Saturday, January 06, 2007

Ali Baba and the 7 Side Dishes

Ali Babi, on 2243-15th Street near RPI, is one of our standbys. We go there usually once a month because 1) they're nearby 2) the food is good 3) the food is cheap. Plus it's mesmerizing to watch them make lavash bread in their brick oven.
The menu consists of Turkish influenced Middle Eastern fare, with an emphasis on deli-style items like kabobs, pizzas, and dips (hummous, yogurt sauce). They have a huge schwarma rack roasting fresh meat.

By googling Ali Baba I found this excellent site, which I'm adding to my links:, which tells you about restaurants that are halal or Zabiha or not by region. Ali Baba is apparently halal in some respects but may not be entirely. Since this is not my area of expertise, I'll leave it up to readers to help me out on this one. I also found this web site: Never Mind the Ramen. It has a great name and some lively exchange on Troy food, but it doesn't seem updated.

Anyway their food is usually really good, even though there are only two vegetarian dishes I get there: the Mixed Plate (pictured), which gives you a selection of deli things like grape leaves, humus, and eggplant salad; or the veggie gyro, which comes with their excellent and addictive yogurt sauce inside a hot-from-the-oven lavash.

Last night, my husband got his usual Pastrami in paper, which he loves. But this time he did not love it, and he looked so forlorn as he picked his way around it! The pastrami was obviously a different brand, and not as thin or flavorful as the one they usually have. I encouraged him to send it back and ask for another dish, but he was too shy.

I got my usual Mixed Plate, which was the same as it always is, but for some reason didn't really satisfy me (I think I was craving something warm, instead of this which had all cold things). But overall, Ali Baba is someplace I will continue to go, and it is a favorite of RPI types, although they too admit that sometimes it can be uneven.

1 comment:

Allyson Hill said...

mmmm I LOVE Ali Baba's!