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Tunisia Questions from a fretting soon to be Mother in Law

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I am not sure if this belongs on this board or the 'Middle East and Africa' Board: since obviously they overlap...

My daughter is getting married. To a great guy who is originally from Tunisia. Most of his family is still in Tunisia, and we are travelling there in December for a big party (the actual 'official' wedding will be here). Well, actually, for a series of parties....

(side note: I will admist that I've been having a very hard time coping with the whole idea of my daughter getting married (she's rather young, and of course I think she is still a baby). My denial is probably why I haven't posted for requests earlier. BUT, I do like SILTB (son-in-law-to-be) and she is happy, so I am working really hard to try and get over that and just enjoy what will undoubtably be the experience of a lifetime.)

So, all that said, hubby and I and some other family members will be in Tunisia for ten days in late December and are looking for chow-worthy recommendations. We will mostly be in Tunis and surrounds, and much of our time we will be hosted by the SILTB's family, but we hope to have some time to get out and see the country, so would welcome suggestions for anywhere in the country, just in case we get a chance to travel.

In particular, I would welcome suggestions for places to eat in and near the Tunis souk (some serious shopping is planned :-)), near Carthage (our actual 'home base' for most of the trip will be a hotel in the suburb of La Marsa), and for an upscale choice or two in or around Tunis that would be appropriate for holding a group dinner as a thank you for what we anticipate will be over-the-top hospitality from our Tunisian hosts...Dar el Jeld maybe, or one of the fancy French places that Peemster mentions in the thread below? If anyone has websites that would be helpful: I have found only one or two, and mostly in French, which unfortunately I am not all that well-versed in reading or speaking...I also have discovered that Alain Ducasse has a branch of Spoon in Tunis, (though I can't find a website for it either). Has anyone tried it? Just how expensive would it be? Too over the top?

Anyway, I can't find many previous posts on CH regarding Tunisia. Here is one:

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32578...

Interestingly, however, SILTB says that he had never even heard of falafel until he left Tunisia and moved to Boston six years ago, and that falafel and related Middle Eastern foods are *not* common in Tunisia, so I am not sure what that says about him, or about the first post in that thread...(I do hope it doesn't mean he led a really sheltered/non-chowish life.)..He has confirmed that there is great seafood to be had in Tunisia, and is getting a definitely chow-ish far away gleam in his eye as he talks about how his mother is already planning to prepare her famous 'squid and peas' dish for us when we arrive....

unfortunately, he hasn't been back in Tunisia in over four years himself, so while he loves to talk about his favorite dishes, he hasn't been able to come up with specific names/locations of places to eat. Or maybe he just knows that his family will be trying to feed us themselves every chance they get?

but ok, enough fretting: what do you all think of these recs, and can anyone make some more? All of your answers would be much appreciated! Thanks!

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  1. It has been years since I was there, so like your SILTB I can't make specific reccomendations. Check out this article from the NYTimes, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage... it might be a good place for you to start.

    P.S. you probably have to log on to the site, but it is free