Please note: the giveaway is now closed. Foodbuzz will be choosing the winner in January. Good luck to those who entered!
This last week has been a lot of holiday eating. A lot of holiday eating. The other night, FH and I went with some friends to Kous Kous, a Moroccan restaurant we’ve always enjoyed.
Not only was this a good chance to enjoy a meal before the holidays with friends, but it also gave me a chance to check about American Express’ new Serve program, which I’ll detail more at the end of this post. In addition, one person commenting on this post will win $100 American Express’/Serve credit, find out more at the end of this post. You can do anything you want with the money: use it to pay for dinner, transfer it back into your bank account, etc.
Once we arrived, we noticed some different items on the menu and also the addition of a cocktail menu. You can view the full menu here.
The left is a Moroccan Kiss (champagne, pomegranate juice, orange blossom, St. Germain liquor).
The right is a Sit Sin (Citrus & Cinnamon ~ Mandarin Absolut, Citron Absolut, orange juice, cinnamon schnapps, cream)
For our starter we chose the vegetarian platter:
Zaalouk, My Ratatouille, Endive Pockets, Moroccan Potato Salad
We’ve always enjoyed the tapas in the past, but this time, they were made quite differently. They didn’t taste bad, but we preferred the previous version.
Prior to our main entrees arriving, we were given some complimentary bread served with a curry sauce reminscent of thai curry.
Here’s our main entrees
Merguez Grilled, spiced Lamb sausage with a ginger garlic butter sauce
I was surprised to see this served with a side of rice. Previously all dishes came with their couscous, which I absolutely adore. A second look at the menu made me realize most of the dishes are no longer served with couscous. Not sure why the change. I did enjoy the sausages.
Berber Lamb Shank Tagine
Slow braised with saffron, cumin, garlic, lemon preserves and seasonal vegetables
I had this dish previously and the lamb was as good as I remembered. Tender, fall off the bone, with hints of garlic, cumin and saffron. Unfortunately, this used to be served with a huge plate of couscous that I could never finish. Now the dish is just served in a large casserole dish, swimming with broth. It felt weird to not have any couscous to eat this with.
Fassi Lamb Shank Tagine
“Ras’l hanout” honey sauce, caramelized dry fruit, toasted almonds and sesame seeds.
I found this lamb dish too sweet. I wasn’t really a fan. Again, it was served with rice instead of couscous.
Lamb “Mechoui” Couscous
This dish is how the tagine dishes used to look. A ton of couscous and some meat sitting on top. My friend was generous enough to share his couscous with me since I was missing it so much.
I’m not sure if this place came under new management. I should have asked our server. The service was very good, attentive and friendly. For the most part we enjoyed the food, but not as much as we did before.
At the beginning of my post, I mentioned American Express’ Serve. American Express recently launched a program called Serve, a new form of payment that allows you easily to pay back friends (similar to paypal). For instance, it allows you to go out with your friends and be able to split the bill without worrying about people not paying back and having outstanding IOUs. You can put money into your Serve account, which you can fund through bank account, credit card, and a few other methods. You can then easily send money from your Serve account to another person with a Serve account. There’s a phone app too, so that you can do it during at the end of your meal. You can use that money in your Serve account to fund future meals, or transfer it back into your bank account.
As part of being a member of Foodbuzz’ Tastemakers Program, certain bloggers were selected to try out the program and received $150 to help fund dinner (plus an additional $100 for writing about our experience). Right now, if you sign up, you can $10 automatically.
You don’t need to have an American Express card, though you will be given a physical card too which you can use at places that accept American Express. You can check out the program here. You can sign up here.
We found the program easy to use. It takes only a few minutes to set up the account. Once we finished our dinner, one person put the entire bill on his credit card. I then logged into my account and transferred the money over to his serve account by typing in his email address. He got an email about it and the funds were deposited soon after.
My friends found the program pretty impressive. I guess I’ve been pretty lucky because I haven’t experienced that many IOUs that don’t get paid back but my friends have. We launched into a whole discussion of unpaid IOUs. This prevents the problem because everyone can just pay right away.
As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a $250 stipend to try Serve from American Express. Sign up for Serve and receive $10 credit towards your first use. In addition, Foodbuzz and American Express are doing a contest for a chance to win $100 credited to your serve account. Simply leave a comment below within the next 7 days (By December 26, 2011) for your chance to win an extra $100 credit to your account! A comment below will get you an entry. Foodbuzz will then select one winner randomly from the comments on this post. Official sweepstakes rules and regulations may be found here: http://www.foodbuzz.com/blogs/4622317-win-serve-dollars-giveaway-official-rules
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