A week ago, one of our regular customers came into the bank and he mentioned that he just finished lunch at Casablanca, and it was absolutely delicious. I was intrigued, one because I’m always looking for my next great meal, and secondly because Casablanca sounds a lot like a Mexican restaurant, and I’m always down for some Mexican food. I asked him where it was, which turned out to be a stupid question since it was right on the other side of the parking lot and I’ve driven past it countless times, and when he told me where it was, I suddenly remembered it and felt like an idiot for having to ask in the first place, but that, unfortunately, is a common theme in my life. The guy was telling me about the shawerma, which somewhat surprisingly, at least to myself, is something that I’ve never tried, and he made it sound so good that I told him that I would definitely check it out, and I meant it.
A couple of days ago I decided that would be the day I would try Casablanca for lunch, so about an hour before lunch I started looking over the menu, getting a sense of what looked good and preparing myself mentally for what I hoped would be a fantastic meal. I almost got an appetizer platter with hummus, falafel, and baba ghanoush, just so I could try a few things, but the recommendation was for the shawerma, so that’s what I was going to try from there first. For the meat I could choose between a combination of beef and lamb, or chicken, and since I’m a big fan of gyros at Mediterranean restaurants, which are typically made of lamb meant, I figured I couldn’t go wrong with the beef and lamb at this new place. Along with the meat, the pita contained lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, which I asked to be left off because sometimes I really hate onions and if they are particularly strong they tend to overwhelm the entire dish. It also came with two types of sauce, one mild and one spicy, to pour onto the shawerma if you felt the urge to do so.
I called about ten minutes before my lunch break started to place the order, and it was ready by the time I got there, so I have nothing but good things to say about the speed of service at Casablanca, both in preparing the food and taking care of me almost as soon as I walked through the door. The price was okay, probably a little on the high side as the shawerma alone came out to almost ten dollars after tax. If I had gotten a side with that or a drink then it would have been more in the twelve to fifteen dollar range. The food, the main part of the whole experience, was absolutely fantastic. I was halfway expecting a gyro since the description of the shawerma was beef and lamb meet in a pita with lettuce and tomatoes, which sounds an awful lot like a gyro, but it was distinctively its own separate dish. The pieces of meat were smaller and thicker than that found in a gyro, and it was served inside of a pita pocket rather than a flatbread. The beef and lamb were perfectly seasoned and deliciously juicy, and the two sauces were both unique and flavorful, although I opted to drizzle my shawerma with the milder of the two because the spicy one, which seemed to have a jalapeno taste, had quite a kick to it. I would absolutely go back for the shawerma, because although the price might seem a bit high, it’s very filling and completely delicious. If you’re ever in Memphis and looking for some good Mediterranean food, you won’t go wrong at Casablanca.