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Cous Cous Festival Returns With Edgy North African Street Food

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(Photo by via jkdjulia on Flickr)
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The Spanish Fly gastropub serves cous cous and tagines on a regular basis, but executive chef Farid Zadi says that for that for this year's 2nd Annual Cous Cous Fest on September 22 and 23, they'll be dishing up bolder, offal-based items which he deems “North African stoner food."

Zadi says that the Ancient Berbers were the original hash heads, but you won't want to come too blazed to the festival. There will be plenty going on that you'll want to remember, like the the Algeria-born chef leading tagine cooking demos at 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Other Algerian items we're looking forward to are Zadi's sandwiches made with lamb doner and merguez, the latter of which is some of the best in the city, and the slow roasted goat and lamb heads. There will also be a North African riff on chicken wings and a brik station, where Zadi will be preparing the Tunisian triangular fried dough pockets with a variety of fillings.

Here's a peek at the full menu for the feast, which will take place from 12:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m., or until the spit is shaved dry:

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Couscous Royale: lamb, beef, chicken, vegetables and merguez~ 26 per person
Slow roasted goat or lamb heads~ 26 (pre-ordering required)
Lamb doner and merguez sandwiches ~8
Tacos Arabes~3
Brik station~5-8
Spicy chermoula snails ~ 6
Lamb offal kebab wraps: tongue, kidneys, or liver~4
AFC (Algerian fried chicken wings) ~12
Algerian pizzas~ 8-12
Dips and fried flat bread chips~5
Fried chickpeas~4

Algerian aguas frescas~4
Algerian spiced iced teas~4
Algerian lemonade~4
Algerian fries~4
Hot mint tea~2.5
Turkish cardommon spiced coffee~3
Algerian cookies/sweets~ 1-6

They recommend making reservations online via emailing chefzadi@gmail.com or by calling (213) 412-2992. Parking is free for two hours at the Mercury Building next door.