Spokane >Food & Dining > Marrakesh Restaurant
2008 W Northwest Blvd, Spokane, WA | Directions 9920547.682292 -117.441818
Neighborhoods: Northwest Spokane, Northwest
Don't bother – Any of the 5-star reviews that you read about this place had to have either been paid for, or were posted by restaurant management.
The only positive note I can think of was the cultural experience and genuine atmosphere of feeling as tho you are dining in the Middle East. Unfortunately, this experience included dining in a building that appears as tho it is actually in a Third-World nation. If it looks this bad on the outside, I can only imagine what the kitchen must look like. While this may or may not seem important to everyone, I have a hard time getting over the fact that the building actually looks abandoned from the outside.
Now, on to the things that really matter in a restaurant. The service is absolutely horrible. As mentioned in other reviews, it's as if all jobs here are performed by one guy. And not performed well. The amount of time that we had to wait to order was completely unreasonable, especially when you consider that there were hardly any other customers present. There was easily 30 minutes in between each "course", with the entire experience lasting nearly 3 hours.
The food itself? Yuck! I did not taste any one thing that I would recommend to a friend, nor did I punish my dog by bringing him the "leftovers". Each "course" consisted of some tasteless salad, soup, or dollop of some un-identifiable food product that again conjured up visions of authentic Third-World cuisine. Just think "dumpster diving" and you get the idea.
Of course it is possible that I just do not like Middle Eastern cuisine, admittedly I have nothing to compare this to. But the entire experience added up to a big waste of time and money in my book. Honestly, the worst dining experience I have had in Spokane.
Pros: Middle-Eastern atmosphere(if that's what you are into), prices reasonable
Cons: Bad food, bad service, filthy environment
Delicious! Exotic! Different! Fun! – Went there for the first time (will NOT be the last time) and I love this place! I've done some traveling in the Mediterranean & Middle East and the atmosphere and cuisine are very authentic.
Everything was perfect - the service, the ambiance, and the food. I'm just stymied by the reviews saying the service is slow, because we walked in the door at 7 and out the door at 8. An hour is a PERFECTLY reasonable amount of time to spend on a restaurant dinner. We didn't feel rushed, nor were we left waiting.
The waiter was VERY attentive and friendly, but without ever becoming an annoyance. The little touches like handwashing at the table gave the experience a wonderfully exotic flair. And the food was delicious. At $20/person for a 5-course meal, we were happy with the value for our money. Portion sizes were satisfying. Overall a really fun dining experience and one I'd recommend to anyone. We were already talking, right AT the table, about who else we'd like to bring there and share the experience with!
YES, it's a fixed menu. You choose your entree, but you have no say in the soup, salad, appetizer or desert. That's how this restaurant operates and it's part of what makes it unique, so go in with your eyes, and mind, open. If you're a dyed-in-the-wool yokel (like some other reviewers apparently are) who has no interest in trying new things or broadening your cultural horizons, who only wants to able to pick and choose at random from a vast menu and have your food delivered immediately, then I have one word for you: McDonald's. (Alternatively, Burger King, Carl's Junior, Jack In The Box, and Wendy's are all fine dining establishments that will suit your needs perfectly.)
BUT if you want to step outside the ordinary and have a really cool cultural experience as well as a very satisfying dining experience, then give it a try! We totally dug Marrakesh!
Such a NEW experience! – The food is incredible, the atmosphere is incredible, even the decor is incredible! I'm absolutely in LOVE with the Marrakesh restaurant!
If you're coming to Marrakesh, get ready for a completely new and unique experience! A typical meal consists of 5 courses. We first washed our hands together over a large silver dish. The server, (who was incredibly friendly and warm), poured warm water over our hands, draining into the silver dish. That may sound weird, but it really wasn't! It felt like we were participating in a very cool cultural experience.
We were first served hot tea, an absolutely delightful Moroccan tea. Then, we moved on to a lentil soup. Rich in flavor, perfectly spiced, and served in a small bowl for sipping. Next, warm bread with a fresh cucumber-carrot-eggplant type dip. It wasn't quite a dip, because it was fresh vegetables in their own juice, but it was absolutely amazing! The entire party of 4 ate the bread and "dip" from a large plate as a group. After this, we were served an incredibly unique dish; scrambled eggs with a dash of cinnamon and spiced chicken. I'm a vegetarian, and the server took note of this and made mine with just scrambled eggs. The eggs were perfectly cooked and covered with a crisp and sweet phyllo dough. Loved it! Then our entrees, vegetarian couscous. AMAZING. The meal was finished with baklava. I. Love. Baklava. Mmm.
I can't wait to go back, I'm craving it right now!
Absolutely Amazing! – Went last night with my boyfriend and had an amazing time! I had read all the other reviews and wasn't sure what to expect, but I loved every minute of it! The food was excellent, the service was excellent, the ambience was excellent! You won't be disappointed...don't go there if you are in a huge hurry...this is a place to go and slowly enjoy your food. There are no utensils but that is part of the fun...Try it once just for the cultural experience, and I bet you will go back!
Amazing experiance – The owner is an amazing person who my boyfriend and I both love to talk to. The food is great, and although it takes a while to finish the meal, it is well worth the wait. It is also not 20 dollars a dish. It is 18 dollars for a five course meal. It is amazing if you are not one of the stuck up Americans that have reviewed this restaurant. FYI, America is not the best country in the world, there are others, and honestly from what the owner has told me, Moroccans have some systems that are much better than ours. The food is delicious, but different from the usual American foods, which it should be. I would disregard any negative comments and experience it for yourself. Just have an open mind and an empty stomach.
Terrible! Worst restaurant I have ever been to... – Where to start . . . It's a run down building. One guy does everything. Seriously. He plays host, cook, server, etc. It takes an hour to get your food. It takes 30 minutes in between each awful course. All the food is cheap canned food from the grocery store, but it's 20 bucks a plate. It's dirty, the silverware/plates are dirty, etc. Truly awful in every way!!
Stay far, far away – I have never had such a bad experience at a restaurant. I thought waiting an hour at Catacombs once was bad, but this surpassed that time by leaps and bounds.
We had to wait 15 minutes to be taken to a table because the owner is also the host and server--he might also be the cook, too. It took about another 20-30 minutes just to get our drinks and place our orders. Over the next THREE HOURS we were served a total of five mediocre (at best) courses. The salad was good, but the soup tasted like a liquid salt lick with some lentils thrown in.
When we FINALLY got our entree after 2.5 hours it was boring, and the lamb in my boyfriends' dish was overcooked. The tomato-based salmon dish I got was simple, and not in a good way (especially after the wait). The baklava was chilled and soggy. Wtf?
Not to mention, the owner is a creep. There was a table of 4 women near us, and he was really handsy with one of them (no, he didn't know them), to the extent that he was feeding her by hand and rubbing her back. Not very professional.
There is absolutely NO REASON this should have taken 3 hours. It was a waste of time and completely anticlimactic because the food was nothing special, or even unique. Apparently they are moving to Division & Sharp soon. They would be better off closing for good.
A Delightful Surprise In Spokane! – My wife and I had wanted to try Morrocan food for some time but found the outside appearance of the Marakesh restaurant was wanting. However, making reservations for the Marakesh Restaurant is well worth the effort. Our dining experience here was not only a delicious meal in an exotic atmosphere but a delightful cultural experience as well.
Our host was attired in a traditional outfit and treated us with dignity and respect. He was most helpful in instructing us in our first Morrocan dining experience. After being seated at a low table on a comfortable hammock (my wife chose the cushioned seat in a more common position) we washed our hands at the table with the assistance of our host. Next we had the Morrocan mint tea with our lentil soup that was both refreshing and satisfying. The meal continued with a surprising dish consisting of eggs and light pastry. The third course was mixed fresh vegetables and bread seasoned with tasty spices. There is a special way to eat this and our host showed us how. Utensils are optional but we chose to enjoy the food in the manner of the country.
The main course is a choice of dishes made from lamb, chicken, beef or completely vegetarian. My wife and I each chose a different dish so we could better sample their offerings. Mine was chicken with plums and honey while my wife chose a braised chicken dish with rice. Both were exceptionally surprising, exotic, and delicious.
Desert was an excellent baklava and tea. We washed our hands one more time as we finished the meal and listened to the music of the country. It was a slow night at the restaurant and we had an opportunity to enjoy some enlightening conversation with our host.
There is no doubt in our minds that we will return to the Marakesh again. There are still many items on the menu that appealed to us and we want to sample them all. The food was plentiful and tasty. The service was exceptional. We highly recommend this restaurant for its food, interior atmosphere, and great service.
Great Experience! – If your expecting a typical American style restaurant and are unwilling to accept anything different, then don't go there. Olive Garden or Red Robbin will be sure to accommodate you. If you want something different and refreshing, then this is the place! The food is wonderful and strange, the staff is knowledgeable and charismatic, the ambiance is very romantic. There are no utensils, you must eat with your hands....so don't be lame and ask for a fork. I recommend sitting on the floor, it's easier to eat that way. The whole experience is unconventional and strange, but wonderful!
Horrible experience – First we waited for 20 minutes to be seated in a nearly deserted restaurant. Then we did not receive any kind of acknowledgment from our waiter for about another half hour and no water or beverages for the first hour we were there. Then the waiter decided to come onto the women we were with and spew his philosophy on sexual identity issues over the next two and a half hours. In the end my credit card mysteriously had $15 extra charge on it when I checked my bank balance. Outrageous!!!!
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