Best Middle Eastern Restaurant (2002)

Ali Baba Grill

The laid-back Ali Baba Grill cooks up the usual Middle Eastern favorites, but the difference here is that these dishes are absolutely packed with flavor. Creamy, smooth hummus carries a fresh lemon-juice-and-garlic punch, and the baba ghanouj contains eggplant that's been roasted until it's nearly caramelized, so that the dip has a deep, sweet quality. The just-made tabbouleh is always tip-top fresh; the kabobs are charbroiled, giving the meats that crunchy edge of extra flavor; and the chicken shawarma is coated in a garlic paste before it's rotisserie-broiled. Save room for dessert: The housemade baklava and a cup of freshly brewed mint tea make for a relaxing finale.


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