Photograph by Jeremy Kramer
Julia Child once said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” I’ve been known to cultivate my own people accordingly. If you truly relish eating, you know the stress that comes from negotiating with those hellbent on eradicating certain products from the communal table.
Choosing a restaurant can end in a delicate détente. Which is why Aladdin’s is such a boon. Their extensive menu of fresh, flavorful Lebanese dishes (in a variety of permutations) is the very definition of flexibility. The gluten-free vegan set will delight in the mujadara plate—gently spiced lentils and brown rice combined with Lebanese salata (cucumber, tomato, and onion) and crispy fried onion straws.
Or order the smoky baba ghanoush and a veggie plate that features petite dills as well as pink pickled turnips next to the usual suspects. Both dishes are so well executed that many won’t miss the meat. But there’s plenty here for committed carnivores too. Aladdin’s kibbe is one of the best in town, way heavier on allspice-flavored ground beef than bulgur.
Paleo practitioners will enjoy hefty kebabs of marinated beef tenderloin, chicken breast, or lamb. Both red meats are available with sides of rice or over salads. The only guy who won’t be happy at Aladdin’s is the garlic-phobe, and weren’t you questioning that relationship anyway?
Aladdin’s Eatery, 3664 Edwards Rd., Hyde Park, (513) 871-8333, aladdinseatery.com