A Moroccan Stand Alone – Baida Restaurant

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – The next time you get a craving for the tastes indicative of the bright blue sea and white sandy beaches of the Mediterranean, you do have some options close by. St. Louis has a number of restaurants that showcase the diverse cuisines of Greece, Morocco, Italy, Turkey, France and Spain, but very few that are specifically considered Moroccan. As a matter of fact, there is only one.

In the center of the Grand Improvement District, along with many great multi-cultural restaurants, you will find Baida. Located at 3191 South Grand Blvd., this is St Louis’ first and only solely authentic Moroccan spot. Opened in 2013, they like many other restaurants, have one special signature dish. It’s called M’lwee, a flaky layered pastry stuffed spiced ground beef , garlic, cumin, coriander, herbs, and other spices, then pan fried and served with Harissa (hot pepper sauce) on the side.

A large amount of conventional Moroccan foods are dishes cooked and served in a traditional lidded clay tagine pot. Baida stays committed to that custom by allocating a whole section of their menu to Tagine, and they do this, even though they have an American Chef at the helm. Owners, Abder and Assia Meskine, recruited former Lola and Eleven Eleven Mississippi’s Chef, Jeremy Bowman, to help fulfill their vision. Bowman studied up on Moroccan cuisine, and created a menu that uses his professional kitchen expertise to feature traditional homemade specialties true to the Meskine’s North African origins.

A couple of their stand out dishes are the Chicken Bastille, a spiced pulled chicken pie cooked with eggs, onions, almonds, cinnamon and honey, dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a plum/ apricot sauce, and the Mash’wee, an oven-roasted lamb shoulder, rubbed with sea salt, cumin, coriander, garlic, vegetables and saffron.

The restaurant, which is a simple South Grand storefront, is said to have a warm, welcoming atmosphere, well-versed servers, and a nice selection of beer and wine. And on the first Saturday of every month, you can spend a unique evening of Morocco cuisine and traditional Middle Eastern/Mediterranean style belly dancing with Sumaiya. How much closer can you get to Morocco than that?

Some Additional Menu Items include:

  • Chicken Tajine -Slowly braised half chicken with onions, potato, preserved lemon, green olives, ginger, saffron and cardamom. $15
  • Agadir- A Vegetable Tajine, with seasonable vegetables, garbanzo beans, preserved by lemon and herbs, and served with red Charmoula sauce on the side $12
  • M’Lwee- A flaky layered pastry that is stuffed with garlic, cumin, coriander, herbs beef and other spices then pan fried & served with Harissa (hot pepper sauce) on the sid $6
  • The 7 Salads- An array of traditional Moroccan salads, some spicy, some pickled and some sweet and savory, served with flatbread $10 
  • Desserts- Almond Honey Briwat, the Moroccan equivalent of baklava, layered with almonds and honey in a flaky pastry, topped with drizzled honey $8

Baida Restaurant-3191 South Grand Boulevard, St Louis, MO 63118

Contributing Editor: Kara Savio