If you like North African food, read on.
I just had dinner yesterday at Dunes Grille (on Geary between Leavenworth and Jones). They just reopened. The food was remarkably good and authentic. The prices were excellent. I've only been to one other Moroccan restaurant in the US with lower prices than this. The place is really a bargain and has a family atmosphere, literally. The entire family seemed to be energetically working on our meal, while the children impatiently waited in the corner for their dinner. They were playing a jazz CD at first and then switched over to Arabic music later.
We started with a large bowl of Harira for $3.50. This soup was the best dish of the evening and a meal in itself (ask for lemon if they don't bring it out) We also had a carrot salad that had been marinated in garlic, cilantro, and other spices, and a zucchini salad. Then we devoured a Chicken Bstella (Large, for $8). and a Tajine of melt in your mouth beef w/okra and tomatoes, for about $11. It was very mild flavored. Meanwhile, we drank mint tea from a traditional pot, which was replenished for us 4 times. The tea was the only thing that truly disappointed me. It was not as strong as Moroccan tea is customarily served, and had no sugar in it. It was brought to us with the mint in the glass, not the pot. It was also not very hot. Oh, I could go on about the tea.
Then, they brought us complimentary desserts. Melt in your mouth!
All in all, the food was great. Our bill for two was $28. They comped the desserts and the carrot salad. I can't figure out why but we were very happy about that.
Among the food they serve are several tajines, a couple of couscous dishes, about 5 different salads, grilled meats including merguez, and a couple of bstellas, one of which is vegetarian. It also looks like they might serve tobacco in water pipes as well because there were a whole array of them on the dish racks.
I highly recommend this restaurant. It is so hard to find reasonably priced and authentic Moroccan food in the US!
Oh, the food is not as spicy as I would have hoped. You might ask them if they have any harissa if you like it spicy.
The service was slow and hectic at the same time (if thats possible). But, I think theyre just getting into the swing of things and will be more organized in the future.
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