Ali Baba Family Restaurant is a feast fit for kings and families

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For an exquisite taste of Mediterranean delight, Ali Baba has a diverse blend of Middle Eastern dishes to satisfy the adventurous taste buds of any food connoisseur. Walking in the dining area, the smell of delicate spices, freshly baked breads and charbroiled meats is an instant invitation of the senses to sample some of mom’s home cooking. Even for those who are trying this cuisine for the very first time.

For an exquisite taste of Mediterranean delight, Ali Baba has a diverse blend of Middle Eastern dishes to satisfy the adventurous taste buds of any food connoisseur. Walking in the dining area, the smell of delicate spices, freshly baked breads and charbroiled meats is an instant invitation of the senses to sample some of mom’s home cooking. Even for those who are trying this cuisine for the very first time.

It is a great sign when the house is packed full of people of all ages, the chatter of families in several languages having a great time and every plate that crosses your path, catches your eyes and other senses as well. Wanting more than a sample of a dish, Ali Baba’s Feast is the way to conquer a lot of cultural dining in a little space of time.

With a feast for two, the evening began with a plate of Ali Baba Salad and Tabbouli, alongside a plate of Hummus and Baba Ghanouj (hummus made with crushed baked eggplant and house dressing) and Ali Baba Bread. Hot and fresh, the bread was the perfect match for the hummus and the Baba Ghanouj, which stood on its own as a delectable appetizer, priming the tongue for what was coming next.

Service was very fast, and very soon the table was filled with a platter of an assortment of traditional Middle Eastern dishes, with a side of Ali Baba Blood Juice (a house blend of juice and Ali Baba tea), truly a feast for the eyes and stomach.

On a large platter, so to pick and choose separately or in combination was filled to the edge with saffron rice, Burghel, Shawarma, cream chop, Chicken Tekka and skewers of beef and chicken Kabab. At first, sampling everything individually, there is a great sense of the delicate spices that Ali Baba uses that are pleasant in odor and not overpowering in taste. But within minutes of the meal, the best course was tearing a piece of Ali Baba bread and filling it with a mixture of any or all of the delicacies that lie there waiting. A blend of Baba Ghanouj, Shawarma and Burghel was perfection with the bread, with every bite sending a saturation of individual flavors and aromas that turned the feast into frenzy. The Cream Chop, a breaded chicken dish, was moist, creamy and a delight on its own. Along with the Blood Juice, although sweet is taste, was a perfect combination with the spices and diversity of flavors. Raw onions, tomatoes and pickled turnips were the perfect in-betweens that cleared the palate for the next morsel of food.

In looking at the crowd of people that came in and out of the restaurant, it appears that Ali Baba is no secret to the locals here in El Cajon, but for those that love the adventure of food, it is a treasure of delight that does not empty your pockets.

The service is fast and friendly, with hostess, waiters, managers and cooks coming out checking each table making sure that everyone is satisfied. This family restaurant has a new client, as now there are many other menu items that need to be tried. Wonder into the world and “atmosphere of Ancient kings of Arabia’s tent.” It is more than just a meal, it is an adventure into the world of Middle Eastern cuisine.

Ali Baba is located at 421 E. Main St. in El Cajon and see its menu in English at www.alibaba421el.com.

Ali Baba Family Restaurant is a feast fit for kings and families