Last night, two of my best girl friends got a craving for Moroccan and asked me if I wanted to come with. I’ve never had Moroccan (one of the joys of growing up in a small town: very limited “ethnic food” options), so I was game. Ashley had heard good things about Andalous, and it always taunted her when she was riding by on the El (I know, right? That’s how I feel about Ethiopian Diamond!). We looked for a few different Moroccan options before deciding that was our best bet.
The restaurant is pretty small, with room for only a few tables in the front of the house. However, it didn’t feel cramped (except for the lack of waiting space - we got shoved by the bathroom for five or ten minutes).
I liked the simplicity of the place. But I have to admit, it was a little loud, so I was really happy that we got seated on the patio. It’s covered in case of rain, but we lucked and had a perfectly temperate evening. The patio is very hippie-ish, with painted murals. I loved it.
The same server took everyone’s orders, and there were only some busboys taking plates and filling water. Our server was nice enough, and he accomodated us quickly when a lot of people came in at once. He also made great recommendations for food. Unfortunately, he did one thing that is on my major list of service don’ts: he hit on my friend when he brought our entrees. The service lost major points with that, along with the huge delay in service. We were at the restaurant for over two hours, and we probably waited an hour for our entrees (thank goodness we ordered an appetizer). My friends also ordered Diet Cokes, and those weren’t brought out until after our appetizer had been taken away.
I’d like to say the food was just so good that it made up for the delay, but it was. It was definitely really good, but not good enough to negate the wait. For our appetizer, we got chicken and vegetable briwate. Briwate are little egg rolls covered in powdered sugar.
They also brought out complimentary pita bread and a white bean…dip? I’m not sure how to describe it. We spooned it into our pita bread and gourged. The briwate was much better. Powdered sugar gave the dish a nice sweetness. I preferred the vegetable briwate, but the chicken was good, too.
For the entrees, we each opted for different types of dishes. Ashley got a chicken pastille, a chicken pastry with powdered sugar. Mallory opted for the famous couscous, an enormous dish with lamb on the bone and thick cuts of vegetables.
I tried Mallory’s because I had never had lamb before, and I don’t know how I felt about it. The lamb was a little fatty for me, but I really want to try it again. The chicken pastille was delicious, and I wish I had gotten that instead of my tagine.
The couscous was very good, but I didn’t really love the spices on my vegetables. It was certainly good enough when I was eating it, but after tasting the pastille I realized there was a more suitable dish for my palate. I did like the melted provolone over my veggies, though.
Overall, it was a nice foray into new territory. I definitely enjoy Moroccan food, but I think I won’t go to Andalous on a Saturday night again. I should note that it is BYOB, and the other tables around us brought wine - that probably helped the time pass faster.