Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Souqs at Night

On Tuesday we went to an Indian restaurant (jealous, Andy?) at the Marriot. It was very nice, and the food was authentic. We had a crispy bread type thing to start, with four different toppings: spicy mango, mint yogurt, something that tasted like barbebue sauce, and another one I can't remember. Then, Brad got a creamy chicken soup that was delicious, and I got the chopped salad. They weren't kidding when they said chopped. It was cut into tiny pieces, but it was easy to eat and tasty with a lemon dressing. We ordered three types of pan (flat bread): plain, garlic, and potato filled. They were all very yummy. I can't remember the name of my main course, but it was chicken with a yellow sauce. It was very spicy, but also delicious. Brad ordered Tikka Masala. It was chicken with a red sauce, also very good, but not as spicy. We also had saffron rice with our main dishes. It was all very good, and the service was excellent if a little difficult to understand at times.
Afterward, we decided to go to the Old Souq. It is a totally different experience going there at night than in the morning. First of all, the parking was crazy. Twice, we got there first for an available parking spot and someone else came in and blocked the way for everyone else, in the process making it impossible for the car in the spot to pull out. Finally, after about ten minutes when I told Brad that we should just go, we lucked into a spot at just the right time. The smell at the Souq is hard to describe, except to quote a line from one of my favorite movies, Sense and Sensability, "the air is full of spices." The lights at night make it look almost magical. The main walkways were crowded with people out to dinner. The people here eat dinner late at night. Most of the restaurants don't open until 7. In front of one of the restaurants, we saw a group of musicians playing traditional music. It fit perfectly with the scene. We stepped into one shop to look at his baskets, and the shopkeeper was so kind. He offered us samples of his honey--very strong flavor--and a sesame date--very fresh. He also offered free bottles of water or a coffee. It was so charming, we bought a box of almond dates from him. We haven't opened them yet, but I believe the pit has been replaced by an almond. Yum. Although I would never go to the Souq on Thursday or Friday night (their weekend), I definitely think I would go again in the evening. It's fun during the day, but it's enchanting at night.


Uncle Andy said...

Yes, I am jealous. Did Nick and Catie get to go too? FYI the crispy bread you had first was probably papadum.

Erica Herzog said...

Uncle Andy, Nick and Catie stayed with a babysitter. And had a lot of fun playing with their Cowboy friend Tom Polen. I never knew what the bread was called. I saw that Erica called the bread with the meal "pan", it was Na'an. The people here love their garlic bread very garlicy! It is a natural cleanser afterall.