Thursday, August 27, 2015

Aladdin's Eatery Put Us on a Magic Carpet Ride

Aladdin's Hummus
     Dee had been wanting us to join her at Aladdin's Eatery in Hyde Park.  Her granddaughter, Quinn, was a server there and Dee thought we would enjoy meeting her and exploring the food, which she had found to be quite good.  I'm beginning to enjoy Mediterranean cuisine, but I'm still not sure of some terms so therefore I like some guidance from whoever wishes to offer it to me.

The Nicely Appointed Dining Room
     Somewhere through the years, Fady and Sally Chamoun (Aladdin's founders) must have dined at a Cheesecake Factory and found inspiration from their menus and desserts.  That said, you'll find similarities in their menu design (spiral bound, multiple pages, coloration) and the numerous cheesecakes and layer cakes supplied by their own bakery in Lakewood, OH—Jasmine's (isn't that cute!).  As for the interior, it could be a pared down bistro version of the ornate aforementioned establishment.  Even with all of the similarities, Aladdin's still has its own personality.

Aladdin's Lamb Rolled Pita
     There's plenty of decisions to be made from the extensive Lebanese/American offerings.  Our server recommended something from each category.  I'm always impressed when servers are trained to offer up something more than "everything is good here".  We started by sharing the hummus and pita appetizer.  Their version takes 3 days to make and is seriously puréed.  Think of it as melting ice cream.  Obviously, 3 days makes a difference.  Eric and I decided to share Aladdin's Lamb Rolled Pita, which is a lightly toasted pita wrap…this one filled with seasoned grilled lamb with tomatoes, turnips, onions, greens and Tahini dressing.  There were two house made sauces served with the meals.  I found the garlic one the most appealing, but the hot sauce was nice also without being too spicy.  We also shared the Cranberry Walnut Salad that 
Cranberry and Walnut Salad
was an updated version with quinoa and Lebanese Salata (marinated chopped tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, onions, parsley and scallions).  Aladdin's dressing was a surprise with its lemony tang. 

Mediterranean Beef Kafta Plate
Dee chose the Mediterranean Beef Kafta Plate brimming with chunks of herb and spice coated beef, seasoned brown rice with vermicelli, cinnamon, roasted pine nuts and almonds.  She enjoyed it as she had on previous visits.

Lemoncello Cake
     Eric and I had sniffed out the desserts from the very beginning knowing that we had to have some. Dee decided to take the last piece of Coconut Layer Cake, which was a wise choice with its toasted coconut filling as well as one of plain coconut.  The icing tasted like a mixture of whipped cream and traditional icing.  Our shared Lemoncello Cake had multiple layers of what I would term as an icebox cake.  The creams, white chocolate shavings, white cake and lemon filling were all superb and refreshing.  Although it wasn't available that evening, Eric is still on a mission to sample their Pistachio Cake.  I can't wait either!

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