2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: Taste of Marrakesh

One of the kiosks that impressed me at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival in 2013 was Taste of Marrakesh in Morocco. I felt that the offerings were better representative of the flavors of the cuisine than what is offered during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. From the official website:

“Embark on a trek near the Morocco Pavilion and educate your tastes on North African spices. Each unique flavor has been paired with fresh ingredients and can be sampled with Moroccan beer and wine at this garden oasis.”

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The Baghrir is the only returning menu items for 2014, and something I didn’t get to sample last year. It was certainly on my radar for this year!

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Being fans of the Beef Brewat Rolls served at Restaurant Marrakesh, Matt and I were both looking forward to the Lamb Brewat Roll with Prunes and Sesame. The portion size is fairly large and is stuffed with tender, shredded lamb, reminding me of the aforementioned Restaurant Marrakesh’s Roast Lamb Meshoui.

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Where as the Beef Brewat Rolls are sweetened with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, here there is some prune incorporated for a touch of sweetness. I didn’t get an actual piece of prune until my last bite, however. As for sesame, I tasted none, but that’s perhaps a good thing as the flavor can easily become overpowering. The sauce it was served with helped to cut the richness of the lamb (which also wasn’t very gamey), but I didn’t find it necessary.

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If you’re looking for a kick of heat, you won’t find it in the Harissa Chicken Kebab. Served with Couscous Salad (which tastes like Tangierine Cafe’s recipe, perhaps with a lighter hand with the cinnamon, which is always a game of roulette), I had higher hopes for it than what was delivered. Portion-wise, I’m not complaining about the $5 price tag, but if you’re going to advertise it as having harissa, at least use harissa. Or visit Urban Farm Eats and grab some of that ghost pepper seasoning they use on the tilapia.

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Apart from lacking flavor, the chicken was served at a nearly chilled and was dry. It would take a serious revamp of seasoning and execution for me to have an interest in ordering this again. If you want the couscous, visit Tangierine Cafe where you can order it as a side dish.

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Finally, we have the Baghrir, a Moroccan Pancake with Honey, Almonds and Argan Oil. I’m not a big pancake person, but Matt certainly is. When we received the dish, however, I couldn’t wait to dig in. The pancake itself was light, and while thin, retained a bit of fluffiness. When it comes to items like pancakes, French toast, and waffles, I prefer honey on them (especially if the syrup available is not REAL maple syrup), so this was a perfect combo for me. While Matt prefers syrup, he did seem to appreciate the sweetness of the honey. Heck, he was just happy to be eating a pancake!

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Now, I’m not sure what Argan Oil tastes like, so I can’t say if I tasted it in the pancake. The honey was prominent, and the almonds added a nice crunchy contrast and flavor. This may have been our favorite item at Taste of Marrakesh.

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As simple as it was, the Baghrir was thoroughly enjoyable to us both. It was well executed and provided a touch of sweetness to a very simply dish. The Lamb Brewat Roll was quite good and worth a try. It’s much more impressive that Food & Wine’s Southwest Egg Roll Harissa Chicken Roll, and costs only a nickel more. I’d save my money over ordering the Harissa Chicken Kebab again. It was bland and dry, and while the portion is acceptable, that doesn’t help when the food is sub-par.

Have you visited the Taste of Marrakesh kiosk at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival? What did you order and what did you think of it?

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2 responses to “2014 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: Taste of Marrakesh

  1. This was a booth that we decided to skip last weekend. Nothing on it was overly appealing to either of us. The pancake intrigued me a little bit because I’m a big fan of different honeys. My dad is a beekeeper so I end up sampling a lot of honey. I probably wouldn’t have ordered that anyway though as there were other sweet things that appealed to me more than that one..

  2. For me, the pancake was one of the “just sweet enough” sweets. If you’re not big on lamb and well, chicken is chicken, you didn’t miss out on too much. 🙂