I've been eating out more than usual because of my house renovation project. While Pittsburgh has some vegetarian- or vegan-only restaurants (Quiet Storm, Zenith Tea Room, Loving Hut), I usually go to regular restaurants that have good vegan selections so that there's something for my omnivore husband to eat too. That way we're both happy.
Mad Mex has long been my favorite restaurant that we eat at the most, with tons of delicious, innovative vegan or veganizable dishes and great drinks. But a new restaurant has started to give Mad Mex competition: Aladdin's Eatery.
My heart belongs to Ali Baba in Oakland, close to where I work. Before I started cooking a lot, I got takeout from there at least three times a week. They have a large, inexpensive Middle Eastern menu with lots of vegan options that are all good. But my favorite is their Syrian Soup, a thick, rich soup with lentils, a little rice, browned onions, and some magical spices that make it to-die-for. I've even eaten this soup on hot and humid summer days because I love it so much. It's the dish I'd have if I had one last meal before I died.
So when I first went to Aladdin's, I thought it was a not-as-good knockoff of Ali Baba's. But I've gone there a few times since and have fallen in love with it. Recently I got their Mujadara Plate (pictured above), which has the mujadarah I love (lentils, rice, caramelized onions) topped with a Lebanese salad. It was awesome. They also have a large selection of vegetarian rolled pitas and many vegan options. The page in their menu emphasizing vegetarian eating and encouraging people to try their vegetarian dishes warmed my heart. AND...they have vegan desserts! While they only have a few compared to their huge regular dessert menu, hey, at least they have something. The always-great service is another plus.
Hurray for another go-to restaurant that my husband I both really like.