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 Name: Gutenberg

 Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

 Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

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December 22-31, 2010


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  Friday, December 31, 2010

Breakfast often includes a wet, thickish crepe:

... (sort of like an eggy injera but without the buckwheat) a slightly oily, layered, square, tortilla-like flatbread:

... or a semolina circle:

... that's like an English muffin served with stuff for us tourists like a wacky omelette or toast with marmalade. It's all good fuel for an exertion excursion.

Siti Fadma:

... is a little town with a easy sounding yet treacherous climb to a waterfall.

A local guide met us at our car and offered to take us up the slippery stone slope. Once we reached the scenic site (with a superior cel phone signal to that in San Francisco) we reflected that it was a nice last image before our impending concussions, but our caretaker managed to keep us from pulverizing our persons on the climb down this rocky rise.




  Thursday, December 30, 2010

We sampled a bunch of the region's candy bars:

... and found them more trick than treat and the ginger and cocoa constructions:

... at Jamaa El Fna were grainy and lacking in subtlety washed down with violently cinnamoned glasses of sweet tea.

The little pastries were more our thing.

We got a couple boxes of sweet snackage (35 MAD or $4.20 US):

... with nuggets of spiced figs, almond paste and sesame seed blobs some with baklava-y basis.

There are plenty of French pastries to be had at cafés as well as donuts and local nougat:

... (which is very sweet and studded with almonds.) Big candy bars are cut up and sold in sections similar to individual cigarette sales (2 MAD or 25¢ US per cigarette) that often happen with little kids running to buy 'bacco for their brethren.

Oranges seem to be the most popular sweet snack as they are plentiful, cheap (10 MAD or $1.20 US per kilo) and we find a preponderance of peels on the pathways. We are having huge glasses of fresh juice every day for a small 'spense.





  Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ourika Taourirt is a remote town in the Atlas Mountains:

... with a narrow dirt road:

... leading to our dining destination at a Berber home:

Our hosts graciously prepared a cuminy tomato salad:

... and a lamb tajine:

...with cauliflower, potatoes, carrots and peas: in their modest digs:

complete with a kitchen:

courtyard, sauna:

... and balcony where we checked out the view as we tucked into the tajine.

A sweet tea of sage:

... verbena and "sheeba" was a herby ovation to our meal. We went out back to find some hopping friends:

... communing with the cats, chickens, and cow before heading back down the windy lane to Marrakech.




  Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A cloud of smoke smothered the men manning the grill at the sausage station:

... in Jamaa El Fna. Garbage bags filled with lamby links were relayed to the flame-licked rungs of the 'que as hungry hoards:

... sopped up fat from these winning wieners (30 MAD or $3.55 US):

... with bits of bread.

Metal spears of lamb brochettes (30 MAD or $3.55 US):

... had a globule of fat in the midsection of each spoke of this bloody protein pole. We pulled off the nuggets with flaps of bread which soaked in the loose jus.

Friends, co-workers and down-and-outers seem to have a way to get fed by the staffers. Whether it's hanging out by the back, being passed a paper wrapped remnant sandwich or hunkering down for a hasty bite, relationships are recognized with some nourishment.

The cooks maximized the small cooking area by tucking long handled pans under the grill top to rest on the coals, warming bread on the periphery and cramming the top with tube steaks and skewers as they fanned and tamed the flames in tandem in this blazing ballet.




  Monday, December 27, 2010

We got a tajine with lamb and figs (90 MAD or $10.60 US):

... as well as a meatball and egg one (80 MAD or $9.40 US):

... at a tablecloth type restaurant, they were okay although mildly spiced sort of basic tourist fare so we headed back:

... to Place Jemma el Fna for some lamb's brains (15 MAD or $1.80 US):

This tender tissue was delicate and rich with luscious lobes that brought to mind our stomachs.




  Sunday, December 26, 2010

Food stall front men work the crowd like the stripper barkers on Broadway at the Place Jamaa El Fna market.

They size you up, fast talk you and try to close before you mosey to the next morsel.

The lamb's head (35 MAD or $4.20 US):

... did all the talking when we saw this petite bleat treat. Cabeza meat was pulled off the skull, roughly chopped and served with a seasoned salt in this plate of sheered delight with a round of the local bread dipped in jus.

We tore tender tufts of tasty testa and scooped them up with bits of bread in our eating hand. I thought the eyelashes would taste like there was hair in my food, but they were too delicate in contrast with the multi textured, tubey, eyebally, tonguey, cheeky chunks in this face saving serving.

The ubiquitous bread of Morocco is a round, flat bun:

... used for sopping, sandwiching or slashing open and stuffing for a not-so-sloppy Joe. Those in a hurry get a pita-style pocketed version of this face-stuffing food.

Noggin noshers have a bunch of brainy businesses to choose from the line up of vendors but getting your head around some of this sumptuous sustenance is a no brainer.

We took a hike past the drummers, snake charmers and monkey manipulators to the mega mall on the outskirts of the medina and found that a local interpretation of Christmas on the 26th with a slim Santa:

This commercial complex services a sea of new condo-style residences stacking up swiftly outside the old city with residents who don't mind a late and lean, Kris Kringle.




  Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dreaming of a pink Christmas

If you like the color salmon, you'll love Marrakech (Martha Stewart's custom colors have yet to hit the exterior paint selection at the local Walmart) but we found that there was a diverse palette of pathways and people in this coho-chromatic, building code-confused city.

The central market was tame during the day with rows of orange juice vendors pimping pulp alternating with dried fruit dealers shuffling their dates to keep fleets of flies from flipping out the foreigners.

Night brought out the food stands:

... which carry kebabs and fish and chips as well as tagines and couscous. Vendors clustered with similar goods competing in a price fixed formation. The row of snail sellers:

... sluggishly scooped out shelly 'scargot. (5 MAD or 60¢ US):

We paced our way though this picky portion as we plunked the vacant vessels in tubs in front of the eating ledge. They were tender and delicious in a light broth that we slowly savored.

We are normally not sweet tea drinkers, but glass after glass of hot mint tea (1 MAD or 12¢ US):

... had us hooked on this local, leafy liquid.

Every alley is Tetrised with motorbikes:

... trilling our noses with sooty snot - we only got nailed once by a mad Frenchman (who didn't have his Moroccan motor skills mastered.)The locals manage to maneuver their autos past corners with a millimeter to spare on each side.

Allah is big in this funky cold medina'ed maze of a city. We lost ourselves in the labyrinthine streets under the echoes of pro-god chanting as we regarded this 'roccing region that takes little notice of navidad.




  Friday, December 24, 2010

The TKO's (Thomas Keller Oreos, $3.25) at Bouchon Bakery:

... were TKOrnamental to cheer weary holiday shoppers at the Time Warner Center:

We also got our bouches on a chocolate chunk cookie ($2.95) and a "Fuggeheddaboutit" ($3.25):

... a circular candy creation of craveable caramel, crispies and milk chocolate with a flourish of sel. This relishable round was triumphant twixish treat to boost our blood sugar (along with a double dose of caffeine) before we dallied around the Dali display:

... which melted the Time Warner away...

Bouchon Bakery and Cafe
Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Circle
Third Floor
New York, NY






  Thursday, December 23, 2010

We thought that a brisk walk from Penn Station to Barney Greengrass:

... would shake off our drowsiness from the redeye ride from SFO. The chill kept our pace perky until we hunkered down for a platter of fish ($44.00):

... at the "Sturgeon King" 'stablishment.

Silky slices of lox and stirring sturgeon came with a choice of whitefish (on the bone or salad style) we happily went for the boney brick of oily omega which we layered on our toasted bagels as our faces thawed from our arctic migration.

The potato salad was an albino, mayonnaisey melange of spuds, capers, onions that we pushed aside in favor of the fishy formulations bolstered by onions, olives, tomato, cream cheese and a pickle.

This reliable relic of New York nosh maintains the same no nonsense staff and wallpaper:

... making this meal worthy of a sturgeon excursion.

Barney Greengrass

541 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY





  Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Went back to Taste:

... for a shawarma wrap ($7.49):

This pita was shawarming with slices of lamb in a garlicky sauce with potatoes, cabbage and onions. A Greek salad ($2.25 with wrap) added a cukey freshness to my righteous, rotated roll at this hopping hub of cheap and cheerful Mediterranean meals.

Taste in Mediterranean Food

1199 Broadway
Burlingame, CA










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