what: restaurant des jeunes where: fes, near the bab boujloud
as per my previous posts our time in morocco has been a hard one. there is a huge gap of foreign customs and habits we are not familiar with. marrakech gave us omar (more on him later) and fes gave us hamid (and mohammed). an unlikely combination of an empty stomach and a good location brought us all happily together. on the first night of staying in fes we ventured out to the empty, pre-sunset stricken streets of fes (it is ramadan here in morocco, until september 9th), so far so good, fes seems to be less stressful. i am craving couscous. some guy on the street leads us to a hidden restaurant and pulls out a 'tourist special' menu. we say thank you but we really rather sit outside, no matter the decor, it's boiling and you want to charge us 3x what the guy in marrakech charged for a filling dinner. we continue on and we must look like we know where we are going-no one is offering 'help'. we reach bab boujloud, THE landmark of the old fes medina. the medina seems quiet, people are getting ready to stop fasting and they will likely come out an hour or two from when we get there. mohammed is standing outside, coyly trying to attract the customers (what a sweety, but in fes, or i suppose in morocco in general this does not seem to be the strategy) but this is what makes us stay. i have couscous, which i have been craving for 4 hours, jason has couscous, because it's just delicious i suppose. there is so much food we could have easily shared one plate, we feed the left overs to the stray cats. the next day we have a guided tour around the city, we are tired and exhausted from the heat and we find refuge yet again at des jeunes, we say we only want some water and orange juice, no problem, but hamid offers soup perhaps, or watermelon? (oh you!) we decline and promise to come back later that night, hamid makes sure we know that service is not included in the price. before we leave hamid makes sure we come back about 5 more times :) we do come back that night, together with james, we end up eating more couscous, some moroccan salad, more soup, more orange juice, everything is just as delicious as the night past. 'special moroccan price' tonight. the amazingly large full course meal which costs 70 dirham can be ours for 50 today (about 5 euros!!!). we take some photos of hamid and mohammed, they treat us to desert and mint tea on the house. we stayed for three hours. the night was so fantastic it is so hard to put into words. those guys just made our trip to morocco jump up a whole load of points. i have faith once again in humanity. if you shall ever be in fes please say hi to hamid for me, and order a chicken couscous, he puts in the effort. he will be outside fighting for customers with the surrounding restaurants in the open market, which is yet another sight to see. you will find no rose water here and the place mats might be paper, but nothing beats hospitality. thank you, hamid, for the great experience.
mohammed making some tea
some satisfied customers
the bill :)