I’ve had two individuals tell me about a Moroccan restaurant located in Leduc, and in a buffet heavy world, I’m always willing to take people up on their suggestions. Not entirely sure if the location or the food would be work friendly, I hatched a plan with Sarah to have her come out for lunch one day. You know, test the waters.
Arriving at the crack of noon, only 3 other customers could be found getting their fix. While it’s not far from the main strip, it is tucked behind an A&W in a rather strange strip mall. Not exactly easy to see from the street. The restaurant is small, and offers a buffet like so many cultural establishments do. As we scanned the buffet table, we decided that its smaller size had both of us leaning towards the menu. The only staff member (the owner perhaps) to appear during our entire visit was extremely friendly. Calm, peaceful, and smiling the entire time, he reminded me of an old family friend.
As we waited for our food,I started to wonder if this place was a hidden gem or just unknown, as no more than 6 customers filled their stomachs before the lunch buffet was done. Our dishes came with peppermint tea, and it arrived a few minutes before the mains. Warm and sweet, it did little more than act as a nice change from the coffee so commonly chugged at work. Soon enough we were faced with two seasoned clay pots that echoed the sounds of bubbling liquid.
The beef tagine, just like the chicken, came with saffron rice and vegetables. Enticing us with its beautiful yellow hue, we both found the rice perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned. The 3 cubes of beef stew meat, were as tender as anyone could expect, but didn’t hold any real flavour. It reminded me of a boiled roast. Blah. Where were the spices? The standard frozen bag combination of vegetables was warm, but otherwise uninspiring. The chicken leg was moist, and arrived with considerably more liquid in the bottom. The dark meat was really tasty and combined with the hot pickled peppers, this bird leg started to create a bit of dish jealousy as we pondered leaving the beef all alone.
After we finished our meals, we were presented with a tray of sweets. All three selections were dense and very hard. The darkest option had a hint of cinnamon, but was overwhelmed with a slight burnt taste. Something that seemed common in all of the options. With a few ups and a few downs, I think my recon mission was a success. It’s safe enough for anyone who is worried about the trying a new cuisine, while also having the potential to be quite good. I know I’ll be back, but it may take a bit of coaxing.