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MINT-TEA FRESH

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Buffs of Berber-influenced cuisine have had to withstand the recent closures of two Moroccan restaurants — Couscous and Casablanca. Thankfully, the Moroccan pavilion at Epcot isn't the only option for those of you craving sensually seasoned lamb couscous and chicken tagine. Nearby, on the corner of State Road 535 and Palm Parkway, tucked in the back of a strip mall next to a Kobe Steak House, sits Kasbah Grill — a hidden gem in every sense of the word.

On any given night, you'll find a predominantly North African clientele sitting outside sipping on mint tea while raï music suffuses the air, along with wafts from shisha pipes. Servers and hosts are out-of-the-way affable, which just serves to make the saffron- and herb-marinated chicken kebabs all the more delicious — the best in town, in my opinion. On cool nights, nothing provides more comfort than hearty harira soup, served with a circular loaf of fresh-baked bread. A demitasse of nus-nus (half cream and half espresso) is a must-must, but take your time sipping, as Moroccan tradition dictates a relaxed approach to dining — and to bringing the check.

(Kasbah Grill, 8464 Palm Parkway, 407-238-1818)

dining@orlandoweekly.com

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