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February 09, 1995 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-09

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The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc, - Thursday, February 9, 1995 - 7

*All Baba's: Surprisingly authentic

By Ben Ewy
Daily Arts Writer
It seems that on any night of the
week, one of my friends at the house
where I live on Lincoln will invari-
ably order from AliBaba's. The smell
of "Baba's" Hommous has perme-
ated the walls of our house. But, I was
reluctant to try the restaurant because
Iwas convinced thatJerusalem Garden
was the only place in town that served
good Middle Eastern cuisine. Itis hard
formeto admit mistakes, but was Iever
wrong. I first tried Ali Baba's with a
takeout order of Chicken Shawarma
and a side order of Hommous. I was
immediately hooked. The inexpensive
,neal fed me for a full day. I decided I

had to try the restaurant proper.
Ali Baba's is by no means a gour-
met eating experience, but there is a
certain je ne sais quoi about their
restaurant environment that makes one
feel immediately at home. Ali Baba's
goes all out. Be it the flowers in the
bathroom, or the hand-painted walls,
one feels that the friendly owner Oman
Dari personally prepared the restau-
rant for you. The service is first-rate.
My waterglass was kept full through-
out the whole meal. My waiter was
very happy to explain to me how my
food was prepared and whether or not
it was vegetarian. Additionally, when
my coffee spilled into my saucer, the
waiter quickly mopped up the drips.
This is better service than I have re-
ceived at many of the areas top restau-
rants and it is this pleasant, intimate
and personable atmosphere that makes
eating at the restaurant even more
enjoyable than ordering out. But what
about the food?
The waiter was extremely accom-
modating and had the kitchen specially
prepare a combination platter so that
we could sample the many corners of
the exhaustive menu. Had it not been
for our combination platter, I would
have had no idea what to order; every-

thing on the menu looked so inviting.
We started with a delicious order
of Fattoush salad, which is a lettuce
based salad, with toasted pita bread,
served with an oil-based dressing.
The dressing had a very subtle taste
and did not overwhelm the taste of the
fresh lettuce. The salad was served
with normal pita bread and I greedily
soaked the Pita bread in the leftover
dressing. We then had an order of
zesty Hommous. Hommous is one
item that can either make or break a
restaurant: Baba's Hommous had a
very full garlic flavor, indicating that
the garlic had been allowed to prop-
erly ripen. The Tahini flavor was
welcome without being overwhelm-
ing. The Hommous presentation was
first-rate, it was served with a pa-
prika, beet and parsley garnish.
We had both Chicken and Lamb
Shawarma. I preferred the Chicken,
but both were juicy and tender. The
Lamb had a tangy marinade which
enhanced the lamb flavor. We moved
on to Meat Grape Leaves, stuffed with
lamb, rice and vegetables. The Grape
Leaves were tightly wrapped, keeping
all the stuffing inside. The grape leaves
were thin and served to complement,
but not block the flavor of lamb and
rice. Next we had both Chicken and
Lamb Shish Kabob; both were equally
delicious. The Shish Kabob came with
charbroiled vegetables which added
sophistication to the taste of the meat.

All Baba's
Restaurant
601 Packard (at Hill)
998-0131 or 998-1982
Hours:
11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Seven days a week
Price: Inexpensive to moderate
Notes:
No smoking
Vegetarian friendly
Dine in
Carry out
Handicap accessible
No reservations neccessary
Rating:
MM-MMI

This is Ali Baba's resteraunt. I wonder where the 40 thieves are hiding. Can you find them?

The Shish Kafta - charbroiled ground
lamb with parsley, onion and season-
ings - looked some what un appetiz-
ing, but was surprisingly good. Lastly,
we had lightly spiced Falafel patties
that were crispy brown on the outside
and soft on the inside. The Falafel was
remarkably ungreasy, unlike the Falafel
in many other area restaurants.
For dessert, we had a delicate and
flaky Baklava that had just the right

amount of sweetness. We finally fin-
ished the meal with a delicious and
complex Arabic Coffee. The coffee was
both bitter and sweet; a flavor that I had
never tasted before but was nonetheless
a suiting end to a wonderful meal.
The personable atmosphere,
coupled with the wonderful food,
makes Ali Baba's a restaurant that I
heartily recommend. The service is
first-rate and the menu has a marvel-

ous combination of low priced sand-
wiches and reasonably priced entrees.
You can hardly go wrong with any of
the food and I would highly suggest
finishing the meal with their wonder-
ful Arabic Coffee. The only possible
complaint is that the chairs and tables
were a bit spartan, but the attention to
detail and comfort exuded by the rest
of the restaurant more than makes up
for this minor shortcoming.

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DENTAL HEALTH DAY
AllAges Welcome
Free X-Rays
Free Dental Health Evaluation
Free Oral Cancer Screening
Saturday, February 11, 1995
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
U of M School of Dentistry
-PARKING IS AVAILABLE IN THE FLETCHER STREET PARKING STRUCTURE
-PUBLIC MAY ENTER THROUGH N. UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE
For more information contact the U of M School of Dentistry 764-1516

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Interested Business School and LS and A Students .. .
You are cordially invited to attend our presentation:
Kraft Foods
Marketing Information Department
Monday, February 13,1995
5-6:45 p.m.
The Wolverine Room

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