Tan Tan, Morocco

  • Date
  • 4 March 2000
  • Lodging
  • Hotel Sables d'Or
  • Distance
  • 390 KM
  • Total
  • 61381 KM

Arrived in Tan Tan around 7:30 p.m. and found a hotel – opened only three months ago – with bathrooms in each room and hot water. While waiting and waiting for dinner, we sipped tea in an adjoining teahouse. Impatient and hungry, Jim finally went to ask about our food at 8:30 p.m. “Dinner will be ready at 9:15.”

Then we noticed a truck pull up with two guys carrying bags of food and beer. The kitchen was bare so they bought our dinner while we drank tea! I loved that the men seized the opportunity. Around 9:05 we were escorted to the large, barren, white dining room in the basement, holding perhaps 10 tables, several blue glass chandeliers, a few mattresses waiting for delivery to rooms and air conditioners with dangling, unplugged cords on one wall. Boufousse Brahim, who we later found out owned the hotel and restaurant, brought over and introduced his wife wearing a wonderful, magenta fabric that covered her head-to-toe.

We were served bread, olives and beer – I almost suggested keeping the extra beers in the fridge but Jim warned they might not have one, so the beer just sat with us through dinner. Then fried fish and potatoes arrived. Lemon slices sprinkled with chopped parsley adorned each plate along with tomato and lettuce garnish. This may sound simple, but we haven’t had these extra touches since northern Morocco.

Trying to determine his role at the hotel and restaurant, I asked our English-speaking server if he was the owner? “No, I’m the master chef,” he beamed standing in a tiny, desert village restaurant where the hotel’s kitchen sat empty most days. The splendid food prepared for us that evening reflected his ability and enthusiasm for his work.