May 15, 2016
The Petra Moon Hotel is in a convenient location across from the visitor center and just above the Movenpick.
Rooms are spacious and quiet and have all the regular amenities, including a water boiler for instant coffee and tea. Good wifi and hot showers with good water pressure. Breakfast doesn’t start until 6:30am but you can order a breakfast box the night before if you want to be at the Petra gate at 6. It works.
Dinner at the Sandstone Restaurant chosen for its proximity to our hotel and the fact that they sell beer, a rarity in Wadi Musa – the village around the Petra ruins. They aren’t really allowed to sell beer on the outside terrace so they pour the beer into Petra coffee cups, keeping your beer can inside and visible to you through a window.
Food is OK but this is a tourist town with little other than tourist restaurants. Portions are small but the chicken was well cooked and not too dry. We also learned the difference between baba ganoush and moutabal. In this region what we know as baba ganoush is moutabal, i.e., smoked eggplant with tahini. Baba ganoush is eggplant with cucumber and tomato.
Lunch at the Oriental Restaurant, while still a tourist establishment there is a sense that the owner takes pride in his food and serves quality dishes. Portions are more generous than at the Sandstone Restaurant but the sawani chicken was still light on chicken.
Started with the meat humus combination and a tabbouleh salad
followed by the sawani chicken. The meal ended with a complimentary local cake made from semolina flour, sesame, honey and coconut, sweet but tasty.
The Cave Bar, near the visitor’s center, is the other place in town that sells beer and other alcohol. A pleasant setting with a lovely terrace on a warm evening and a 2000 year old softly lit cave wall. The service, however, was rather inattentive. It took a long time to get a menu and then to order food. The food in this part of town is rather middle of the road in terms of price and quality. Come for the pleasant atmosphere and to chill with a cold beer.