Riad Moroccan Grill 
Obviously, if you’re going to write a weekly lunch blog, you’d better have a nose for a good restaurant. Through experience, we’ve also developed an eye for a bad location. Sometimes, at the same time. Which brings us to Riad Moroccan Grill, a great meal if you’re willing to fight against the shopping center developer to get to it. Riad is located in Gold’s Gym Plaza at West Tower, an awkwardly named shopping center that makes me feel like a certain health and fitness company owes me a nickel. Abutting Broad Street, you nonetheless can’t get to it from Broad Street (we’ve played this game before), you have to enter from a side street. Looking at this picture, you can see a few vacant storefreonts at the time it was taken. Or, rather, storebacks, because you’re really looking at the service entrances, and nothing rumbles the stomach like a reinforced steel door.
Which is too bad, because if you’re cruising Broad looking for a place to eat, you could miss this place, and that would be a shame. This day we didn’t waste anytime…buffet seemed to be the way to go, and we sampled many things. We had two dishes labeled “stew”, Chicken and Beef. I’d love to use their proper names but that’s how they were labeled (“Chicken Stew”) and their online menu understandably doesn’t cover something dynamic as a buffet. We also got firsts (and seconds and possibly thirds) of “gyro meat” because we love gyros. And I tried some zaalouk (eggplant mashed with tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and spices) which was labeled “eggplant” and “carrots” which were tossed with garlic, olive oil and spices. Riad’s English-friendly labels were handy, but I would have preferred more descriptive regional names. If the food is great (and it frequently was) I’d like to know how to order it properly from the menu next time. We were also served pita bread and ordered some Moroccan Mint Tea.
Our only complaint was a minor one: the bread was just okay. The rest of the meal ranged from good to great. This was a delicious meal, quality ingredients that felt fresh and were attractively seasoned, and none were dry or mushy, which can be a danger at a buffet. The meal was very filling and quite reasonable in price, with the food coming in under our $10/person benchmark for West End lunches. Hopefully Riad can gain a following despite its location handicap. It’s worth a stop and a return visit.