Sunday, February 04, 2007

A True Belly Dance

Many Philly BYO restaurants are of the Italian, Meditteranean, or neo-American cuisine. But if you are looking for something with a little twist, take the advice put forth in the 70's by Crosby, Stills & Nash: take a ride on the Marrakesh Express.

Marrakesh is an experience from the moment you open the door, partly because you can't open the door, you must ring the bell first. You are then greeted by a brooding gentleman in a traditional tunic, who my fiance described as "The Morrocan Elvis" (although I must qualify this statement, as he has an uncanny ability to relate just about anyone back to the King).

Once through, Elvis leads you to your banquette with plush pillowed seats and low gold engraved tables. My personal experience was with a large group - about 12 people - so we were given a private room upstairs. Once we had our hands properly cleaned and bathroom towels protecting our clothes (no joke - napkins are no match for this hands-on meal), we each grabbed a heaping helping of nan-style bread from a snake charmer woven basket, and ate and ate and ate, seven fabulous courses of fresh, authentic Morrocan cuisine.
There's no menu at Marrakesh, although a few of the courses do offer a choice between spicy or non, or beef or veal. Please don't go with picky eaters - while all the courses are simple, consisting mainly of vegetables, meat, and cous-cous, there's no substitutions and it is somewhat unclear exactly what else is in the mix. But that's part of the fun! And just when you think you couldn't possibly take another bite, they round out the meal with fruit, baklava, and mint tea.
Marrakesh is ideal for a large party and for people who want a memorable experience, not just a meal. And unlike many BYOs, they accept reservations. What they don't accept is credit cards, so come with cash. As you may imagine, finishing off seven courses takes some time, so don't make this a pre-theater dinner or plan on a grabbing a quick bite here. It's an event, which on weekends even includes belly dancers for table-side entertainment. So when you have the time and want a little something extraordinary, ring the bell at Marrakesh.

Marrakesh, 517 Leithgow Street, 215.925.5929

1 comment:

missnewphilaware said...

Hey there! I absolutely lvoe your blog and I just started my own. I added your link b/c my blog is going to be all about the Philly, Delaware, and south jersey area. You don't have to put my link up anywhere if you don't want to - I just wanted to let you know that I linked you because you kick ass :) Keep bloggin!

Miss New Philaware