We continue from L’Art du Cuisine Francaise.
Mosaic Canteen returns to Morocco for its third year.
Each of the food items returns from last year with just the Kasbah Prestige White Wine making its debut.
Spiced Beef with Pine Nuts and Dried Cherries, Hummus and Pita Chips – $9
There’s just a mild spice to the beef spooned on top of the sweet cherries and cool hummus. It’s fun to dip the crispy pita chips into the layered dip and see what comes up.
Unfortunately, with just five chips served on the side, you’re going to be doing the majority of your consumption with a fork or spoon. It’s also a little awkward to try to dunk the chip far enough into the narrow cup to get much hummus. And for nine dollars, you’re paying Spice Road Table appetizer prices for a much smaller portion. I would sum this one up as being “pretty good,” but rough at this price point.
Mediterranean Flatbread with Zaatar, Olive Oil Artichoke, Olives, Mozzarella and Feta Cheese – $9
This is half the size of a standard Disney flatbread piled high with fresh vegetables.
I was impressed by the amount and quality of the ingredients, but there’s quite a bit of salt going on with the tang of the feta and the bitterness of the olives. The olive oil along with the other various sauces combined to make more of a muddled flavor than anything and the flatbreads are typically under-cooked and on the chewy side. It does end up being quite a bit of food for the money, but I think I would have liked to have seen a vehicle other than a flatbread for all of it.
Chebbakia: Hand-twisted Strips of Fried Dough coated with Honey, Rosewater and Sesame Seeds – $7
They’re actually making these inside the Studio for Festival of the Arts rather than carting out defrosted cookies from somewhere in the back. The flavor is subtle, so if you’re looking for something that doesn’t taste like a sugar bomb then this is a good choice. The texture is a little different…they’re harder than you’d expect and crumble easily, so you don’t get a satisfying crunch or a tender bite. It’s somewhere in between. I wouldn’t return to this dish, but it was fun to try something a little out of the ordinary. The price actually went down a dollar over last year, but they’re still a dollar overpriced.
Embrace the Arak: Massaya Arak, Orange Juice, and Grenadine – $9
We tried to embrace the Arak, but the flavor on this is overwhelmingly licorice-y with the grenadine adding an unpleasant syrupy quality along with more sugar than I would have liked. Most of the group found the liquid undrinkable, but I did push through to finish it. It would be just about the last thing I would order again, but licorice-lovers will have better luck.
Kasbah Prestige White Wine – $6
I neglected to take a picture of this Moroccan white wine blend. You’ll probably never find it in the store, which may be reason enough to try it, and Morocco has a tendency to free-pour the wine to the brim of the cup, unlike most others, where a bottle stopper will limit you to a 2-ounce pour, if that. The wine is crisp and fruity with a pleasant acidity, making it easy to drink. I’m not sure that I would stop for it specifically, but the price is lower than most other samples and the pour will likely be more generous. Those are all good things.
Overall, the food items are better than Morocco’s typical output, but I don’t think any of them are home runs. My recommendations would be the wine and the beef.