Decent Flavors, Small Portions.
I took my family of four to Aladdin's Eatery for dinner tonight. We had never been there before. I'm a fan of middle eastern food. And unfortunately there aren't a lot of these types of places where I live (Bethel Park). My go-to place has been AliBaba (on South Craig Street in Oakland). But that's a bit of a schlep. So we decided to give this place a try.
The restaurant has a pleasant decor and is clean. The first thing that grabs your attention are the amazing looking deserts which are prominently featured in a glass display case near the front of the restaurant.
I enjoy shish kebob with the traditional rice side dish and pita bread. Unlike most other Lebanese restaurants, Aladdin's main entrees do not automatically come with a salad. Bummer, since there are fewer things I enjoy more than Lebanese salad to accompany my pita bread. My meal was expertly prepared and the flavors were awesome. But the portion size was kind of small. And for $12.95, I expected to get more bang for my buck.
My 9 year old daughter got something off the kids menu. I don't recall the name of it, but it was a very garlic-y burger shaped like a sausage and served over rice. It had too much garlic for my daughter to enjoy. (Come to think of it, I don't know too many children who have adapted a pro-garlic palate...these things typically come later on in life). Perhaps the owner needs to re-think their children's entrees. My daughter asked for some fresh fruit (which she saw on the menu). They gave her a small dish of fresh fruit (grapes, bananas, orange and melon).
My 6 year old son got the "pizza" which was a pita bread covered in two types of cheeses. I tried a piece of his (because I was still hungry after finishing my meal). The pizza was pretty darn tasty and would make for an excellent snack during a football game!
My wife got a chicken salad with their house dressing. She reported being quite satisfied with her meal.
For dessert, my daughter and I selected a chocolate bomb (a dome shaped affair that had multiple layers of chocolate cake in between layers of mousse and with a rich chocolate shell). That was the best part of our visit.
All in all, I thought they did a great job with the flavors, the service and the dessert. In my opinion, my entree portion size was way too small and I couldn't help but to be reminded that they didn't even throw in a salad as part of the package.
This restaurant seems to be trying to reach out in too many directions at once. They're trying to be a dessert place, a wine place, a middle eastern place, etc... I'd rather them do one thing perfectly rather than trying to be all things to all people.
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