UPDATE: This restaurant is now closed. Sad day 🙁
On what was to be our final day in Atlanta, we finally found a Moroccan restaurant that was open for lunch, even though we had to drive a bit out of our way to get there (and google maps was about 2 miles off from where the restaurant actually was). Tina’s been going on and on about Moroccan food forever. She likes to hold it over my head whenever I ask where she wants to eat (because she knows there aren’t any Moroccan restaurants in Charleston, thereby forcing me to pick a restaurant, which drives me insane). Tina was happier than a clam to be there.
So we finally make it to this restaurant, which only happens to be open for lunch on Fridays (what luck!) and it’s actually super cute inside, impeccably decorated, with a few women in the corner smoking hookah, speaking what sounded like Arabic. It was beautiful and orante without feeling commercial (it’s a very thin line to toe). With all the food that we’d eaten in the time we were in Atlanta, this was by far the best. To start with, we got the chicken briwates, which are like filo dough stuffed with chicken, but it was almost like a pastry, topped with powdered sugar. It sounds weird, and Tina wasn’t a huge fan, but I really liked it. We also got the falafel, which was the probably one of the best falafels I’ve ever had, but the hummus. Oh my God, the hummus. If you go there and get nothing else, get the hummus. It’s seriously the best hummus I’ve ever eaten, and I sincerely doubt you’ll find it better anywhere else. We also got babaganoush, grape leaves, and something called zaalouk, which was almost like tomato sauce mixed with babaganoush. I liked the grape leaves, and the zaalouk was ok but, once again, I’m not really into egg plant. We also got mint tea, which was really good. Like super sweet and minty and tea. I can’t describe it, but it was delicious.
For entree’s, Sean once again channeled his inner Ron Swanson and ordered a plate of meat, aka the kabob assorted platter–Kafta, chicken, beef, lamb chop, and merguez, which is a lamb-based sausage. I loved every single piece of meat on that plate (that’s what she said?). The spices were amazing, everything was tender and delicious, neither over nor undercooked. I thought the food from Lawrence’s was good, but this was completely out of this world. He also got Moroccan-style potatoes, which are kind of like a curry mashed potatoes that are fried. They were ok, nothing super special, but the meats were amazing.
Tina got this soup kind of thing, with giant vegetables in a broth that you pour over couscous. It also came with pretty much all the meats that Sean ordered, but they were served on the side instead of in the soup, which I thought was kind of weird. It was my least favorite of all the things we got, but it was still delicious, and Tina and I really liked it.
What I got was amazing. I was kind of unsure of how to feel about it when I ordered it, because it was lamb shank, and I’m not usually huge on lamb (fatty, chewy, etc), but I went in with an open mind–I wanted to try something characteristic of Morocco. It’s called a tagine, and I got what was called “casablanca mrozia.” It’s lamb shank braised in mrozia spices, rasins and honey, garnished with almonds and sesame seeds. It was one of the most unique flavors I’ve ever tasted. But it was amazing. Apparently they’re really good at balancing savory and sweet in the food in Morocco. I was very surprised and delighted that I enjoyed it so much. It pained mentally to have to stop eating before I finished it, but the physical pain of being so full overpowered my mental strength.
Basically, if you’ve never eaten Moroccan food, you should make a trip out to Imane because it’s seriously my favorite restaurant now…. sucks that I live 5 hours away from it…
Imane Moroccan Restaurant
3455 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard #840
Duluth, GA 30096
All in all it was a great trip, even though I ate too much and exercised too little….. although I did manage to plow through 2.5 seasons of 30 Rock. So, I was productive in that sense, at least. Plus, I love Atlanta! I could totally see myself living there someday!
Hope everyone had a fun and eventful New Year!