We continue on from Brazil.
Morocco returns to the same location in between the Japan and Morocco Pavilions.
Unlike most of the other Marketplaces, Morocco offers its full Food and Wine Festival menu this year. We see the Kefta Pocket return in place of last year’s Flatbread. I rated it a “3” on Taste and a “2” on Value, so that’s probably okay. On the other hand, I’m not sure the Kefta Pocket has ever done better than a “4.” We’ll see what this year holds in short order.
Beef Kefta Pocket Served with Caramelized Onions, Garlic, and Spicy Tomato Concasse – $9
That is what nine dollars buys you there on the edge of the table.
And I feel like it looks somewhat promising from the photos with the sweet, caramelized onions glistening brightly in the sun. Unfortunately, the Kefta, which isn’t much more than ground beef, was cooked to death, incredibly dry, and somehow got blander with each bite. The thing had also imploded on itself before it was even served. Any expected zip from the Tomato Concasse was entirely absent, probably in an effort to appeal to more palates. Sometimes I wish Disney would just go for it and actually allow the booths to offer authentic dishes with bold flavors.
On the other hand, bland items don’t get returned for a refund – they get thrown away half way through somewhere up the road. Technically, this is costlier than the full size hamburger from Regal Eagle Smokehouse, considering that entree comes with a $5 side for $13.49. That’s about eight times as much food and is approximately as Moroccan as this pita pocket. At five dollars, I might recommend giving it a go as a dish with more straightforward flavors than you might be expecting given the description. At nine bucks, it’s highway robbery.
Spicy Hummus Fries with Cucumber, Tomatoes, Onions, Tzatziki, and Chipotle Sauce – $8
Eight dollars is a laughable price for two and a half logs of Fried Hummus, even if they’ve added a few words to the description over the years. This would have cost you four dollars three years ago and it would have arrived with twice as much. On the plus side, the Hummus Fries are nice and crispy with the cucumber relish on top helping to add freshness, along with a cooling flavor against the spiciness of the vibrant orange Chipotle Sauce. The Tzatziki seemed to get lost in the mix this year. Regardless, this is a $4.50 dish – not an $8 dollar dish – and I think it qualifies as the most egregious food value at the Festival. For two dollars more, you can get four times as much of the same thing at Spice Road Table. I’d suggest stopping there if you’re looking at plunking down any money on Mediterranean food this year.
Chocolate Baklava: Rolled Phyllo Dough with Toasted Almonds and Dark Chocolate Sauce – $4.50
Morocco is serving “Athens Apollo Chocolate Almond Rolls,” which is a frozen food services product that’s thawed and then plated inside the Marketplace. Even so, they finally found a good distributor as the Baklava is sweet and deliciously nutty. There’s also a lot of it on the plate topped with decadent chocolate sauce and a ton of roasted almond shavings. Still, it’s hard to look past the giant trays of them that are sitting inside the Marketplace. If you’re going to try to fool me into thinking something is homemade, at least put in the effort and transfer them from the food services trays to your own. Just wait until we see the frozen pasta wheeled into Italy.
Organic Red Sangria – $7 and Mimosa Royale – $9
The $7 Sangria is on the left and the $9 Mimosa Royale is on the right. Hopefully you worked that out yourself. Morocco serves a sweet Spanish sangria that tastes more of sugar than alcohol. It’s pre-made from a bottle and isn’t anything special, but it’s sugary and here if you’re in the market. The pour is also typically better than most other Marketplaces.
In the Mimosa, Morocco uses better sparkling wine than other Marketplaces in the area and the ratio is usually better with a short pour of juice. The orange liqueur also bumps up the ABV and makes for an even fruitier taste with a less viscous mouthfeel. We’re not reinventing the wheel, but it’s probably the best value at the Festival on the sparkling wine cocktail front. It’s significantly better than the $6 Mimosas from Shimmering Sips.
Mediterranean (Casa) Beer – $4.50 or $9
Casa Beer is available all over the Morocco Pavilion year around in bottle form. It’s not bad, but you’re paying a lot of money for what amounts to half of somebody else’s bottle of Heineken. You don’t even get a price break on the full pour like you do at every other Marketplace. It’s an easy pass.
Morocco is back to being disappointing this year, at least on the food value front. The Kefta Pocket and Hummus Fries combined cost more than a full quick service meal at Tangierine Cafe, where the food is better and you’d be served much more of it. It was disappointing to see the reality of the Baklava, but it still tastes good, and the Mimosa Royale remains a good deal, relatively speaking.