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Pyramids Report

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  • Steve Jun 28, 2006 01:13 PM

Is Pyramids the Moroccan Oohs and Aahs?

Kadijah, the self-taught proprietress of Taste of Marrakesh (when it was on 9th Street in Little Ethiopia) has finally re-opened as Pyramids at 5th and Florida and her cooking is better than ever. The lamb tagine was a gorgeous plate of food with rich flavor and a peppery kick. On the side I chose the spinach which was wonderfully spiced and uniquley North African. My head was spinning. She was out of her heavenly carrot salad, which is worth a few oohs and aahs, but a house salad was tangy and dusted with cumin. All this for less than $7. It was a regal meal at any price.

If she can make a couple of other dishes this well, she will have herself a fantastic restaurant.

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  1. Correction: Pyramids is located on the corner of 6th and Florida. About 4 blocks from the U St Metro stop.

    1. Stopped by for lunch today. Had the moroccan salad, baba ganoush (delicious!) $4, chicken bastilla (exceptional!) $7 and the lamb tagine (not as excited about it as others, but a great bargain, nonetheless!) $5.99. Delicious food at bargain prices, what more can one ask for?

      1 Reply
      1. re: NoVaDog

        I completely agree with you. One Friday when walking by a gentleman exiting the restaurant caught my friends and I scoping out the menu. He promised us it was delicious so we went in even though no one else was there. We were completely charmed by the "small shop" feel of the place and were blown away by the high quality and tasty food, incredible bargain prices, and the small salad and bread that came with the meal. I got the falafal and was really pleased that they were airy and delicate as opposed to over-fried bombs that many establishments served. After a long chat with the owner and a delish meal, we are all going back! By the way, for those who like to smoke shisha (middle eastern, flavored tobacco), they will be renting out their hookahs since there is no smoking in the restaurant.

      2. Pyramids is the best North African food I've had in the city - at prices that can't be equalled. I fear that the hole-in-the wall facade will discourage folks in the quickly gentrifying area of LeDroit Park - I've been told they had to close their bar because they didn't have enough business to afford the bartender.

        This is a place for Chowhounds, and it deserves to live on.

        1. I'll make it real easy for 'hounds to go here. Thursdays up to 11:30am is "street cleaning" on the adjacent street. For this reason, there's always parking and it is right next to the restaurant.

          1. We got lucky for lunch at Pyramids. The only b'stilla they had was seafood. Wow, was it ever great. I don't think I've ever had anything quite like it before. Not sweet, thankfully. Turns out that Kadijah's husband is Egyptian, and when he cooks he makes things to his taste. Which explains the fact that I've had two very different lamb tagines, one sweet with prunes and the other salty with olives. Both savory. Both great. If you call ahead and ask, maybe it's even possible to arrange an entire Egyptian meal. Their phone number is 202-232-6776.

            1. I've always had lamb tagine, so I thought I'd try the fish tagine. It was heavenly. I would definitely recommend it!!!

              1. Just went for the first time this afternoon. No seafood bastilla, but the chicken bastilla was excellent. The salad and fritters that preceded it were also very fresh and tasty, and my fiance had a very good falafel. Not sure why, but I found it transporting in a way that I don't often experience in this area. I'm really looking forward to returning here.

                1. What kind of place is it -- primarily sit-down or carryout, bright and tiled or dark and carpeted, etc.? Is there beer/wine/liquor?

                  1. No tile or carpet. This is a humble, bare bones place. A few tables and chairs. It's all about the food.

                    I don't know if they serve alcohol.

                    1. Thanks to fellow chowhounds for recommending this place.

                      Pyramids definitely falls into the hole-in-wall restaurant category. The proprietress was the only cook and server. The menu prices were out of date. There were no serving spoons. But the food was worth it, and the prices are still low.

                      I went with a group of five. We disagreed on which dishes were better, but all agreed they were good. I thought the chicken bastilla and fish tangine were the winners. The chicken bastilla has a light, flaky dough with savory filling and is topped with sugar and cinnamon. The fish was fried, served over vegetables. Apparently you can get an even better version of the fish, if you call ahead several hours and order.

                      1. This remains a great place to know about, but on the last two visits, even close to noon, she had not yet opened. Extremely casual, just keep that in mind going in. The carrot salad is another winning dish not yet mentioned. I could eat this stuff all day. And I otherwise eat carrots once a year or so...

                        1. Really is a great place with great prices. My wife and I had to drive around the block three times before convincing ourselves it'd be safe to go in. It really does look that bad from the outside. However, once inside the owners were very welcoming and we were at ease. They have take out, but I just can't imagine the food would be as good after driving it home. So much better piping hot and served out of the special pot they cooked the tagine in.

                          1. I'm glad you braved the neighborhood. I suppose to a visitor (and indeed some locals) it does look discouraging. Just keep in mind that those are million dollar homes they are renovating about a half block north of Pyramids. For DC, I think this neighborhood is Chowhound Central with Oohs and Aahs, Etete, and Thai X-ing within a few blocks from each other.