The experience

I forgot that Ogre and Mina just had Mediterranean food last night and suggested Ali Baba, a restaurant Ogre has been wanting to try for months now.  Apparently, Ogre forgot also as he happily agreed.  Our other child, Benji, was still at Lala’s house.  Last night, he fell asleep before Ogre picked him up and this morning he was still asleep when Ogre tried to pick him up again.  So, we were off to lunch without my son who I haven’t seen in two days. 

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We arrived and were surprised to see that it is a buffet.  Also, that they wanted payment right up front.  Ogre pulled out his wallet, paid our bill and Mina found our table.  She immediately sat down and took out her DS.  I asked her if she wanted to pick out her food or if she wanted me to and she requested that I do it -no veggies and nothing spicy.  Unfortunately for her, I’d only be complying with half of her request.

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Ogre and I perused the buffet and he made up Mina’s plate.  I filled up my plate with goodies and headed back to the table and then got drinks for Mina and myself.  I sat down and Mina continued to play with her DS despite the fact that her plate was sitting in front of her now.  I didn’t say anything since Papa had not returned from the buffet anyway.  Once he did, though, we told her it was time to eat. 

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She was not happy to see the veggies on her plate.  We told her she could eat one cauliflower or one cucumber and one tomato.  She asked for my peas instead.  I told her she’d half to eat a scoop full.  I put 11 peas on her plate.  I guess she changed her mind because she never did touch those peas.

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She did like the…uh, I’m not sure if it was like a tomato basil soup or a tomato sauce.  Whatever it was it was really good!  Mina used it as a dip for her bowtie pasta and meats.  She made Ogre and I try it, we agreed that was a great way to eat the cold pasta. 

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She also ate some of the gyro meat, but really she was being super picky and trying to negotiate her way out of eating her vegetables.  She then asked if she could eat the sun dried tomato.  I said yes because I thought she just meant try it, not eat it as her vegetable today.  She ended up spitting half of the minuscule piece and then tried to say she had eaten her vegetable.  Needless to say, I was a little irritated.

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She even tried to do it again and Ogre chided me for telling her she couldn’t eat the sun dried tomato.  He also thought she meant to try.  After I explained her manipulations, he realized his mistake.  I told her she had to eat the cauliflower and that she needed to eat it in a reasonable amount of time.  I’m sure I sound like the meanest mommy ever, but she will nibble at it forever if allowed.  I told her the cauliflower had to be gone by the time I finished dessert.

Ogre and I were pretty happy with our lunch, Ogre even got seconds.  I didn’t want seconds, I wanted dessert.  Ogre got up to get me the rice dessert.

Meanwhile Mina is still nibbling at the cauliflower.  Ogre helped her out by taking bites with her and trying to show her how to take a big bite.  And, you’d think she was about to take the biggest bite ever and the next glance is that she’s only bitten off 2mm of food.  Sheesh. I then told her she needed to finish the cauliflower, and, yes, folks, we’re talking about a small piece of cauliflower, in two bites.  Luckily, for her, she was able to do it.  Then we told her to eat more of the rest of her lunch as she’d only eaten a few bites of this and that. 

We sat there until she’d eaten a reasonable amount and headed out to enjoy the last day of 2008.

 

The food

This is Mediterranean food and it’s a buffet.  I think it’s great if you’re a first time or you like variety.

DSC00286I thought the hummus was very good and there’s only one other place that I’ll even EAT the hummus (Cafe Izmir -see last night, of course, I wasn’t there!).  It’s still better at Cafe Izmir, but still pretty gosh darned good here!

I apologize, but I don’t the names of ANY of the food I ate here tonight.  I can tell you that we both liked the rest and the chicken dish with the yellow curry sauce.  It was mildly sweet with a curry that was not overpowering.

DSC00288The chicken that was slid of a kabob was very tender and juicy, so I liked that a lot.  Ogre got seconds of this.  There was another chicken item on the buffet that was quite tasty as well, it seemed just like quartered and seasoned chicken, but again, very juicy and flavorful.

The gyro meat was just “okay” in my opinion and a little on the dry side.  Same with the pita bread (the plain stuff).  I was pretty disappointed with the pita bread.  There was another pita bread with herbs and olive oil that Ogre tried and liked.

The dessert was a rice pudding type dish with a creamy sauce.  I could taste flavors of jasmine and rose water.  Tasty, but a little too aromatic for me.  I still ate half the cup, it’s a little addicting!

Online, it says that there are two kids menu choices “Shish Tawook” or gyros for 6 bucks and it comes with fries or rice. I think that’s when they don’t have the buffet. 

 

 

The service

Buffet/Counter Service

 

The kids

Well, it’s a buffet, so that eliminates the wait time that can bring out the boredom and bad behavior in children, so that’s a plus.  Other than that, unless your kids like Mediterranean food, they may not like this restaurant very well.

I liked the food at Fadi’s better than this place, but this place wasn’t bad at all.  We’d come here again for sure, but we’d know that the kids probably wouldn’t eat very well here and we’d probably bring something to supplement Benji’s meal as the food isn’t very toddler friendly.

 

The total: 25.98

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