I have to say rather sheepishly that I finally tried Ali Baba. I say sheepishly because of the number of times I’ve passed by it traveling on 75 through Richardson. Mary had told me about it some time ago, because a business associate of hers told her how good it was. Can’t say what it was that kept me from exiting to go try it, but boy, am I glad I did.

I’m not sure what it was that prompted it, but getting back from a trade show one Saturday night, decided to eat there “just to say I tried it”.

Well, sorry to say, my other Mediterranean restaurant friends, I’ve found a new place to call favorite.

We’re the types that typically like to sit and go slowly through a meal. There were so many things on the menu that appealed to us, we decided to start with some appetizers. We ordered the French Feta cheese and olives,  and an order of Hummus. Well, we could have stayed there for hours, having them refill just those two items for us. Because of the years we lived in Greece, we tend to gravitate to Greek Feta whenever we get it, can’t say I’ve had French Feta before. The French Feta struck me as being somewhat milder than what we experience with Greek Feta, but very enjoyable nonetheless. When combined with the olives, some black pepper, and olive oil, it’s very soothing. A winner for sure.

So much of what we eat has emotional ties, things that bring us back to periods of enjoyment. Well, the Hummus took us right back to Greece. This is without question, the best Hummus I’ve had in any restaurant, anywhere. The smooth texture, the flavors of chickpeas, tahini, garlic and the smattering of olive oil and paprika on the top blend together perfectly. Upon first taste on a piece of pita, we just looked at each other. Whoa! That was it, we were hooked.

After finishing what was in the bowl (think being a kid, and using your fingers to get the last of the frosting  out of the bowl your mom had mixed it in), we then had the monumental task of ordering something else. What to do? It all looked SO good, but surely, we couldn’t eat all we could order. Wait! We can come back! Yes, the realization that we can come back whenever we want took away the anxiety of missing something good. We both ordered a side of Falafel (we’re thinking, 4 pieces, we should both get an order). These were larger portions than what we’ve been used to getting, we could have easily shared it after what we had already eaten. The flavors just popped out on our tongues, the outside shell providing just enough crunch before savoring the flavors inside. We finished all we had.  No taking any of this home and re-heating later, just would not be the same.

Now I could just leave it off here, but we decided to go back the next day for their brunch buffet (hey, you never know, this visit could have been a fluke, right?). Oh man. I wish we lived closer (not that we’re that far away, but you know, when you want what you want, and you want it NOW, anything that stands between you and your prize needs to be dealt with), we had so many things to choose from! Salad, roasted veggies, stuffed grape leaves, Hummus, Baba Ghanouj, Tzatziki, a hot chickpea and eggplant dish that was out of this world. There were potatoes, rice, that I didn’t try, and in addition to pita bread, slices of pita covered with garlic, parsley, oil, and, and, sorry, I didn’t ask. I was too busy eating.

Check this place out if you haven’t been. Click on the name above to go to their website and check out the menu. Look at the prices. A tremendous value for the amount of food you get.

As we’ve switched to a plant-based diet in the last year or so, we didn’t try any of the meat dishes, but I will tell you, from the looks and the smells, it seems like everything that used to bring us great pleasure when we lived in Europe. You’ll have to see for yourself, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

They serve alcohol as well (again, took that out of our diets a couple of years ago).

Ali Baba. Go. As fast as you can. Here’s the website again: Ali Baba They have 3 locations, we went to the one on I 75 in Richardson. Enjoy!