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Murray Hill / Gramercy >
Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine
Posted by Anonymous on 06/20/2007
The hummus is as close to perfect as can be - creamy but not oily with a delicious and addictive flavor. The bread served warm is fresh and puffy. The medditerranean salad is full of crisp veggies, cheese and a generous portion of tasty kebabs. I love the Baba.
Posted by Anonymous on 06/05/2007
I HAVE to visit Ali Baba's at least once a week -- I order something new everytime I go and never disappointed. I've been to almost all the big Turkish restaurants in Manhattan and this is definitely the best.
Posted by Khaaaaaaaaaan!!! on 05/25/2007
There are so many Turkish restaurants in and around New York that I have tried, and Ali Baba has almost never disappointed me. The apetizers, the kebabs, the bread its all authentic and made to a standard unparalled by most. My favorite item is the shish kebabs, they marinate that meat with something magic becuase it melts like butter in your mouth. I also recommend the authentic Doner kebabs, "Doner " means "spins" in Turkish, just like our Greek friends use the word "Gyro" in place of the authentic Turkish word for this delicous kebab. The kebab was likely introduced to Greek culture during the 400 years that they spent as the subjects of the Turkish Empire. Whatever you call it is dear to both cultures and Ali baba happens to make some of the Best "Gyro or Doner" around. Just be sure to get in before 8pm for Doner becuase it does run out! I have tried all the apetizers at Ali Baba and I love most of them. The atmosphere is cozy, and the service is almost always good. I know from waiter friends that have worked there that they are very meticulous about their food qulaity. The manager on the floor will spot check food before it is served and send it back to the kitchen if its not up to par, even during peak capacity, I mean they try their best. Whatever you do try the shish kebab, then decide!
Posted by PeterL on 04/30/2007
Delicious! Attentive, knowlegeable, thoughtful service. My wife and I have gluten intolerance, so when we ordered the appetizer sampler ($20 for large; with bread it would make a meal for two) and told the waitress we couldn't eat things made with wheat flour, the *waiter* came up to us and said we'd need something to dip into the appetizers, since most were designed to go on bread. He suggested a plate of sliced cucumbers. There was no extra charge. On the menu, the mixed appetizer included tabouleh, which is bread croutons and flavorings; they brought us Ispanak , fresh spinach sauted with dill, white onions, garlic and olive oil, instead. Without us even asking. When we figured we wouldn't be quite completely fed with what we had, we got the idea to add a side of white rice to put the appetizers over. Solved! Well, not quite; the waiter-no prompting, mind you- came back and told us the rice had orzo, little pasta rice-like things in it, so we shouldn't eat it. (He's right!) So he suggested a plate of falafel instead. No wheat flour used in the falafel-crispy deep fried chickpea and vegetable mix. Scrumptious, and definite ballast material! The whole meal was delicious, with a delicate and deft touch on the seasonings. The hummus was smooth, flavorful, but not excessively seasoned, as mine sometimes is. The chopped eggplant in spicy sauce was heavenly, even better than the puree texture babaganoush. We elected to eat at the frontmost table to enjoy the spring weather. The back had more Turkish atmosphere with hanging rugs and brass, etc., more intimate, though adequately lit, and they have a couple of bigger rooms for groups. The waitstaff mostly don't speak native English, but they get by, and they certainly know their food! Turkish coffee was what it should be, strong enough to dissolve a spoon, sweet, and hot. At first I thought the tea was Lipton's, till I had a chance to appreciate the complex, almost flowery under-flavor.
Posted by anon on 04/12/2007
I placed an order for delivery--waited patiently for the 40 minutes they said it would take. When the falafel arrived--it was caked in yogurt sauce--not mentioned on the menu! When i called to ask for them to re-deliver this item without sauce--they said they would--30 minutes later, still no food. The people who work there can be rude on the phone. Finally after 2 hours..they returned my money and i never even tasted the food.
Posted by mutlusuz on 04/08/2007
This is used to be one of my favorite restaurants in town. I lived in Istanbul for a few years so I would get cravings for Turkish food once in awhile and I'd always go to Ali Baba's. Last May, I tried to book a table for a birthday party. When I called the week before, they were rude, telling me they wouldn't take a reservation for 8- 10 on a Tuesday night. They said they didn't want to put aside a large table in case they were busy. Knowing that they occassionally do get really crowded, I offered to give them a credit card number and promised that we would indeed show up. I asked to speak with the manager and the man said he was the manager. I begged, said "Please" in Turkish and I told him I loved the restaurant and wanted to make things run smoothly for the evening, so he finally agreed to let me book a table. From the treatment he gave me, you would have thought Ali Baba's was the hottest restaurant in town and I was asking for a prime reservation. When we finally got to Ali Baba's, the restaurant had a handful of tables. Maybe 5. This was a Tuesday so I didn't expect it to be terribly crowded but why getting a reservation was such an ordeal is beyond me. Maybe the manager was having a bad day. The food was good, as always and the waiters were fine. Unfortunately, the experience turned me off of the place and I haven't been back to this day.
Posted by BC on 03/09/2007
My brother and I missed a Hampton Jitney so were in the neighborhood around lunchtime with some time to kill. We saw their board outside adverting their $9.95 app and entree lunch special. Lentil soups, lamb koufti kabob and a baby okra dish were the selections and they were all delish. Nice crowd lunchtime diners who were all in the know. Now we are too. We will be back!