2013-11-20 / Restaurant of the Week

Ali Baba Fine Afghan Kabab House

Ali Baba Afghan Kabab House is now under the friendly and competent management of the Azizi family to the delight of residents from near and far. Since the restaurant is conveniently located on the Horace Harding Expressway, along the Long Island Expressway, it is easy to reach from all points in Queens and Long Island and close to all shopping. The Azizi family loves to cook and owner Hyda does her magic in the kitchen with the help of sister Shakira, while brother John manages the house as well as the many elaborate catered events that take place here.

The lovely, welcoming Azizi family wants to share the bounty of their country’s rich culinary heritage with you, which dates back thousands of years. Indeed only the finest ingredients are used, including nearly all organic ingredients, and, of course, only halal meats are used to create their outrageously delicious kababs, available in a number of varieties.

Try something unique, different and delicious and visit Ali Baba where the spacious dining room is decorated with red tapestries on the floors, traditional lanterns and Persian artifacts. Large family parties and occasions are welcomed here and now free delivery is available to your home or office. Skip the pizza and order something healthy and flavorful.

The beauty of Afghan cuisine is that it offers both meat and vegetarian options, so there’s something for everyone. We started with an appetizer called bolani: homemade flat bread, made from organic flour, and filled with savory potato, green onion, leek and parsley with an addictive yogurt sauce for dipping. Dolmeh barg are grape leaves stuffed with rice, vegetables and mild seasonings ($5.95). There are three kinds of eggplant appetizers, all meat-free and delicious, including borani bademjan which is cooked, sliced eggplant with onion, tomato and drizzled with yogurt sauce. For meat eaters, you’ll love the manto, handmade dumplings filled with ground beef and scallion, topped with yogurt and mint sauce. There are also fried dumplings filled with beef, vegetables, chickpeas and mild spices.

Hyda prepared a lavish feast for us consisting of their finest kababs, lamb and three types of basmati rice. Beef Teka kabab is made from ground halal beef and mild spices, skewered eight to a serving and served with fluffy basmati rice. The chicken kababs come with the most succulent, perfectly seasoned chicken on skewers, or, ground chicken with spices called chicken Adana. The lamb kabab is by far the best you’ll ever have, and there’s even a buttery tender filet mignon kabab so come and try them all, as most cost just $13.95. Tender, baby lamb chops are skewered and grilled and melt in your mouth, they’re so juicy. For an impressive, caveman sized meal, the lamb shank is your dish. This huge shank has been slow cooked for hours with onions, fresh rosemary and garlic, flecked with raisins and carrots. It’s so tender, the meat simply falls off the bone and the savory juices are soaked up by the rice. All these meat entrees are generously portioned and served with basmati rice or pita bread and salad.

Vegetarian entrees include lentil dishes, cauliflower, and spinach dishes blended with spices and served with rice. House made turnovers are flaky pastries filled with potatoes, scallions and herbs. Their falafel plate is quite popular too, served with salad and French fries. Ask your waiter about the fresh fish of the day, and shrimp, grilled simply with herbs for a light, healthy meal. Everything made and served here is flavorful and delicious, never greasy, heavy or salty, so you can really enjoy your meal. Best of all, leftovers taste great the next day!

Sweeten your palate with creamy custard flavored with vanilla and a touch of rose water, or their flaky baklava pastry, oozing with pistachio nuts and golden honey. Shakira brought us her freshly made cake, warm from the oven and their hospitality is equally as warm and friendly. There’s a kid’s menu here and you can plan your next big family gathering here. Try a mango lassi yogurt drink or a soda. There’s plenty of hot green tea served, which is traditional in Persian cuisine.
Ali Baba Fine Afghan Kabab House is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, from 11am to 11pm on weekdays and until midnight on weekends. Call for delivery to your home or office.  Bon appétit!

183-10 Horace Harding Expressway
Fresh Meadows  718.463.7900

Website: www.alibabaafghanistanfinecuisine.com

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