Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I also enjoy pastry.

"Somebody told me about a juice place down the way," he said, holding the door as we stepped out onto the street. "Want to check it out?" He knew better than to wait for a reply and lead the way down Rabat's main boulevard. A few blocks later we found ourselves gaping at the menu hanging from the wall, six feet high and four across, speechless. Good juice place.

Juice bars are ubiquitous in larger towns and cities, but most of them serve the same basic menu – seasonal fruits, nuts, and the ever trendy avacado juice (which tastes like vanilla pudding, weirdly). There was a small place near our training center in Ouarzazate that became ou de-facto hangout. We practiced our pronunciation on the bemused waitstaff, who always seemed confused by the combinations we dared try, as we settled into Moroccan culture. We've been on a collective hunt for good juice ever since. This place, though, left us in awe. There was carob and plum and raspberry and banana/coffee and starfruit and mango. There was even walnut. Rabat, again, was proving itself awesome.

I glanced down at the deli counter where one of the chefs was working on a couple sandwiches when I caught sight of them. Blueberries. Honest to god blueberries.

I gracefully tripped over a chair and flagged down the head waiter. "How much are those?" I asked, pointing to the packs a little too eagerly. He gave me a concerned look and consorted with the head chef. "For juice, 20 dirham". He wasn't going to let me walk out of there with a box, I
could tell, but I happily settled for a strawberry/raspberry/blueberry juice and took a seat. It was magical.

I sat, savoring every bit, watching Rabat go by. Half an hour later I finally went back in to pay. Which is when I noticed a picture on the wall. Of a juice. With cranberries.

"How much is that one? Do you really make this?" I again needed to, perhaps, take a breath.

"Of course," he answered, pointing to a high shelf above the blenders. There were three huge bags of Craisins. He smiled at me. "They're from America."

I got juice seven times in four days. I have very little in the way of shame.


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