Brief Visit to Mauritania

A culinary experience not to be missed in the Mile End is a visit to la Khaima at 142 Fairmount West. Last Friday night, the charismatic Atigh welcomed us into his exotic restaurant that specializes in dishes from North Africa and his native Mauritania. Our experience started with our host giving us a list of the ingredients in the lentil appetizer. Here's the unusual albeit delicious combination of spices.

lentils, tomatoes, bulgur, diced onion, cilantro, ground coriander seed, cumin, harissa, paprika, ginger, cinnamon, lemon, limes, parsley, garlic, black pepper, olive oil and salt.
This was served with pita bread cut into quarters. I'm not sure that I would try this on my own. Too much of a few of these spices could spell disaster.

The main course was a choice of olive lamb tagine, delicate-tasting lamb sausages or vegetables cooked in peanut sauce. It was an impossible choice, so we opted for a little of all three, which appeared to be the choice of most of the tables. The main dish was served with a cold hibiscus tea, which Atigh is famous for. We had just enough room for the best mint tea I have ever tasted and a small honey and pistachio pastry.
A Chest that belonged to Atigh's Grandmother

This is a great and inexpensive place to go with a large group of friends. But it's also very popular, so I would suggest making reservations in advance.

Here's a link to a post on Atigh's hibiscus drink, which he makes and bottles on the restaurant premises. You can find it at corner stores throughout Montreal.

Other posts about the Mile End
Mile End Flavour of the Summer--Hibiscus
Hidden Beauty of the Rialto Theatre
Images de femmes at Rialto Theatre
Guerrilla in the Midst
Bagel Conundrum
Mile End's Ring of Fame
What it is by Lynda Barry
The True Gender
Almost a Visit to Gender
St-Viateur: the Polish Bazaar
The Mile End Buzz Around Beekeeping
For the Love of Vinyl
Airing Our Dirty Laundry



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