for kids.
Dessert was delicious with warm beignets with sweet cream and a dessert Bastilla with was thin, crispy pastry filled with vanilla cream and sprinkled with almonds. This turned out to be the best dessert of the trip.
So, from this rigid schedule traveler, every once and awhile, its nice to get off the beaten path and stop to smell the cinnamon.
I would love to help you plan a trip including this and many other enjoyable eateries. Please email or call me to discuss you next vacation!
Wishes Family Travel
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