Carthage Café

We’d walked by Carthage Cafe a few months ago and made a mental note to check them out after seeing the French Tunisian sign. Their food is influenced by French, Tunisian and Turkish food.

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Sign outside.

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We dropped in on a Saturday evening (6:00pm with reservations). All the tables seemed to be reserved for the evening. Only one waiter manning the front and doing the bartending. The inside has about 9-10 tables. It’s nice that both the windows and doors are open to give the place an open air vibe.

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Menu is two pages: soups, salads& appetizers, fresh mussels, entrees, viandes (meats) and poissons (fish). Click here to see (1 and 2) and drink menu.

Bellini ($10.00)
DSC04535Stoli vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice and sparkling wine. B’s mom was expecting it to be more like a slushy than a martini.

Mussels ($19.50)
DSC04537Comes with a basket of bread and frites. The bread is perfect to soak up with the sauce but they don’t give you enough. The fries were terrible; dry and not crispy enough.

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We went with the carthago sauce (cumin & spicy harissa) which was tasty but on its own, way too salty.

Bread ($2.00)
DSC04538An extra side of bread will cost you. Lame that they charge that much but at least it’s slightly toasted.

Carthage ($28.00)
DSC04542A combination of merguez, sausage, lamb shank and chicken over a bed of couscous, vegetables and tomato sauce. This was easily the best main of the night.

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The couscous went wonderfully with the homemade sauce. Loved that you got a mix of meats. The lamb shank was excellent, fall off the bone. Sausage had a good kick to it. Chicken was tender.

Chicken tagine ($24.00)
DSC04540Olives, peas and potatoes in lemon, cilantro and saffron broth. It doesn’t come in a tagine (like it does at Moltaqa) but the sauce was tasty. Lemon comes through and B’s dad brought it home for leftovers. Chicken was tender and both the peas and potatoes were good although would have liked more. This dish desperately needed some sort of carb.

Lamb chops ($26.00)
DSC04543Served with fries and Tunisian salad. Lamb chops were topped in a Tunisian style mint sauce. Four pieces of lamb chops (we requested medium).

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Cooked well but the sauce was very subtle. Barely got a hint of the mint. Salad was completely overdressed and again, the fries were disappointing.

Bouillabaisse ($28.00)
DSC04541Catch of the day with scallops, prawns and mussels in a saffron broth. Good amount of mussels, two prawns, one scallop and a mix of salmon and a white fish (likely halibut). Salmon was flaky and tender. Halibut was the complete opposite; so dry and overcooked. Again, a carb would have been ideal. Not worth the price point here.

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Always interesting to try a new cuisine. First Tunisian experience although it’s not too different from other places we’ve tried.

Carthage Café
http://www.carthage-cafe.com/
1851 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC
(604) 215-0661

Carthage Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato