Just a hop, skip, and a jump from Eastern Market – where Omar Anani was once a vendor – is the new Moroccan restaurant, Saffron De Twah. Anani has owned the building at 7636 Gratiot Avenue, Detroit, for years and originally planned on putting an Asian concept in the space before switching. Why Moroccan? Because no one else was doing it. Anani noted people tend to lump Moroccan food together with Mediterranean, but advised they couldn’t be more different. “That’s the thing that’s so cool about Moroccan cuisine...they have these infusions in their cooking that the rest of Mediterranean cuisine does not have,” he noted. A perfect example of a menu item with said influences is their meatball sub, made with a saffron tomato sauce, featuring the Spanish influence, and kofta meatballs, done in a French technique which leads to a texture Anani said you won’t find anywhere else. The rest of the menu – all coming in under $11 – includes a Lamb Tagine Bowl, Skirt Steak Shawarma Bowl, and two vegan options. Even though they are currently only doing orders for pickup and delivery, there are big things coming to the space. Anani hopes to offer sit-down service by June, when they will also have an expanded menu and brunch on the weekends.
Metro Intelligencer is a monthly column devoted to news stories, tidbits and gossip items about what's happening on the restaurant scene in the metro Detroit area. Metro Intelligencer is reported/created each month by Dana Casadei who can be reached at DanaCasadei@DowntownPublications.com with news items or tips, on or off the record.