Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Memphis Nosh: Casablanca

I'm back!

I successfully presented my prospectus (basically got up in front of my department and presented on my research topic for my dissertation) so now all I *have* to do is write my dissertation. So basically a book.

But I don't have to write it today.

(I'll post more about that I'm sure, so never fear, those of you fascinated by British history!)

Now that I'm thisclose to break, I have time to talk about a few things I've done the past few weeks.

My friend Amy (also an early modern historian - she studies Scotland) and I went to dinner with her son at Casablanca, a Middle Eastern/Moroccan restaurant here in Memphis.

*Via Urbanspoon

Casablanca is right on Poplar, in the same shopping center as Whole Foods and close to the Paradiso. So it's in a great spot for dinner before a movie, a quick lunch, or even just to pop in an buy some olive oil or to-go food.

Also, come on, it's named after the city that was the setting for one of the greatest movies of all time:

But really:

Of course, I feel about the end sort of like Meg Ryan (eventually) does in When Harry Met Sally...

First, silly Meg Ryan is like:

When Harry Met Sally (1989) from Aitor Garcia on Vimeo.

Then of course, she realizes the error of her ways and sees that Ingrid Bergman absolutely should have stayed, and that Bogart was clearly the better choice, but that's another story.

When Harry Met Sally... is one of my top 10 favorite movies, so we can talk about that later.

On to the food!

Casablanca has a pretty extensive menu, and they sell a lot of merchandise as well:

*Can we just talk about how baklava might be the best food ever? I had a customer at the bank who would bring me homemade sometimes, and it was amazing. 

Also, they have a huge selection of olive oils: 

*Yes please.

Amy and I got the "Simple Favorite" to split. Basically it's feta, spicy sauce, and some of the best pita bread I've ever had: 

*So good.

*My plate. The pita was nice and warm, and not hard like a lot of places. 

We actually ended up ordering the same thing for dinner, the Beef and Lamb Shawerma. 

*These things are huge! Sorry about the poor photo quality - the lighting is pretty dim. 

This is basically beef and lamb with tomatoes, lettuce, onion, and a little sauce in a pita.


Just yes. 

My only complaint, and it's not even really a complaint, is that these are insanely difficult to eat. You can't pick it up because it's overstuffed, but cutting up a pita with a fork sucks. So they're giving you a ton of food for not a lot of money, but you can't look too graceful eating it. 

Other than that though, this is amazing. 

The beef and lamb are kind of tangy, cooked perfectly, and nice and juicy. I love red onions, and they add a good texture and taste. I think lettuce is kind of useless, but this wasn't an excess or anything, and wasn't noticeable. 

Next time I'm getting the Egyptian Hawawshi, which also looks amazing. 

Really everything is good, especially for the prices. My bill was $11 plus tax and tip, and I had a full meal worth of leftovers. 

And the restaurant is gorgeous: 

*When you walk in, it is a little awkward because there's no hostess stand, and we were there at kind of an odd time, but the small wait gave us time to look around a little. 

*Love the prints of Casablanca on the walls.

*Yeah, the thermostat is ugly, but I want those lamps!

I would definitely recommend Casablanca to anyone who likes Middle Eastern or North African food, especially on the cheap. This isn't cheap European street food (which is delicious in its own right) but it's good, reasonably priced food in a really comfortable atmosphere. 

And this happened, so you can be as cool as these guys: 

1 comment:

  1. the egyptian hawaishi is my favorite. well that and the hummus with schwarma. sooo good. Also, the midtown location isn't happening anymore. The owner gave me the lowdown the last time I went :/. He's selling the property now. What's crazy is that before they moved to Poplar they were right off of Cooper young, but didn't get a lot of traffic