We continue on from Japan.
Morocco returns to the same location in between the Japan and Morocco Pavilions.
Each of the food items return for the 2018 Festival, though the Hummus Fries no longer sport the word “Spicy” in front of their title. There’s also a new red wine in place of last year’s white.
Kefta Pocket: Seasoned Ground Beef in a Pita Pocket – $6
Above is what last year’s version looked like. I said:
The Kefta Pocket was even more disappointing than I remember – the pita is dry and flavorless; the kefta is a dry, overcooked hamburger puck; the couple bites of vegetable are uninspired. Somehow, despite being cooked to death, it still sported an unattractive, almost-glowing pink slime color. I don’t see anything redeeming about it other than the portion isn’t entirely unreasonable for the money. Very disappointing.
What we were served this year was a significant improvement. The Kefta was tender and flavorful with a delicious mixture of olive oil and spices blended in with the beef. The fresh vegetables added a nice crunch and the pita was soft and fresh.
On the downside, the pocket “felt” shallower than last year and the price is up a whole dollar. On one hand, I’m happy to pay an extra buck for something that isn’t so dry that I’m still struggling to swallow it, but it’s getting up there in price and needs to be judged accordingly. Still, a vast improvement over each of the last seven years.
Hummus Fries with Cucumber, Tomato, Onions and Tzatziki Sauce – $5
I feel like this post is turning into a bit of “The History of Morocco at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival,” but above is what we were served last year under the “Spicy Hummus Fries” title.
And this is the original version that debuted in 2016.
Last year, I had this to say about the drop in quality:
It’s hard to tell, but there were four fries in 2016 served with a thoughtful amount of fresh vegetables on top. Even then, I thought the price was a dollar high given the fact that we’re talking about fried hummus. But this year, the serving has been reduced by half with no change in price and the couple bits of old cucumber are haphazardly dropped on top. Even on most of the items that I’ve panned over the years, the food served still typically looks elegantly plated. My experience isn’t a one-off event as I saw multiple complaints over several days that this was going on, which is part of why we picked up another dish. The fries themselves are still pretty good – they have a nice crispiness, but the lack of care is a major turnoff at a kiosk that is typically less popular in the first place. Very disappointing.
Here in 2018, it looks like Morocco is happy to split the difference with us, serving up three Hummus Fries with a set of toppings that look pretty enough. The good news is that the sauce is as spicy as ever with the cool cucumbers doing a nice job of mellowing the flavor profile out, in addition to adding a nice crunch to the crispy Fries. I still need to see a fourth one here to justify the money, but they are tasty.
Chocolate Baklava: Rolled Phyllo Dough with Toasted Almonds and Dark Chocolate Sauce – $4
Above is 2017’s offering, which seriously disappointed. I said:
This year’s was bone dry. Typically, the Marketplace adds the almond shavings and chocolate sauce after plating the baklava, but it looks like everything was frozen and defrosted together this year, creating a really brittle, virtually flavorless pastry and limp almond pieces. Very disappointing.
Here’s 2016’s version – it’s obvious how much better it looks.
And finally, the only part of this review that’s probably relevant with the 2018 edition.
The good news is that we’re back in business again. 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. It’s one of my favorite desserts from this year’s Festival and a really refreshing dish in the middle of a hot day or a comforting one on a cooler evening. Recommended.
Organic Red Sangria – $6 and Mimosa Royale – $8
The $6 Sangria is on the left and the $8 Mimosa Royale on the right. 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 Mimosa Royale is a better value than any of the sparkling wine drinks upcoming in France as the Marketplace uses a higher quality sparkling wine at a lower price. The orange liqueur also bumps up the ABV and makes for an even fruitier taste with a less viscous mouthfeel.
Casa Pale Lager – $4
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.
It’s nice to have Morocco back in our good graces. It was inexplicable that the offerings were so bad last year. The Kefta Wrap sees something resembling a recommendation for the first time and the Hummus Fries are mostly back, though I still think the portion is a little chintzy for the money. The Baklava is excellent too and the Mimosa Royale is a better buy than virtually any other sparkling drink at the Festival, including the Mimosas in the Festival Center.
Belgium is up next with the review here.