Casablanca House of Pastries is a place I frequent whenever I crave for Moroccan sweets. It is nestled among many other small businesses on Shirley Ave in Revere, Mass. Like any good bakery, there are many other foods that are served here to satiate one’s appetite. Apart from the food, though, is the welcoming atmosphere that many of the local Moroccans have grown to appreciate. The very few seats and tables by the window are almost always occupied by folks chit-chatting with one another. The young CHOP – my cute spin on IHOP – has proven to be quite an important member of the community.
Since marrying my wife who happens to be from Morocco, I’ve been fortunate enough to have been immersed in their culture. The two of us would pop in from time to time and grab a piece of their renowned Mille–Feuille (pronounced mil-fay), or more commonly known as a Napoleon. Being that Morocco was once colonized by France, their cuisine has some influences by the French. At CHOP you will find many widely known French pastries such as Schneck and Chaussons. However, they do have many authentic sweets such as Briwat, a triangle-shaped cookie filled with ground almonds dipped in honey.
I went alone not long ago slightly before noon. To be able to find parking on this one-way street is usually a difficult task during peak hours, which thankfully it wasn’t. The doors open to an immediate display of their goods: fresh baguettes, croissants, savory bites, and an array of pastries. A familiar face is behind the counter donning his warm smile at the sight of me. He has been working at Casablanca House of Pastries since 2013, not too long after the opening of the place itself. The smell of bread and sweet aromas filled the air. I decided to have a quick breakfast and ordered meloui, a Moroccan breakfast and goûter (tea time) staple. Sort of like a pancake, meloui is typically eaten with honey. It has the texture of an Indian roti, but only fluffier.
Back at CHOP, the staff are quite friendly and always greet you with a Salam and smile. Through small talk, I know they are all happy working there, despite it often being fairly busy especially during the holy month of Ramadan. I noticed that the same crew has been working since the opening of the place which puts into perspective the positive working environment. This family business has become so successful that they opened a restaurant not long ago. After I order my breakfast, I had a seat by the window next to a beautiful wall that I haven’t gotten to notice before. It’s a Moroccan mosaic that, despite it being only wallpaper, it adds much character to this little seating area. I break off small bites from my meloui and wash it down with the world famous Moroccan mint tea.