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Murray Hill / Gramercy >
Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine
Posted by Local New Yorker/ Turkish food lover on 02/25/2009
I have been going to Ali Baba on 34th street for years and decided to try Ali Baba Terrace - It is listed as another location of there's on Ali Baba's web site. Ali Baba terrace was a joke. Decent decor - but they definately need to get their act together. First sign of a badly run restaurant is when you have too many staff - vaguely hanging around, but no body doing anything - so if you need water - you have to get someones's attention. Then we ordered a couple of appetizers - told them we were going slow and would decide what else we wanted a little later- since we did not know if we would get a couple of more small plates or order an entree. We asked for bread- My's friend got hard/ not- fresh bread and had to return asking for some fresh bread. Again - not a good sign. Turkish restaurants have the best fresh Turkish bread. The waiter kept coming back to ask what else we wanted almost pressuring us to order. BTW the restaurant was not even 50% occupied. So we ordered. I asked for an Entree and my friend got an appetizer. Told them to go slow - we were in no rush. The food arrived soon after - we were not even half way thru' our appetizers!!. I told them we were not ready yet. 5 minutes later they were back and when I said I was not in a rush - we were not done with the appetizers they were ready to pick up our plates and serve us the next course already!!. I was really mad and the waiter said I had no choice - the food was ready and he had to serve it. Needless to say the food was a bit cold - We decided we would never patronize this place and tell everyone not to go there. There were no apologies - EVER- not at that time , not when we got the bill- NOTHING. Absolutely abnoxious. AND the entire time we were there till the time we left the place was less than 50% occupied.
Posted by Steph on 09/19/2008
I live basically right above this restaurant and either eat here or take out all the time. The food is authentic, relatively inexpensive, good portion size, quick service and it's just a great local place. I just got back from a trip to Turkey and it's definitely comparable to the real thing.
Posted by turkfan on 09/18/2008
Awesome place. Love 34th St location. Went to the Terrace on 2nd Ave - they are not related, fyi
Posted by kyle on 09/14/2008
Totally worth checking out! Babby Lamb kebabs, very tasty and tender, no gamey flavors. I'll be back!
Posted by Paul on 09/06/2008
These guys just opened up another restaurant on 2nd avenue. The place is nice, food is ok however, on their menu it clearly states delivery - guess what? They don't deliver. Not a good start.
Posted by Nicole Friedman on 09/01/2008
I just returned from a trip to Istanbul with a CRAVING for pide (turkish pizza). I never ordered this dish from Ali Baba before and tried theirs for the 1st time yesterday. I ordered the ground meat pide and while it was good, it definitely was not what I had in Istanbul. Basically it was a calzone stuffed with ground meat....but no fresh herbs or anything to add "zip". (The ones I had in Istanbul all had something "fresh" to add to the meat be it fresh parsley, mint or tomatoes) I've been to this place a gazillion times on the recommendation of Turkish friends who drive in from East Long Island. They definitely have good food- I like their kebabs, bread, dips, ect. But some suggestions I hope they'll keep in mind: 1. Add some fresh herbs to the pide- it would make a huge difference. 2. Put more turkish drinks on the menu. I know they have had cherry and apricot juice on occasion when my turkish friends ordered it but I never see it on the menu. Or add salep (an orchid root drink that tastes like vanilla) NO other restaurant has that in NY! 3. Add the tomato tinged bulgar pilaf as an option or alternative to their rice pilaf that blandly accompanies their delicious kebabs. Personally I always thought their rice is almost tasteless. Why should it be? Again, overall a very good restaurant but I really hope they take these suggestions into consideration.
Posted by Anonymous on 08/28/2008
We order from Ali Baba's at least once a week and it has been deicious, but we went there last night for dinner and it was subpar. The hummus had so much garlic in it, my mouth was on fire. The lamb and chicken dishes we ordered had no seasoning at all - they tasted like nothing. I don't know if there is a new cook there or it was just an off night, but it was disappointing all around. This is one of my favorite restaurants and I will definitely try it again - hopefully it was just one bad night.