We decided to go eat at this new Mediterranean restaurant called Marrakesh. Dave and I had already been there a few times and we love it! Jacksonville was more than ready for something other than Chili's and Red Robin. Stacy made arrangements with the owner to let him know that there would be about 12-15 of us showing up and to make ready! The girls were storming the joint!
Of course, about an hour before we left it started DOWN POURING!! Stacy picked me up and we made it there just as the rain started coming down in sheets. We were met there by our friends Jayme and Kristie and pretty soon, everyone else started trickling in. We filled up the tables and it took us all about an hour to actually look through the menu and decide what we wanted.
Stacy suggested that everyone needed to order something different so we could try a bit of everything. And between all of us, we pretty much ordered one of everything - appetizers and entrees.
Stuffed Grape Leaves - Rice, Ground Beef, diced Tomatoes, chopped Parsley and onions mixed with Olive Oil and Lemon Juice, spices and cooked with fresh lemons and lemon juice and then rolled into a Grape Leaf.
Baba Ganoush ~ in the traditional method, the eggplant is first roasted in an oven for approximately 30 minutes. The softened flesh is scooped out, squeezed to remove excess water, and is then pureed with the tahini. There are many variants of the recipe, especially the seasoning. Seasonings include garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, salt, mint, and parsley. When served on a plate or bowl, it is traditional to drizzle the top with olive oil.[
Falafel...."Fried patties of Chick Peas mixed with spices and vegtables'. YUM!!!Feta Cheese - Served with Olives, Parsley, Olive Oil and Pita Bread.
Kristy ordered the Lamb Chops, which by the way is what I'm getting the next time I'm there. SOOOOO GOOD!!! But little did she know that on the side of her chops, was a little paste of red evilness. She dipped a chop in that evil sauce and immediately wished her mouth was some place cooler. Like...Antarctica!
She quickly gets a drink of something to stop the insane burning inside her mouth...
But ALAS!!! That doesn't work. Instead she stuffs her face with a pita chip hoping that the bread will soak up the toxic burn which has now embedded itself inside her mouth. All the while pointing to the sauce and telling everyone, "IT"S HOT!!!!"
Stacy looks over to Kristy and tells her to suck it up and stop being a baby. In fact, she think she's over reacting and tells her . (Clearly the sweat that is gleaming off her body doesn't convince us she's telling the truth!)
We were all stuffed and couldn't eat another bite. But being the nut cases we all are, when asked what we're celebrating everyone yells, "Stacy and Karen's birthday!" So they brought out some baklava which we all had a bite of and Stacy and Karen had fun getting to blow out this pretty tea light.
I should also note, that during dinner we couldn't stop staring at the GORGEOUS chef (who also happens to be the owner, I do believe) in the kitchen preparing our meal. There were many times, a few of us would dissolve into fits of school girl giggles when anyone would mention something about him. So of course, being the obnoxious group we are, we ended up closing up the restaurant and harassed the staff to get a picture with us.
It was an awesome GNO! We mentioned trying to do one at least every month. Let's hope someone can pull something together for September! I can't wait to see the damage we can do somewhere else.