101 St. Mark’s Place, East Village
It is easy to pass by the unassuming Cafe Mogador, hidden in the chaos that is St. Mark’s place. It is a few steps below street level and has been there for an eternity in Manhattan years (since 1983). But this place is a large, relaxed oasis, that is great for a big mug of coffee and afternoon conversation, which Spud and I often do. In the evening, at 8 pm, it transforms into a packed Moroccan cafe where drinks flow and voices are raised. The food is pretty good too, although it’s almost an afterthought in the evolving atmosphere. We had the Mixed Platter of tabouli, babaganoush, hummus, and salad which was fair, and not memorable. But the signature dish, the tagine, was slow cooked and quite flavorful. Of the five varieties, we chose the Casablanca: chick peas, raisins and onion with chicken. It’s difficult to find a traditional, quality eatery on St. Mark’s, but this Moroccan treasure has definitely lasted for 25+ years for a reason.