Though dining inside of a tent usually means charred hot dogs and ghost stories, El Morocco replaces these traditions with spectacle: entrees of entire cornish hens, ornate floor pillows, and belly dancers. A canvas ceiling shelters these displays and captures the aromas of meat and Moroccan spices as they drift from the kitchen. These scents emanate from entrees of couscous, lamb garlanded with almonds and honey, and dishes of braised hare?all part of an authentic Moroccan menu dreamed up by owner Fadil Shahin.
Fadil's love of music drives his venue's hypnotizing performances. Belly dancers sway and shimmy on Tuesday?Sunday evenings, brandishing swords and scarves to augment their choreography. Undulating instructors can even enroll students in a belly-dance showcase on the first and second Sunday night of each month. The "dancers' nights" provide both pros and up-and-comers with valuable stage time, allowing them to practice their eclectic skills for audiences. Fadil might regale guests with tunes on the lute-like oud, or percussion rhythms on the darbuka. In addition to entrancing regular diners, the entertainment adds glamour and festivity to group events, including weddings and crying parties.
With more than two decades in business, Cafe Morocco has put in the practice and hard work for its traditional Mediterranean cuisine to earn a Very Good to Excellent rating from Zagat. While pita triangles sop up hummus and tabbouleh, ceiling fans circulate the savory aroma of vegetarian couscous filled with red potatoes and italian squash, and chicken kebabs marinated overnight in potent moroccan spices. The decor complements the exotic flavors with North African accents, such as a colorful fabric trail hanging from the ceiling and turret-shaped outlines framing the windows and kitchen. Patrons can also sip on a cup of sage tea from a metal kettle surrounded by walls covered with painted plates, gilded antique weapons, and gilded antique permits for carrying a dagger.
The chefs at American Natural Food & Cafe strive to expand American palates with a menu of dishes influenced by foods from all over the Mediterranean basin. A perennial list of French-inspired Moroccan cuisine anchors an ever-changing lineup of specials drawn from many countries, allowing a menu of Mediterranean-Moroccan fusion food. For example, salads and burritos are made with fresh, organic ingredients, and couscous is prepared in the Doukkala Province method, paying homage to the chef's roots.
For those inspired to whip up their own Mediterranean dishes at home, the eatery's grocery-store section provides aspiring chefs with spices and hand-selected, naturally raised foods from around the world. The packed shelves provide a backdrop to intimate tables lit by strings of lights and candlesticks.