Located on the tree-lined stretch of Taylor Street that runs through the heart of the University Village neighborhood, Couscous is a small place with a large menu. The restaurant features the cuisine of the Middle East and the Maghreb, the region of Africa north of the Sahara and west of the Nile that includes the modern countries of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya.
Couscous offers much that you might recognize if you’ve eaten Middle Eastern food before, including hummus, felafel, shish kabob and tabbouleh; however, there are a number of dishes on the menu that fall outside the realm of pita and dip. For example, you can try ful medames, a dip of mashed fava beans; mishwiyya, a salad of grilled peppers and tomatoes; mujadarra, a lentil and rice dish with caramelized onions; or tajines, stews of meat and vegetables served over rice.
Of course, you can always have the couscous. This staple of the Maghreb consists of grains of steamed semolina (coarsely ground durum wheat), served with a vegetable and meat stew chock full of cinnamon. Couscous offers its namesake dish in lamb, beef, chicken, shrimp and vegetarian versions.
The prices are reasonable at Couscous, with no entree costing more than ten dollars. Portions are substantial, so remember to save room for baklava for desert.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Alan Simmons