We continue on from Belgium.
Morocco returns to the same location in between the Japan and Morocco Pavilions.
Last year, Morocco took “Spicy” out of the Hummus Fries’ title. This year, not only does “Spicy” return out front, but the menu also promises a “Chipotle Sauce” that we haven’t previously seen. The Flatbread is all-new, replacing last year’s Kefta Pocket, which I rated as a “4” on Value. So that’s probably okay. We also see the return of a white wine in place of last year’s red, while everything else returns.
- NY Strip Steak Green Shermoula Flatbread with fresh Radish and Tomato Salsa – $9
- Spicy Hummus Fries with Cucumber, Tomatoes, Onions, Tzatziki, and Chipotle Sauce – $8
- Chocolate Baklava: Rolled Phyllo Dough with Toasted Almonds and Dark Chocolate Sauce – $4.50
- Organic Red Sangria – $7 and Mimosa Royale – $9
- Casa Pale Lager – $4.50
NY Strip Steak Green Shermoula Flatbread with fresh Radish and Tomato Salsa – $9
Should a Flatbread be flat? While I don’t have the answer to such an existential question, what is basically a tortilla base was not what we were expecting, given the description and the nine-dollar price tag. Our Strip Steak was tough, dry, and chewy, and while the Tomato Salsa had plenty of excess water, soggy isn’t exactly what most of us are going for when it comes to Flatbreads. Even if this was executed perfectly, it’d probably still be two dollars overpriced. If you have a snack credit to spare, then you may give one of these a whirl as this is one of the most expensive eligible items. But it’s a poor value out of pocket.
Spicy Hummus Fries with Cucumber, Tomatoes, Onions, Tzatziki, and Chipotle Sauce – $8
Eight dollars is a laughable price for logs of Fried Hummus, even if we’ve added a few words to the description. I thought that the serving size may have increased, considering last year’s price was three dollars less. That means we’re seeing a 60% price increase year-over-year. 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. You might still consider one with snack credits to spare, but these are horrifically overpriced.
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.
Organic Red Sangria – $7 and Mimosa Royale – $9
The $7 Sangria is on the left and the $7 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 pour is also typically better than most other Marketplaces. When we visit Islands of the Caribbean, I’ll receive about a third of as much Sangria.
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.
Casa Pale Lager – $4.50
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.
Morocco is back to being disappointing this year, at least on the food value front. The Flatbread and Hummus Fries combined cost as much as a full quick service meal at Tangierine Cafe, where the food is better and you’d be served much more. 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.