Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Aladdin's Eatery

This Halloween thing was weird this year.

Postponing trick-or-treating until November 3rd threw me for a big loop.  I procrastinated hard-core - bought my candy on November 1st to save money (then went back November 2nd and each bag had been marked down another dollar - GAHHH!).  I carved my pumpkin that same night.

And I still decorated two hours before it started.  Oops.

But, since I had time to kill in the early afternoon, James suggested that we go someplace new for lunch.  He suggested Aladdin's Eatery in Squirrel Hill, which serves Middle-Eastern food - I'm not too familiar with the cuisine, but I'm open to new things and was anxious to try it out.

Aladdin's Eatery
Traffic was a bit of a nightmare because of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel closure, but we were able to find good parking.  We were seated at a table by the front window (much better for pictures), and handed the rather large menu.  James had been there before, so I trusted his suggestions on what to order.

View from our table
James said that I should try the fresh juices and recommended the carrot-apple.  I trusted his suggestion, so I ordered it:

Carrot-Apple Juice (and water)
Ew.  Big mistake.  I am officially not a fan of any juice that includes carrot.  I stuck to water after a few sips.

To start, we had the Hummus plus an order of Kibbie:


The Kibbie was like a Middle-Eastern version of a pastellito - filled with meat, fried, and delicious!  I loved it.  The Hummus wasn't the best I had ever had (nor was the pita - it was a bit dry), but definitely a quality, house-made product.

For our entrees, we both chose the Beef Schwarma Rolled Pitas: "Lightly seasoned beef strips, greens, tomato, onion, turnips, pickles, and parsley topped with Tahini Yogurt dressing, rolled in a pita.":

Beef Shwarma Rolled Pita
I can't tell you how many people commented on my check-in to Aladdin's with comments such as, "I love that place!", and "Jealous!"  Um, guys.  I hate to say this, but I did not think that my entree was good.  The description of "pickles" is misleading - there were two long pickle spears that overwhelmed the flavors of just about everything in that pita.  I picked out some pieces of turnip, which were good on their own, but with those pickles in the middle, all I could taste was...pickle.  And not even a GOOD pickle, at that.  This pita, while grilled, was still as dry as the pita that came with our hummus - although more noticeable since I had nothing in which to dip it.

I was bummed.

Despite the display of desserts at the counter, we did not partake, as it was lunchtime and we had to get back to prepare for the trick-or-treaters.  Maybe that's the highlight of the experience there, but I'll have to find out another time.

Desserts on display
Maybe going back to Aladdin's and ordering something different is the way to judge the place fairly, given the amount of people that told me that they love it - but for now, I'm not a fan :-(

Aladdin's Eatery

5878 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (Squirrel Hill)



Aladdin's Eatery on Urbanspoon


  1. Awww sorry to hear this. We like this place. I always order the eggplant pitza & really like it.

  2. Honestly, their food is typical of most "chain-style" places. :( It's kind of blah. It's not bad, really, it's just not amazing. Also, their desserts are often dry, and after one that, I won't eat there anymore.

    There are so many options that are better, it's not worth the money, which is truly disappointing.