Casablanca, 3030 Severn Ave., Metairie, 504-888-2209
(Kosher, Middle Eastern , LD)
My ancestors stopped being kosher about three or four generations after we climbed down out of the trees. When I grew up, the last vestiges of this quaint little ritual meant that we could pack in the sausage or bacon but not pork or ham. Yeah, we were really assimilating, man. I've never really understood why you could eat as much campylobacter-stuffed chicken as you want, but the noble pig is somehow off limits. Whatever. I will, say, though, that the anti-cheeseburger set really does me right sometimes. Like Casablanca. The bad news here is the meat. The good news is that this means dairy stops at the door. So you get tadziki and, rumor has it, chocolate mousse pie made with soy. Kittee liked the grape leaves, heavy on the dill, but I say the rice inside is too dry. The combo appetizer is bi-polar. I don't like overly lemon-juiced hummus, but Casablanca's left me crying for more. I thought the falafel and baba ghanoush were too bland and the tabouli too soggy. I was also annoyed by the fluffy moistness of the pita bread. Fluffiness doesn't seem like a bad thing when you think about it, but I wanted the traditional flatter, drier version. Maybe I'm just a whiner. The spinach pie was more of a solid, vaguely cheesy mass than the delicate flaky thing I'm used to, but I liked it just the same. I also kind of liked the spicy red eggplant dip, which was very non-wimpy. I will defend the fresh fries to the death, though--they might be the best in town. If you want something more down-homey, go for the couscous with mixed vegetables. And don't forget to slap the rabbi on the back if you see him.
Kittee informs me this isn't her favorite review. She wants me to say that the tadziki is made with Tofutti sour cream ("I can tell") and that the grape leaves are big doo-doo size fatties. There, happy, kittee?