#98: M'Lwee at Baida
Gut Check is counting down the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now.
When Baida (3191 South Grand Boulevard; 314-932-7950) opened its doors last September, it treated St. Louis to its first taste of Moroccan cuisine. Sure, there are the traditional dishes like couscous and tajines, but Baida's real gem is the difficult to pronounce appetizer m'lwee.
According to Baida's general manager Adam Bennis, m'lwee, a meat pie appetizer, is a traditional Moroccan dish that people make on the weekends in communal ovens, but every family has its own take on it. Judging by how delicious Baida's version is, owners Adber and Assia Meskine have mastered the preparation. Baida's m'lwee consists of succulent kefta, or ground beef, seasoned with cumin, corriander and garlic, and wrapped in a buttery phyllo pouch. The meat's juices fill the inside of the pastry so that one is treated to a burst of savory flavor with each bite -- yet the dough magically remains flaky and crisp. Basically, it's the Moroccan version of toasted ravioli.