We had a little bit of trouble finding Baraka, as the signage outside was difficult to see coming from the east, but once located at the northeast corner of 32nd and SE Division, street parking was pretty easy to find, and this was on a Friday evening. As long as drivers are polite to the neighbors whose houses they are parking in front of, the free parking should continue for a while, which a nice change from downtown Portland. The place itself is pretty small, but wonderfully decorated inside, with the traditional cushions and couches one expects in a Moroccan restaurant, and the menu selections are comparable to the other Moroccan venues both downtown and in Vancouver. We ordered the 'Taste of Baraka', which included the lentil soup, humus with pita, entree and dessert, with mint tea and wine as extras. The portions are more than sufficient, as we found out after having overindulged on the amazing humus and hot, delicious bread. Hard to stop, so we didn't. Gorgeous belly dancers wound their ways around the tables, adding to the experience, and each dish was flavorful and filling. We ended up having to take our Moroccan flan (a very tasty, if odd looking sort of trifle concoction based on spiced carrot puree, layered with custard, coconut and cookies of some kind) home with us. This is not a place to go for fast food, but a great place to take a date to, a friend or if you are a belly dance teacher, to take your students to. A very friendly, casual atmosphere. You won't be treated like a queen with the usual hand washing, high tea pouring dramatics of Marrakesh, but you will be very well fed, and made to feel as welcome as one of the family. Only one suggestion, and that would be for Baraka to use rounded soup bowls, but if that's the only suggestion, that's pretty darned good. So is Baraka, and we will definitely be going back again.
Pros: friendly service, good food, casual atmosphere
Cons: takes a while, so it's difficult to bring wiggly kids to and not for the hurried people