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Bathed in Roses in Vegas

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Of all places to experience an excellent dining and cultural experience, Las Vegas wouldn’t be my first pick. This past summer, I was pleasantly surprised. In the corner of an off-the-main-drag strip mall, in the same row with take out Chinese, we were transported to the Middle East; belly dancer and all. The ceremony of the mint tea wasn’t demonstrated nor did the 1 oz coffee live up to the thick-as-mud reputation as I had hoped it would, but the perfectly braised tagine, sizzling chicken skewers, and garlic saturated shrimp left us without disappointment. You’d think the tantalizing food was what marked our memories. But, no. The best part of the entire night came after the first drinks had been poured. We washed our hands.

This was the most invigorating and lovely hand washing tradition I had ever experienced. The server came out with a teapot filled with hot rose water that filled our senses with a sweet and clean fragrance that preceded our 7-course dinner. Each of us were handed a warmed cloth and as we reached together over a bright bowl, the comforting and appetizing warmth ran over our hands. This night of Moroccan dining took hours as we cozily sat against colorful pillows at a low table. Later, the tea that brought the meal to a close was sweet, smooth, and floral. I’m still concocting ideas for what they brewed in it! I can’t wait to go again.

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