Since 2009, Saffron Café in downtown Indianapolis has been catering to guests who crave traditional Moroccan/Mediterranean cuisine. With a sunset pictorial featuring shadowed characters and camels on its northside exterior, plus brilliant red coloring opposite, Saffron Café is easy to spot along Fort Wayne Avenue, though nearby parking can be hard to come by. Serving lunch and dinner from Tuesday through Friday and dinner only on the weekends, the restaurant’s interior sticks close to its theme, thanks to chandeliers, table settings and mirrors obtained directly from Morocco. The menu features various stews, kebabs, gyros and pasta along with chicken, beef and seafood delicacies. Few can resist trying deserts that include tiramisu and baklava.
When Anass Sentissi, chef and owner of downtown Indy's Saffron Caf?, opened the doors to his new quick-eats spot in Broad Ripple, guests lined up to taste the bocadillos (sandwiches), salads, and other made-to-order Moroccan fare. Indianapolis Monthly described the eatery's decor of ruby-red walls and punched-tin lanterns as "oh-so-welcoming," urging guests to "stick with the chef's recommendations" to take full advantage of the build-it-yourself sandwich menu.
Sentissi, whose years of restaurant experience and secret family recipes earned his food a spot on Indy Style in 2010, helps guests navigate options such as shawarma and Moroccan tuna salad with radishes as they create sandwiches, salads, and platters. Harissa, a spicy red chili sauce, and charmoula, a zesty cilantro pesto, are some of the traditional sauces and dressings that give Poccadio's dishes their signature flavors, making for lunch options that are healthy, fast, and build vocabulary.
A host of savory Mediterranean dishes fill plates at Eat a Pita, where cooks whip up dishes such as the Jerusalem, a fresh-sliced eggplant skillfully fried and surrounded by warm pita. Meaty gyros arrive in regular or Hercules sizes, as do Philly cheese steaks that sneak onto the international menu. Other entrees include grilled chicken kabobs with mushrooms and green peppers.