Omar Anani is the owner and chef of Saffron De Twah, Detroit’s first all-inclusive Moroccan restaurant. The concept for the modern North-African and Mediterranean influenced bistro originally started in a small food truck. Due to popular demand, a brick and mortar version was launched in March 2019. Omar’s loyal foodies will drive as far as 25 minutes to eat lunch, even during the workweek. The restaurant’s reviews sing praises like “homemade from scratch, thoughtful and delicious. Recommended are kefta meatballs and lamb ribs for the meat-eaters and cauliflower for the vegans.”
Moroccan food is well known for it’s flavorful, creative dishes and Omar delivers this perfectly. “All I can say is…flavor, flavor, flavor, ”expressed another diner.
The boutique food business is located on the Detroit east-side at 7636 Gratiot Ave. Although it is just getting off the ground, it’s inspiring menu has already landed itself in the Detroit Free Press. The lamb tagine was voted as one of the Motor City’s twelve outstanding dishes. Other popular menu items include Fried Green Tomatoes. They are served with homemade harissa ranch dressing. Harissa or “Berber Ketchup,” a popular condiment in North Africa. Harissa is made from red chili peppers ground to a paste with garlic, Moroccan spices such as cumin and coriander, and is topped off with lemon juice and olive oil. Chili peppers are the star of Harissa. The spicy plant has a long-established presence in Morocco; it was imported in the 16th century from Spain. The sauce is traditionally served with bread, grilled meats, and couscous. It can also be used as pasta sauce, on hummus, or a dip for chicken wings.
Although Saffron De Twah recently closed for maintenance, the community continues to cheer it on. Saffron de Twah was built on a foundation of strong family values, which are fundamental in Morocco. It’s motto states, no matter the struggles we all go through, our hope is that our community finds comfort and joy in our little restaurant, homemade, community-driven, (and) here for you.”
Other Moroccan traditions woven into Saffron’s concept are the importance placed on fresh bread and health. From the Sahara Desert to the Northern Rif Mountains, bread is made fresh daily in Morocco. Omar carries on the importance of this Moroccan value by serving fresh buns. Beverages include the famous Moroccan mint tea and beetroot lemonade.
For now, the restaurant is open 11AM-5PM, Monday-Friday. It promises that weekend hours will be added soon.