Mario D. King
Mario D. King

In this week’s cultural cuisine expedition, me and mi familia decided to experience a taste of North Africa. We found a cozy Moroccan restaurant nestled in Charlotte’s eclectic Plaza Midwood neighborhood.

Ajbani Moroccan Cuisine is considered one of the finest Moroccan restaurants in Charlotte. Upon our entrance, we were greeted by a sweet aroma, complimented by a vibrant and inviting color scheme.

On the menu, a lot of items piqued our interest. We decided to go with a variety of dishes to capture the full Moroccan experience.

To kick things off we ordered a little appetizer — Brochettes.

This gluten-free dish is made with Kebabs, marinated and grilled with Moroccan BBQ style. It’s served with a Harissa yogurt sauce.

Next on our list: Berber Chicken

Ajbani- BerBer Chicken2

Berber cuisines are staples within North Africa. Couscous is a dish enjoyed worldwide and is a perfect companion to a Berber cuisine. Our initial reaction to this dish was that of someone looking at a piece of art. The bright colors alone made it appealing, but it was the taste that ultimately won us over. Who can turn down roasted chicken and vegetables in a creamy sauce of saffron with cinnamon and garlic? The olive and orange salad that topped this delectable dish added that extra “it” factor. Oh, and how can I forget about the couscous?

Then we tried a little tajine dish: Spicy Lamb

Ajbani- Lamb3

Tajine also is a Berber dish common to North Africa. This tender lamb was rubbed with a blend of spices then braised with onion, carrot, okra, and apricot. It was topped with a house-made preserved lemon.

Our last main dish is considered to be a Moroccan favorite: Chicken with Preserved Lemon.

This is another dish within the tajine family tree. The chicken breast was marinated and braised with a lighter blend of root vegetables and olives. It, too, was gluten free.

We finished up with some Moroccan dessert: Baklava.

Ajbani- Baklava

This tasty treat was a layered dessert of pistachio, honey and phyllo dough, with notes of clove and cinnamon. It kind of reminded me of a remixed version of pecan pie. Good taste — I’ll recommend it.

Overall, the experience was worth the price of admission.

If you’re health conscious, this is a great place to make part of your regular dining circuit. If you’re not too concerned about healthy food intake, this is a great place to simply enjoy a great Moroccan meal.

Is there a better way to close out a meal such as this than by washing it down with some mint tea?

Ajbani Moroccan Cuisine
2903 Central Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28205
Phone: (980) 349 4015

Mario is a writer and lover of the arts. When he's not thinking of the next best novel, he's reading or finding some good eats. Follow him on Twitter @AuthorMDKing