Saturday, April 16, 2011

Aladdin's Eatery

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.

5 comments:

  1. We have several Aladdin's here and they are delicious! I agree, always good service. I always get their hummus...even if I am tired of hummus, theirs is incredibly smooth and well seasoned. I also like the soups but will need to try the Mujadara next time, I usually get a falafel wrap or something similar that is okay. I never knew they had vegan desserts though! I will be back there soon then.

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  2. mujadarra plate at aladdin's is one of my top 5 favorite local vegan foods, most definitely. consider going to Mediterranean Grill, on Forbes down the block from Aladdin's, as their Mediterranean is arguably the best in the city. There you have to order the mujadarra and the fattoush salad separately and then combine them, but it's worth every penny and you get at least two meals' worth of food :)

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  3. That plate looks amazing! Oh boy, I could have those onions on anything and be happy. And the salad looks so fresh! Mediterranean food is so great.

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  4. Well, I live in Auckland NZ, (not Oakland) and we don't have veggie restaurants like that! I am envious :-)!!

    ciao
    A.

    http://alessandra-veganblog.blogspot.com/

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  5. That looks and sounds amazing! I love it when we find a place to eat that my husband and I both can enjoy.

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