Casbah – Rock the

4.1/5 Foodie Foursome Index
4.2/5 on the Ethnic Scale

Mike’s Review:

Moroccan… a word that is often mispronounced and a food that is often misinterpreted. To be honest I didn’t even quite know what Moroccan was… And I’ve been to Morocco… So luckily I did know what a Casbah was and how to rock it.

It’s a little bit tricky for me to write a review on this one, because it was a flurry of emotion, so it’s probably easiest to just walk you threw my journey….

Firstly, we walked through the dark streets down a narrow staircase to get there (terrifying)

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Secondly, we walked out of the dark streets into a brightly lit, fantastic smelling, music bumping slice of paradise. It felt like a child imagination but everything was tied together so nicely that you knew a great amount of care and attention to detail was given.

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Thirdly, the server was polite and whimsical in a stern way… I could not tell if we just became best friends, or he hated me, which, as odd as it sounds, was actually quite special in its own way.

THE FOOD! Oh wow the food! It was PHENOMENAL! From the assortment of appetizers to the myriad of mains everything was fantastic and unique. We tried almost everything on the “chef’s” menu, but be warned, if you pick all the sweeter, more fruity, dishes it may feel like you are just eating deserts in the dessert! I really enjoyed the chicken dishes but the beef was also impeccable. I don’t want to make recommendations cause I think, just like through the dessert, you need to walk that journey alone.

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Finally, the bill…. It came to about $70 for each of us… And that was enough food to serve one or two more people as well! Not bad for such cultural food in the heart of downtown but still a little bit pricey to make this your Friday hang out.

We would like to go back for their live belly dancing night, Jenna use to belly dance and it beats washing dishes for our meal!

Jenna’s Review:

Morrocan… I love Moroccan food so it was no surprise to me that I was going to enjoy The Casbah. You wouldn’t really take much notice of this place from the outside as it is on the basement level of 11th ave and doesn’t really stand out. However inside was a totally different matter!

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I honestly felt like I was on vacation, like I had been transported to a different world. The inside was absolutely stunning, authentic and phenomenal. There are so many colours, intricate designs and cool fixtures everywhere!

We were delighted to enjoy the place with our new friends who were up for the adventure of a 5 course meal aptly titled “Tour of Morocco”. It came with a soup, a salad, a phyllo appetizer, a main and a dessert. The soup, salad and dessert were set but you had your choice of 4 different options for the other two dishes. To appropriately experience Morocco we each picked one of the four dishes and shared, which was a really great way to try it all.

The soup was nice and had a good lentil/tomato taste. The salad was fresh and something I would love to have more of with carrots, corn and beets. My favourite phyllo pastry was the spinach feta, how can that go wrong? The best main dishes for me were the saffron rice dish with lamb and the couscous with the meat sampler. I could eat them all day long! The desert was also a huge favourite for me because I am obsessed with baklava and classic vanilla with a caramel drizzle; I wanted to say “keep morocco-ming”. Lastly the mint tea, be sure to give it a try!

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The service was a little touch and go, our waiter seemed to be playing the “lets see how fast I can get away from this table” game. The only other thing that wasn’t top notch was that the food, albeit good, was all just lukewarm with the exception of the pastry’s. I would have liked it to seem a bit hotter and fresher I suppose.

All in all it was an awesome experience with beautiful surroundings and amazing company!

I love Moroccan food so it was no surprise to me that I was going to enjoy The Casbah. You wouldn’t really take much notice of this place from the outside as it is on the basement level of 11th ave and doesn’t really stand out. However inside was a totally different matter!

I honestly felt like I was on vacation, like I had been transported to a different world. The inside was absolutely stunning, authentic and phenomenal. There are so many colours, intricate designs and cool fixtures everywhere!

We were delighted to enjoy the place with our new friends who were up for the adventure of a 5 course meal aptly titled “Tour of Morocco”. It came with a soup, a salad, a phyllo appetizer, a main and a dessert. The soup, salad and dessert were set but you had your choice of 4 different options for the other two dishes. To appropriately experience Morocco we each picked one of the four dishes and shared, which was a really great way to try it all.

The soup was nice and had a good lentil/tomato taste. The salad was fresh and something I would love to have more of with carrots, corn and beets. My favourite phyllo pastry was the spinach feta, how can that go wrong? The best main dishes for me were the saffron rice dish with lamb and the couscous with the meat sampler. I could eat them all day long! The desert was also a huge favourite for me because I am obsessed with baklava and classic vanilla with a caramel drizzle; I wanted to say “keep morocco-ming”. Lastly the mint tea, be sure to give it a try!

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The service was a little touch and go, our waiter seemed to be playing the “lets see how fast I can get away from this table” game. The only other thing that wasn’t top notch was that the food, albeit good, was all just lukewarm with the exception of the pastry’s. I would have liked it to seem a bit hotter and fresher I suppose.

All in all it was an awesome experience with beautiful surroundings and amazing company!

Curtis and Justin’s Review:

Walking down the stairs into The Casbah, we didn’t expect to be completely taken out of Calgary to step into the country of Morocco. Now we don’t mean entering the Moroccan Sahara to escape the brisk Calgary winter, but entering a place rich in culture and architecture. The immediate feeling from everybody was a, for sure, 5/5 atmosphere. Having been there for the first time, let us take you through our travels to Morocco!

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We were sat at an intimate table perfect for our great company, Jenna and Mike. We all raved about the decor and furniture immediately! This is what we imagine the inside of a genie bottle would look like! One of our favs though, we got to wash our hands in rose water at the table and dry our hands with freaking soft towels – a tradition that our server says would happen if we were ever invited to a Moroccan home! Wait! First, what kind of luxurious fabric softener are you using and where can I get some?!

We had a friendly server that guided us through the menu with ease. He catered to our lack of knowledge, however quickly dropped the ball, taking one drink order then walking away before the rest of us could get a second order in. Maybe it was the uninviting birthday party, probably because Jenna was eying down those presents hard, that he was also catering to! Anyways, we thought the drink menu was pretty basic. The wines, which it didn’t appear you could purchase by the glass, standard beers and cocktails with “Moroccan names”, but broke down to be your basic: gin & juice, vodka martini or your take on a Cosmo.

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For food, we toured Morocco with a 5 course meal. Overall, food was delish! We’d give the soup and salad both an “okay emoji” (my fav!), although it probably wouldn’t do it justice for how tastey they were. The other 4 appetizers, served with either yogurt or hot sauce, yummy, but be careful to pair the right appetizer with the right sauce! Oops! But let us talk about the mains for a second. We chose 4 different entrées – chicken, lamb and shrimp over couscous, saffron rice or their traditional Tajine – comparable to a stew. Each was savory, bold in spices and offered a little something different from each other. One was sweeter, served with fruits and walnuts – a little surprising when going back and forth between trying the different dishes. Another had a “potato”, which almost gave me a heart attack! Thinking it was a vegetable, I forked a healthy serving for myself, put it in my mouth and could barely contain myself. I turned my head away and told Mike and Jenna that they HAD to try this salt soaked piece of death! Both Mike and Jenna, tried a pin sized piece of it and to my surprise, Mike liked it! Later, we learned that it’s a “preserved lemon” that’s supposed to be eaten in small amounts mixed with other components of the dish, not shoving the whole thing in my mouth like the barbarian I am. Anyways, the serving sizes were large, we quickly filled up, but the flavors had us wanting to try to eat more! Having this full course meal definitely took us through the diverse Moroccan complex.

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Pricing averaged about $70/person without gratuity. Not “too bad” considering the couple of drinks each other us had – we wouldn’t be opposed if it was slightly better priced! The overall experience would make us recommend The Casbah to others, if you’re looking to get away and experience a Moroccan adventure! The atmosphere is intimate and beautiful, the food was flavorful and bold, although serviced lacked slightly in speed. I couldn’t imagine what it would have been like if it was a full house.

On a side note, this was our first dinner with Mike and Jenna. Dude! What a great couple! We had tons of fun and great laughs! We felt like we had known them for years! Who knew that 3 hours could go by so quickly and still end feeling like there was so much more we could have talked about! Then again, a solid 5 minutes was spent looking for Mike’s wallet and keys and taking the infamous Foodie Foursome Selfie! Anyways, we definitely are looking forward to another dinner with them again soon!
Curtis & Justin

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