Words and Pictures by Alina Radio
Food and Jazz in The Heart of Morocco
When I think of Morocco, I think of Casablanca, so on my recent trip, I decided to visit the city that the renowned movie takes is name from. The city is most famous for its grand mosque, which is one of the which is one of the largest in the world and also one of the few that is open to non-muslims. What people do not know, is that even though the movie was never shot in Casablanca, there is this restaurant that is a perfect copy of Rick’s Cafe from the movie.
The venture was built by a former American diplomat, who wanted to demonstrate the true American values. It is located just outside the city’s old market (medina) and since I am a big fan of the movie, we decided that we must go inside. It is an extremely elegant place where you get immediately immersed into another era, or for movie enthusiasts like me, you get a chance to ‘live the movie’ as to say so.
The food varies from Moroccan specialties to international ones and it is on the pricier side. However, we found the taste not to live up to its expectations, but then again who really goes there for the food?
It is all about the movie and the atmosphere of the place and if you have not yet seen it, then there are some screens where it is played continuously so you really have no excuse.
We went to Rick’s Cafe during the afternoon and we found the experience unique. However, during the night the ambiance is supposed to be even greater as the lights are dim and jazz music is played by the famous pianist Issam.
When it was time to go, we took some pictures by the piano and people were encouraging us to play. Unfortunately, our talent is nonexistent and we did not want to ruin the atmosphere.
We left Casablanca, with a promise to return and unique memories to last us until our next visit. Whenever someone asks me about it, I simply quote the movie: “Are you sure this place is honest?” “…Honest as the day is long!“