A welcome addition to the cafe scene in Fez made its debut yesterday. Le 44 is just off the Talaa Kbira, on Derb Bensalem.
Opened by Zahra and her team, this delightful cafe is housed in a small dar. It has three salons and a terrace. The interior is air-conditioned and there is free Wifi and pleasant music.
The menu offers French style breakfasts, brunch including eggs and yoghurt (45 dirhams), and a variety of light meals. You can choose from savoury dishes such as vegetable tart with salad (35 dirhams); salads and pastas (40-45 dirhams). When The View From Fez visited, a number of the dishes on the menu were not yet available, so we had a carrot salad with an orange flower water dressing and an egg, followed by linguine with aubergine and crushed almonds. The food was simple and wholesome.
In the sweets department, fruit tart or cake is on the menu; also chocolate cake and Crepe Suzette (25 dirhams). There are a variety of teas (10 dirhams), and Nespresso capsule coffee and hot chocolate (15 dirhams).
The proprietor, Zahra, (who prefers to go by her first name), is from Orleans in France and first came to Fez for the Fes Festival of Sacred Music in June, 2010. "I was very attracted by Fez and I came back in September to see how I could live." She had been working as an industrial buyer in international trading, and decided a complete life change was in order. It's the first time Zahra has run a cafe. "I like to invite friends into my home, and to make food, so I thought, why not do this?"
|Zahra and her team Omar Tajmouati (left) and Mehdi Sbai|
On the opening day the cafe was difficult to find, as it is down the first little alley on the right off Derb Bensalem, and there was no sign at the turn-off. (Although there was one from the Tal'aa Kibra.) However, Zahra promises a sign will be in place soon.
Le 44 cafe-restaurant is at 44, Derb Bensalem, off Talaa Kbira (on the left just down from the Merdersa Bouanania). It is open from 9am to 11pm every day. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 05 35 74 14 50.