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Couscous Cafe and Catering, Downtown - Closed


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I've been here a few times, and can't get enough of the lamb brochette. Others in my office have sampled other items from the menu and have been pleased as well. The brewed tea with fresh mint is quite refreshing (especially as we get into the HHH's of DC summer :lol: )

Even tho' it's just around the corner from my office, I hadn't tried it until Tom mentioned it in a weekly dish in March. I keep meaning to sample the breakfast items, but as of yet have not had the opporunity. Since then, this is a newfound gem, with reasonable prices. (And it's only one block east from "the grill" so a good place to stop by when the grill is not fired up, and one block west as an alternate to Kostas' Greek Deli)

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And the co-owner Aziz is a pleasure--he's often behind the register, and on a day like yesterday, was working as a server taking orders from a large party that took up over half the restaurant! I usuallly get take-out, but a coworker and I decided to dine there for a change, and since he had been tied up with the large party, he handed me a tea "to-go" since he hadn't had time to check to see if I needed a refill at our table. I hadn't needed one, and don't even expect "table" service in this type of place. (small downtown cafe w/ tables to bring your food over and "eat-in") I highly recommend this place and would love to see it stick around.

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Wow, good call, Squids! :lol:

Went to Couscous Cafe today for lunch, and was very glad I did. Went with the lamb brochette, which turned out to be two big lamb kebabs (Where I thought brochette was a ground meat product, but no matter), which were tender, juicy, and flavourful, served on a bed of golden, perfectly cooked rice. I also had two shining examples of baklava, something I've had a historical near-addiction to.

The man at the counter (Possibly Aziz...I should have asked) was very nice, and gave me mint iced tea while I was waiting for my food. When was the last time anybody has ever done that?? A very nice gesture, and much appreciated in the hot afternoon, and what's more, it was repeated on the way out!

This is definitely going to be a regular lunch spot for me from now on.

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Wow, good call, Squids! :lol:

Went to Couscous Cafe today for lunch, and was very glad I did. Went with the lamb brochette, which turned out to be two big lamb kebabs (Where I thought brochette was a ground meat product, but no matter), which were tender, juicy, and flavourful, served on a bed of golden, perfectly cooked rice. I also had two shining examples of baklava, something I've had a historical near-addiction to.

The man at the counter (Possibly Aziz...I should have asked) was very nice, and gave me mint iced tea while I was waiting for my food. When was the last time anybody has ever done that?? A very nice gesture, and much appreciated in the hot afternoon, and what's more, it was repeated on the way out!

This is definitely going to be a regular lunch spot for me from now on.

Glad to hear you liked it ;) Let me know when you'll be by and I'll meet you there!

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I dropped by CousCous today just before the noon rush and, as always, am full and satisfied. I went for the Chicken Tajine (sp?), which is a simple dish of chicken, basmati rice, and green olives in a tasty garlicky yellow sauce. I also had a side dish of the hummous, which is great! Their pita taste a day old, so you may want to just eat the hummous on top of your entree, or with a spoon.

The service there is impeccable, and I would recommend the falafel, the mint tea, and the baklava to anyone who hasn't been.

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Stupid question: does this place do take-out? Menu online? It takes some powerful food magnetism to pull me away from the lure of Greek Deli, but it sounds like this place has the goods. Usually take back to my desk though ...

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Stupid question: does this place do take-out?  Menu online?  It takes some powerful food magnetism to pull me away from the lure of Greek Deli, but it sounds like this place has the goods.  Usually take back to my desk though ...

Not sure about the menu being online, but I get take-out all the time as I rarely have time to eat out...and it is definitely worth it! (They also have several daily specials that you won't find printed)

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Not sure about the menu being online, but I get take-out all the time as I rarely have time to eat out...and it is definitely worth it! (They also have several daily specials that you won't find printed)

Sold! Might have to try it out for my (very) late lunch. Thanks!

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Stupid question: does this place do take-out?  Menu online?  It takes some powerful food magnetism to pull me away from the lure of Greek Deli, but it sounds like this place has the goods.  Usually take back to my desk though ...

One thing I forgot to mention was that they presented me with my lunch in about 45 seconds. I was there, fooded, and back all in less than 3 6-minute increments.
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Always happy to read about another Algerian couscous place.

I haven't found one in Los Angeles or the West Coast.

edited to add that after looking at the menu there are quite a few dishes that are not Algerian or even North African for that matter. But the restaurant does describe itself as "Mediterranean cuisine".

Edited by farid
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I had a wonderful carryout lunch of Couscous with Chicken ($8.99) yesterday at Couscous Cafe, with the gracious Aziz manning the register, and Chef Ranu back in the kitchen cooking. A quarter chicken, dark-meat, sitting atop a bountiful portion of couscous with all sorts of goodies in it, essentially a stew with zucchini, chickpeas, carrots, butternut squash, and turnips. It was great! When Aziz was finishing with wrapping up the order, he asked me if I liked harissa. Well, yes! So he ran back and got me some of it to add as I saw fit.

He asked me how I heard about Couscous Cafe, and since it was after I paid, I let him know that I had a restaurant website, and that I was looking forward to writing something nice about my lunch (I had already seen what was in the container, and I knew full well it was going to be good). I let him know the name of the website, and his face lit up - "people on Don Rockwell really helped us out early on!" he said. And that made me feel great, having taken a small part in helping a fledgling business that deserves recognition, because there haven't been any posts about Couscous Cafe in a few years now, and this is one place that should be a go-to for anyone looking for a great lunch downtown, carryout or otherwise.

The only advice I'd give them is that their printed menus and website seem to be a dollar out-of-date, both listing my lunch for $7.99 (although I ordered off the overhead menu, which made it clear that it was $8.99.) This is something of a minor detail that is probably in the stages of correction.

Couscous Cafe is a wonderful lunch option downtown, and if I worked anywhere near there and needed to eat quickly, I'd be there twice a week. Kudos to this fine establishment.

Special note to the "Turn Up The Heat" event for Ovarian Cancer: Chef Ranu should be a participant next year.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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I had a wonderful carryout lunch of Couscous with Chicken ($8.99) yesterday at Couscous Cafe, with the gracious Aziz manning the register, and Chef Ranu back in the kitchen cooking. A quarter chicken, dark-meat, sitting atop a bountiful portion of couscous with all sorts of goodies in it, essentially a stew with zucchini, chickpeas, carrots, butternut squash, and turnips. It was great! When Aziz was finishing with wrapping up the order, he asked me if I liked harissa. Well, yes! So he ran back and got me some of it to add as I saw fit.

He asked me how I heard about Couscous Cafe, and since it was after I paid, I let him know that I had a restaurant website, and that I was looking forward to writing something nice about my lunch (I had already seen what was in the container, and I knew full well it was going to be good). I let him know the name of the website, and his face lit up - "people on Don Rockwell really helped us out early on!" he said. And that made me feel great, having taken a small part in helping a fledgling business that deserves recognition, because there haven't been any posts about Couscous Cafe in a few years now, and this is one place that should be a go-to for anyone looking for a great lunch downtown, carryout or otherwise.

The only advice I'd give them is that their printed menus and website seem to be a dollar out-of-date, both listing my lunch for $7.99 (although I ordered off the overhead menu, which made it clear that it was $8.99.) This is something of a minor detail that is probably in the stages of correction.

Couscous Cafe is a wonderful lunch option downtown, and if I worked anywhere near there and needed to eat quickly, I'd be there twice a week. Kudos to this fine establishment.

Special note to the "Turn Up The Heat" event for Ovarian Cancer: Chef Ranu should be a participant next year.

Cheers,

Rocks.

This was one of my favorite lunch spots when I worked in that area. I would go once a week and get the lamb cous cous with a braised lamb shank, cous cous and the same stew you mentioned. I highly recommend going to cous cous as well
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I had a wonderful carryout lunch of Couscous with Chicken ($8.99) yesterday at Couscous Cafe, with the gracious Aziz manning the register, and Chef Ranu back in the kitchen cooking. A quarter chicken, dark-meat, sitting atop a bountiful portion of couscous with all sorts of goodies in it, essentially a stew with zucchini, chickpeas, carrots, butternut squash, and turnips. It was great! When Aziz was finishing with wrapping up the order, he asked me if I liked harissa. Well, yes! So he ran back and got me some of it to add as I saw fit.

He asked me how I heard about Couscous Cafe, and since it was after I paid, I let him know that I had a restaurant website, and that I was looking forward to writing something nice about my lunch (I had already seen what was in the container, and I knew full well it was going to be good). I let him know the name of the website, and his face lit up - "people on Don Rockwell really helped us out early on!" he said. And that made me feel great, having taken a small part in helping a fledgling business that deserves recognition, because there haven't been any posts about Couscous Cafe in a few years now, and this is one place that should be a go-to for anyone looking for a great lunch downtown, carryout or otherwise.

The only advice I'd give them is that their printed menus and website seem to be a dollar out-of-date, both listing my lunch for $7.99 (although I ordered off the overhead menu, which made it clear that it was $8.99.) This is something of a minor detail that is probably in the stages of correction.

I agree. This is a great lunch spot, and it only a block from my office! The dishes I've had there are pretty authentic. They even sell a few North African specialties like preserved lemons.

Couscous Cafe is a wonderful lunch option downtown, and if I worked anywhere near there and needed to eat quickly, I'd be there twice a week. Kudos to this fine establishment.

Special note to the "Turn Up The Heat" event for Ovarian Cancer: Chef Ranu should be a participant next year.

Cheers,

Rocks.

I agree. It's a great lunch spot and only a block from my office! The food is pretty authentic. They even sell some North African specialties like preserved lemons.

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