I've mentioned how beautiful Sidi Bou Said was before, that beauty even shines through the crowds walking its cobble stoned streets.
Still, we really enjoyed the still, quiet mornings when we didn't have to "wrassle" our way through the crowds.
Perhaps the vibrant energy that the crowds bring adds it's own color and energy to the mix, but in the quiet moments you're allowed the time to just stand and enjoy the view wrapped in your own little bubble.
Still, no matter how wonderful the view, we found ourselves on the TGM headed back to La Marsa. It was no different on this morning.
There's something about the Mediterranean brightness of La Marsa, of the whitewashed buildings and the palm tree lined road that has such a retro feel for me.
And though there were tourists, there didn't seem to be as many of them.
We decided to just relax and have a cup of "cafe express" just as we had done previously and soak in the relaxed vibe of La Marsa.
And while the view and the beach was nice......
It was starting to get pretty warm.
Plus, we were here on a mission......a lunch mission.
We headed back down the side streets of La Marsa, past the well to do homes, bright white, with blue windows, doors, and trim. You could tell this was the high rent district.....
Some of these places may not have looked like much from the road......
But the Mediterranean was this building's backyard.
We found the street where Le Golfe was fairly easily.
We walked in just as they were opening. The woman who kindly seated us before they were opened the day before, first looked at us in surprise, I guess most "tourists" visit just once. Then, giving us a bright smile, told us, "welcome back" and waving with her open hand told us, "your table is waiting!"
You gotta love these folks!
Our server was also the same as the previous day, he's so nice and welcoming.
We started with a Mushroom Salad - Salade de Champignons (13 TND - about $7.50)
This was nothing special.
Of course we had to have our favorite dish from our previous visit, the Seches Grillees.
Man, this is so good. Just enough chew, wonderfully grilled, with a smokiness that reminds me of stuff done over binchotan. Nice salt and cumin, brushed with olive oil......it hit all those flavor points.
The Missus really wanted to try the Salade Nicoise au Thon mi-cuit (16 TND - about $9.50 US)
The seared tuna was nicely seasoned and tasted fresh. The balsamic reduction really added to this salad.
The olive wood really lifted the Sardines Grillees (8 TND - about $4.75 US).
There was one item I really wanted to try. I'd seen fresh Bluefin Tuna several times during this trip. Once, in a market in Carthage, I watched in horror as two of the "fish cutters" went at a beautiful bluefin with chisels, hammers, and saws, just hacking the daylights out of it.
So today, I inquired about the Les Carpaccio de Poisson (20 TND - about $12 US) and was told it was "thon rouge", bluefin. So of course we had to get it!
This was very nice, the fish super fresh, the flavor mild, the texture light, but meaty. They gave us a little bowl of "soy sauce".....place very strong quotations around that, with wasabi. I went with lemon which added a nice acidic touch to the dish.
All in all, a wonderful meal, in a beautiful and relaxed setting. What more could we ask for?
A couple of days ago, I was checking out a Roman Colosseum, the ruins of the city of Sufetula and having fantastic lamb slaughtered by the side of the road. We crossed a great salt lake and spent a night in a tent on the edge of the Sahara. Now here I was eating bluefin tuna carpaccio at a restaurant at the edge of the Mediterrannean. I'm not quite sure of how or why, but I was just glad to be able to do this. Life was good!