Cake Delights - Moroccan!! - Houston


(Bruce) #1

I’ve been enjoying the Moroccan Cuisine cooking thread here on HO.

https://www.hungryonion.org/t/moroccan-cuisine-of-the-quarter-fall-2017-oct-dec/11155

There’s some beautiful dishes and lots of good info being posted over there and it piqued my interest. Moroccan restaurants haven’t done well here as far as a I know. I went several times to the short lived Casablanca on Richmond across from Pete’s Fine Meats a few years back. That seems to be a location that spells death to restaurants. Before that, I think there was one on Lexington that I never got to. Now, Mi Luna in the Village has a couple of Moroccan dishes listed and I think you can find Moroccan or ‘Moroccan style’ dishes at a couple of the Israeli restaurants in Meyerland.

So I was happy to find Cake Delights, a bakery on Hillcroft that offers a very small menu of Moroccan dishes, 6 days a week.

IMG_0374

I tried the Tuesday special, Chicken w/olives. That’s rice with mushrooms and onions off to the left and a thick, round loaf of wheat bread in the background. The server snatched the lid off the tagine before I could get a picture. The broth in the bottom was still boiling and remained scaldingly hot half way through the meal. This was half a chicken, a smallish bird, and was very tasty. The rice was unfortunately at just about room temp; I added some to the broth in the pot when there was room.

IMG_0373

I also got a small, very fresh salad with a light oil dressing

IMG_0376

I also ordered Berrad, the Moroccan mint green tea.

The proprietor is friendly. Probably would be very talkative if prompted but I’m pretty reticent myself. There are pictures of the menu in the Yelp gallery and more pictures of the food, unlabeled unfortunately, on Facebook. The latter site has one update to the menu: you no longer have a choice of Beef Feet and Chickpeas or Mkila (meatballs, eggs, tomatoes) on Thursday; a Fish Tagine has replaced the feet. In addition, on Friday you now have a choice of lamb or beef for the couscous.

The strip center is not very good looking. It’s also home to Sheikh Chillies Indo-Pak restaurant, Gulshan e Iqbal’s Pakistani Grocery and Mithai, and Mondongo, a Central American place specializing in the Central American version of menudo. The interior of Cake Delights is not as depressing as the exterior suggests.

I do plan to return.


(Bruce) #2

Chicken Bastela - on the appetizer menu. Shredded chicken plus egg; spices include saffron, cinnamon, sugar and orange flower water. The topping is chopped almonds flavored with orange flower water, so I understand. Wrapped in a special dough called warqa or werqa, similar to phyllo but thinner. This was about 5" across, close to 2" thick.

A slightly sweet chicken pot pie??? I loved it. The special of the day was lamb couscous and the place was packed in the early afternoon. There’s no way I could have handled one of those heaping plates the day after Thanksgiving. I had wanted the soup (harira) but it wasn’t available so settled for this. Now I have to try the fish bastela. The usual spelling is bastilla.

The very nice gentleman recognized me and welcomed me warmly but had no time to talk today.


(Bruce) #3

Alas, this place seems to have shuttered. I read about it online and went by the check it out. The closed sign hung in the door but there were lights on inside. I was hopeful but went by again and it was completely dark.

The place was packed the last time I was there on a Friday when couscous was the dish of the day; because of the holidays I didn’t get back until after the first of the year. Damn.

I’m still hopeful/wishful that he’s re-tooling to be more of a restaurant and not just a bakery with plate lunches. I’ll keep checking by.


#4

Ouch! Hope this is just temporary. By the way, I looked at their FB and they were only talking about cakes. Such a strange combination of making cakes (not oriental pastries) and Moroccan food. They seem to have some positioning problem, I guess the owner is Moroccan.


(Bruce) #5

He was very friendly. Other customers seemed to really like him. He asked me twice if I’d ever been to Morocco or planned to go (no in both cases). I asked where he was from and he said Marrakesh but it sounded like he said Maracas and I thought ‘hmm, a Venezuelan running a Moroccan restaurant?’ Then I figured out what he meant (or what I think he meant?) - maybe I’ve been pronouncing Marrakesh wrong all my life???.

I suspect the bakery was first and the plate lunches added to drum up more business. There are still no ‘for lease’ signs in the windows so I remain hopeful.