Archive for the 'Outside Paris' Category

Earth Cafe, the vegan restaurant in Marrakech, Morocco

Vegetable tangine in Marrakech
Boring tagine in Morocco
Morocco is a favorite destination for many Parisians. It’s warm, exotic, and French is a secondary language for most people. Moroccan food is also highly appreciated for its spices, tagines, and couscous. Ask a Parisian about Morocco and a smile appears as they remember one of the many little joys of visiting the country.

It’s possible to get vegetarian food in Marrakech. Most restaurants will sell a vegetable tagine. However, I found them to be quite boring. Perhaps I needed to visit better restaurants.

Earth Cafe

Earth cafe in Marrakech

You can imagine my delight when walking through the market and spotted some hand made signs for “Earth Cafe” a vegan restaurant. I had to find this place and enjoy a good meal, it did not disappoint.

The first thing you see as you step down into this cafe is the open kitchen, a beaming chef will greet you with pride as you enter her domain. As you pass the kitchen the restaurant opens vertically. What seems like a small space grows to several floors with an open space in the center.

The menu

I was surprised to see the menu lacked tagines and couscous. How very non-Moroccan! How very refreshing after dealing with some rather banal versions found in other places.

Instead you’ll find a creative assortment of dishes that span the North African and Mediterranean flavor spectrum. My meal had a variety of vegetables wrapped in filo dough, baked and placed on the plate with mango sauce. It was delicious and very filling.

Earth Cafe also features some yummy smoothies that will hit the spot on a warm African afternoon. The friendly hosts speak French and English. The waiter even walked with me through the souks to find a hammam.

You’ll owe it to yourself to visit Earth Cafe when visiting Marrakech. You’ll get great food, great service, and a jovial, peaceful environment. The flavors are so great that your meat eating friends will also enjoy the meal.

Cafe Earth
Arset Sakia, Marrakech, Morocco
Hours: 11am-late
Vegetarian Restaurant
Accessibility: The restaurant is not accessible to wheelchairs.

  • Overall: 5/5
  • Location: 5/5
  • Taste: 5/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Vegetarian Friendly: 5/5
  • Vegan Friendly: 5/5
  • M.E.F. Friendly: 3/5

Bistro Jeanty’s Tomato Soup

Bistro Jeanty Tomato Soup
I’ve been in California for the past month. i’ll be returning to Paris on Thursday. it’s been a great trip and I’m looking forward to returning. Especially with lots of cheque dejeuner tickets waiting for me in the Paris office.

I’ve also been working on a new site: Insider Food. It’s a regional food search engine. I’ll post more about that later.

This is a wonderful tomato soup at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville, CA. Yountville is one of the towns in Napa Valley and has become the center of gourmet restaurants for the area. You can purchase the recipe for about 3 euros, or download it from their web site: Bistro Jeanty Tomato Soup (.pdf)

Restaurant Tibetain Dolma in Rennes

Rennes buildingsCrêpes filled with cheese, crêpes filled with ham, crêpes filled with potatoes drenched in a cream sauce, crêpes, crêpes, crêpes. This is what I expected to see in Rennes. And while there were certainly crêperies on every street; the city also features a wide variety of ethnic restaurants. You’ll find Indian, American, and luckily a Tibetan restaurant in the city center.

Restaurant Tibetain Dolma provided one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in a long time. It’s a small, intimate restaurant filled with charm… and that includes the people. The menu is a cross between Asian and Indian food; the flavors of India with the preparation of China.

I found the restaurant after walking around the city for hours and needed a place to plop down and eat something warm. I hardly got a chance to plop as the service was so warm and the food so interesting.

I started with a large pot of Chai tea. This is the real stuff, not the frappe-sweet version from Starbucks. It’s spicy, hot, and not too sweet. It was the second best chai I’ve ever had. The first was in the lunchroom of Yahoo! in Bangalore. The third was in a tea shop behind Pikes Place in Seattle.

The entree sounded like a curry. The menu described it as potatoes and peas in a curry flavor. What arrived were two racquetball sized, fried dumplings filled with potatoes and peas and seasoned with curry and other spices.

On the side was a home made chutney. Watch the chutney, there are some hard spices that could break a tooth. They look like raisins but are more like solid pepper seeds. Just don’t chomp down on them.

This was followed by two steamer baskets of spinach and cheese dumplings with another custom pepper sauce. The dumplings were great and quite filling. The waitress probably guessed I was American and thought I’d enjoy some chili sauce. After asking, she brought over some thicker pepper sauce. While I like the heat, the first one was more complex and tasted better with the dumplings.

The final course was home made yogurt with honey. This was the perfect finish to a fairly light lunch in a city filled with heavy crêpes. I planned on returning the next day but got sidetracked by a trip to Mont St. Michel. Which was definately a good idea.

Don’t miss this restaurant when you travel to Rennes. You’ll find warm service, great food, and a memorable meal.

Restaurant Tibetain Dolma
36 rue St. Melaine, Rennes 35000
Metro: St. Anne
02 99 36 84 63
  • Overall: 5/5
  • Vegetarian Options: 4.5/5
  • Vegan Options: 4/5
  • Value: 5/5
  • Location: 4/5

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