I had been meaning to go to Mawa’s for a while now. I had stopped by two Saturdays in a row finding the place closed, before finally going to the website and realizing they’re closed on Saturdays for lunch. I did find that unlike many restaurants in the area, they were open for Sunday brunch, so last Sunday I finally got to try Mawa’s food.
Upon entering we were invited to seat ourselves at one of the booths near the windows. There was a cool area with a small table with pillows to sit on, but I figured that was probably for someone with reservations. I was happy enough in their booths.
For drinks I ordered the Sweet Morrocan Mint Tea because it sounded interesting, and because it was one of the few drinks that came with free refills. My husband got the mango drink, which had no free refills. My tea was served on ice and was quite refreshing. My husband’s drink reminded me of a mango lassi, without the yogurt. I guess just mango juice.
It took me a while to figure out what to order. Everything looked really appetizing, especially the brunch platters. But I finally decided on the croissant bechamel sandwich with chicken, egg n’ cheese. It was served with African fries and a choice of side, either Lakh (millet and yogurt), beignets (your choice of 1 kind), and African fries. I figured if it already came with African fries, I would get a side of the Merveilles beignets. I don’t know how to speak many French words, so unfortunately my ordering experience consisted of a lot of pointing and trying to explain the English description of the food. They could really use some alphanumeric (A2, G9, C3) labeling on their menus.
My husband ordered the Lamb Shawarma. It sounded really good as well. For my son we got the Pet de None, which were 6 pieces of beignets with chocolate sauce. At $5-$8 per entree, all the dishes seemed really reasonably priced for a Sunday brunch.
When the dishes came out, it was my husband’s dish, and mine. The waiter mentioned something about more food coming later. I asked if my son’s dish was coming out soon, and he seemed confused.
We started eating, and I have to say, the food was wonderful. Though not what I imagined a croissant would look like, it was rectangular and filled with chopped chicken and egg, and had a very mild spice to it. I knew bechamel was a white sauce, but didn’t find anything resembling a white sauce on the dish. I didn’t really see any cheese either. Despite it being dry and not drenched in sauce as advertised, it was still a fantastic sandwich. The small fried plantains were delicious as well. I could have probably eaten 30 of them. I was also a bit confused about the beignets I got, as they appeared to have apple in them, and weren’t orange flavored at all. Perhaps the waiter had misunderstood my pointing and attempt at the French word. I wasn’t too disappointed though, because the food was so good anyway.
I had a taste of my husband’s Lamb Shawarma and it was awesome. He didn’t get to choose his beignets so I think they were just plain, but they came with some little flavored dipping sauce. He thought the fries were excellent as well. But he really loved that lamb shawarma more than anything.
Another waiter came out to try to make sense of our order, and I explained that I had ordered the croissant sandwich with the orange beignets, my husband ordered the lamb shawarma, and my son got the beignets with chocolate sauce. 10 minutes later they did finally bring out the other half of my sandwich, as well my son’s beignets. The original portion seemed big enough, but I welcomed more food because it was so tasty. My son didn’t appreciate his beignets, even when we told him they were donut holes you could dip in chocolate sauce. So instead my husband and I ate the chocolate sauced beignets as our dessert.
I’d love to rate Mawa’s really highly, since the food was excellent. But I didn’t get the beignets I ordered, the sandwich came out in 2 parts 15 minutes apart, and wasn’t really at what was described on the menu, my son’s order came out 15 minutes after ours did, and my mint tea never got refilled. I’m assuming most of this was because of a language barrier, and I think giving each menu item a letter and number would really help keep things straightened out. Despite all this, I look forward to coming back sometime during the week to try out their regular menu, and maybe brush up on my French so I don’t embarrass myself trying to pronounce the menu items.