I’ll tell you.
I’ve been off the radar for a few weeks simply because I’ve been hard at work. I received a promotion. A great promotion that I’m proud of. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to master but overall, I’m working my way into this new arena and just want to focus on doing the best I can.
Yes. I did. However, I was more surprised than Jim from The Office was!
For now, the hours are a bit…well, more than I’m used to but will subside. The paycheck, however, is nice!
A plus is that the company I work for could have hired someone much younger. Instead, age wasn’t a deterrent, so I’m extra pleased.
My reaction was more akin to this!!!!!!!!!!!
Now that that’s out of the way, The Frenchman took me to Morocco for my 67th!
Morocco in Philadelphia, that is.
We headed into Center City last Saturday to the restaurant Marrakesh. Given for our joint love of Mid-Eastern food, it was the perfect choice for my birthday. To be honest, we don’t venture into Center City (the term for Philly) often because the parking situation sucks so badly. I swear to God, parking is far better and more convenient in New York City and Paris-it really is. In both those cities, there is parking abound. And yeah, even though parking can be pricey, it’s a helluva lot cheaper than retrieving a towed car or finding a ticket on your windshield.
The mayor of Philadelphia should really do something about the parking situation. For instance, make parking free from Saturday to Sunday evening. After all, WTF is the money going from parking tickets because Philly’s roads are horrific.
Okay. Back to the dinner. I ramble every time I head into Philly because I hate the parking that much!
Philly. Center City. It may be the City of Brotherly Love but it sure ain’t the City of Motor-ly love! (I’m happy with this pic I snapped from the car)
So, we found a parking spot lit-uh-ruh-lee 50 feet from the restaurant. God must’ve been watching over me and gifted me with the space. It was good for two hours which was about the time it took us to enjoy our dinner!
I honestly think God gifted me not only as a birthday gift but I was so good about not cursing during Lent!
Reservations are definitely needed because this place gets crowded and when we arrived, and gave our name, we were offered a choice of being seated outside or in. Because there was still a chill in the air, we opted to dine indoors and were so happy we did.
We will definitely be dining al fresco during the summer when we return!
The interior of the restaurant was absolutely beautiful. Adorned and festooned in all décor Moroccan. I felt as though we had been transported to a home in the real Marrakesh!
How colorful and cozy is the interior of this restaurant?
I immediately understood how this place has been in operation for 43 years!
Next, our server greeted us, seated us and we washed our hands in rosewater. This was a great touch and should be made available in every restaurant!
And we were given warm towels too!
Our meal consisted of seven courses. Yes. S.E.V.E.N. You must bring your appetite with you!
It was one of the most enjoyable restaurant experiences ever!
We started off with a delicious, simple and robust salad—actually three salads in one. The eggplant melted in your mouth. The carrots—I’ve never tasted carrots prepared this wonderfully and cucumber and peppers. The seasonings were perfect. But that eggplant was heaven-in-your-mouth!
If I could have that plate of salad every night—–I would!
Next was B’stella, a pie made from flaky filo dough sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. The inside loaded with juicy chicken, nuts and spices. I’ve made this once at home and it was very good—but the version at Marrakesh was off-the-charts outstanding. I wish they sold this to take home. I was a bit skeptical that my husband would find it a bit too sweet but he loved it (I didn’t make mine too sweet because of this reason). He was raving about it all night!
At this juncture I completely threw my caloric intake out the window. We were eating the crumbs–the CRUMBS–that’s how good this was!
Following the B’stella was Spicy chicken in a cumin-based sauce. This made me want to leave me cushioned seat, run into the kitchen, grab the chef by the collar and demand to have the recipe.
This chicken though. OMG. Juicy and the spices and sauce were incredible!
Following that was lamb. And while I realize that lamb isn’t everyone’s jam, I happened to come from a family that ate lamb regularly. My mother was the master of the leg-of-lamb Sunday Roast. And this lamb was a different take. Chunks of fall-off-the-bone meat. We had the Tagine style lamb served with almonds and the best honey sauce I’ve ever had in my life. There were other options of preparing both the chicken and lamb but we went with what we love. Spicy and Tagine!
Even if you aren’t crazy about lamb, you would not be able to resist this dish. Melt-in-your-mouth-fall-off-the-bone tender!!
We’re not done yet. The cous-cous platter was the next course. At this point we had to pace ourselves
And we did because………………….
The Saturday evening Belly Dancer arrived and was displaying her talent on the floor. She was awesome. I want to take up belly dancing now! Actually, she motioned for me to get up on the floor and me, being the exhibitionist that I am, jumped at the opportunity and shook my wares. Someone even placed money in my pants but I gave it to the dancer!
The photos I took of the belly dancer at the restaurant wouldn’t upload. But our entertainment was similar to this! She was awesome!
Now that I had my share of exercise, it was time to get back to the next course. Couscous topped with chick peas, veggies and raisins. The last time I had couscous that good was in Paris when my husband’s aunt’s Moroccan housekeeper made her couscous by hand. I was immediately transported back to Paris!
The couscous. My eyes rolled to the back of my head in awe.
Did I mention all the while a huge basket of flatbread was passed around? It was so wonderful to soak up all those juices with this bread. The carbs were part of my birthday gift! At this point my piggy-bits were doing the happy dance. And the fruit platter was placed on the table.
I finished off the grapes!
And lastly, Baklava for the final dish. I couldn’t even finish it. It was delightfully sweet and full of flavor but my innards were full to capacity.
I couldn’t finish. And it was simply because I was stuffed!!!
One last wash of the hands and my birthday dinner was finished. As an aside, we were glad that we hadn’t made the decision to dine outdoors because it started raining!
As another aside, we were able to bring our own wine and the wine that my husband chose was the perfect one for this meal.
Our bill? $70. For two. For all that food! If you are ever in Philly, or live close by, you have to head to Marrakesh. It’s freaking amazing. The next time any of the kids are visiting, we’ll head to Philly (and even deal with the horrible parking) and enjoy another meal at this restaurant!
It really was a nice birthday. I keep the birthdays low-key these days. It was my brother Pete’s birthday too. Twins 13 years apart but since he passed, the birthday is a bit bittersweet these days.
This remains my favorite photo of my brother Pete and me. It was back in the early 1990’s. He was visiting from Korea and we took the kids from NYC to Tice’s farm in New Jersey to pick pumpkins. I miss him so–our mutual birthday has been broken..
I started the day by transitioning my winter clothing to warmer-weather clothing that still fit. Actually, the ones that stretch. And lo and behold, the weather got colder as soon as I transitioned!
All the summer frocks are a hangin’ in the closet and it’s freezing outside!
The summer shoes are also in their rightful places!
Jake, Roman and Oona gifted me with a gorgeous bouquet and my little Ishkabibble, Owen, sent the cutest card and a Starbucks gift card! He “gets” me!
A week later and my birthday bouquet is still going strong!
My grandson is a regular PicassOwen!! He drew on the card!
And now, I’m off to get a manicure and head to Bala Cynwyd to accompany The Frenchman as he casts his second vote for Emmanuel Macron!
Let’s hope he wins again!!