Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine - Escondido, CA (Sponsored Post)

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored blog post. Although we were compensated to write this post and shop at the business described below, all opinions are 100% our own. All photos and content in this blog post are copyrighted and belong to Just Happiling. You do not have the right to redistribute this information, unless you have our written consent.


One of the things we love the most, is experiencing different flavors while having culinary adventures. This month, we visited Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine, located here in the City of Escondido, California. It was the first time we ate at this restaurant, and most definitely will not be our last. Please keep on reading to find out why.

Location
Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine, is located at: 201 W. Mission Ave, Escondido, California 92025. The restaurant is within the parameters of the Mission Escondido Shopping Center, making it easier to find a parking spot. Once you are there, the sign of the restaurant is so big, that it is pretty hard to miss. For those of you who like to be spontaneous when going out for dinner, you'd like to know that Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine is open Sunday through Thursday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, and Friday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm.


Upon arrival, we were greeted by a hostess, almost immediately. We noticed that there was a cozy waiting lounge for when the place is full, which apparently happens often. Nonetheless, we arrived around 6 PM, which was about an hour before more customers started to arrive. Consider this, if you are not sure if the restaurant is going to be full or not, at the time you intend to go visit, just go to the website (http://www.abcuisine.com/ ), and make a reservation ahead of time. It is so easy, and I would say; better safe than having a stomach growling, ha! 

Most of the customers that were already at the restaurant when we got there, were parties of two to four people. Therefore, most were sitting at the booths next to the windows. We liked that there was a lot of illumination at the booths, so it only made sense that we chose to sit in a booth as well. As we were on our way to be seated, I noticed the long tables placed at the center. I felt it was very inviting for events, such as; birthdays, hanging out with large groups of friends, or for when the whole family comes to visit. Surely, about an hour later, lager groups of customers started to arrive. 

I took the photo below just before the place started to get filled in. I liked that even though it seems it can fit quite a large crowd, it doesn't look crowded at all; there was broad space between the tables, making it super easy to move around them if needed. The bathrooms were at the end of the room, and they are both a two-partition bathroom stall. Lately, I have noticed that many restaurants have only a one partition stall, or just one bathroom for both men and women, period. I don't understand why they would to such a thing, considering that many individuals use the bathroom at restaurants more often than at any other public place. It becomes very annoying when you have to wait in line, when all you want to do is wash your hands. therefore, I was very happy that this was not a problem here.


Deciding On Our Menu
I am a super fan of the restaurants that allow you to see their menu up front via their website. Why? The answer is simple; it allows me to research what ingredients are being used, and it also allows me to be creative without taking a long time to order. I really like having my husband order for me. So if I already know what I want to eat, it is easier for him as well. 

When you visit the Ali Baba website, you are able to find the information you need regarding the menu, and other topics of interest. The menu is pretty straight forward, and descriptive of each of the plates they offer. Another thing that I enjoyed, was that this menu included the price. I know that sometimes, people don't have issues with ordering without knowing the prices of things ahead of time. However, when you like to plan your budget, you want to know the exact cost of the items you'll be ordering; thus, for me, being a fantastic feature.

In the menu, you will find: Appetizers, Beverages, Desserts, Entrees, Family Platters, Salads, Sandwiches, Seafood, Sides, Vegetarian Meals, and even a Kids Menu.

Find Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine's Menu here: http://www.abcuisine.com/menu

I usually only drink water at restaurants, however, I was feeling adventurous this time. My husband ordered a 'pomegranate blueberry juice', and I went with the 'Shaneena', which is a yogurt drink. I was very curious about it, and since I do like drinkable yogurt, I wanted to give it a try. To my surprise, it tasted very much like a dressing my husband makes when we cook Greek food, but in a drinkable form: I really liked it. Nonetheless, I think it might be an acquired taste. My husband said he didn't want to try it, because he remembered not liking it, and that hadn't changed this time either. The great thing, in my opinion, is that Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine offers a great variety of juices, and other beverages. With this in mind, you can choose to be adventurous, like I was, or just go with something more familiar, something you will really like.


A word of advice though, and this is a tip that will help you in any other restaurants you go in the future. Be specific when ordering. For example; I wanted the Lamb Tikka Sandwich, but when ordering, I only said I wanted the Lamb Tikka. So they brought me the Lamb Tikka. I was a little confused on why it wasn't in sandwich form, but it was because, I didn't specify I wanted the sandwich instead of the platter. Of course, when our order came, I didn't complain at all, because we were sharing, and it is easier to share when it is just the meat, rather than a sandwich. In our case, it was a serendipitous mistake on my behalf, which ended up being a better choice. 


We started with the Greek Salad shown in the photo above. My husband really enjoyed this salad, because it included feta cheese, and loads of black olives. I think it only took about 5 to 7 minutes for our salad to arrive to the table: I would say that was rather quick. The salad plate wasn't even 1/3rd gone, when the appetizer arrived to our table. We ordered the sampler, as shown in the photo below. This consisted of; hummus, baba ghanouj and tabouli. This appetizer is served with their 'Ali Baba Bread', which I must say is very delicious and huge! Definitely bigger than the appetizer plate itself.


For Entrees, my husband ordered the 'Lamb Kebab', which is grilled over charcoal, and is served with rice/burgul, and vegetables, as shown in the photo below. I had never tried pickled cauliflower, and wow, I really liked it.


I chose to order the 'Lamb Tikka', as shown in the photo below, which is pretty much served the same way as the Lamb Kebab. However, the veggies were different, as I got some carrots and pickled cabbage instead.


To my surprise, the portions of these two entrees were very big. Therefore, not only were we able to share with one another, but we were also able to have the rest to go. Unless you have a huge appetite, I would say that these two entrees could easily feed three to four people. Plus if you share a sampler like we did, you will have a burst of several Mediterranean flavors all in one plate. Everything we ate was delicious, and we found out that out of the two entrees, our favorite was the Lamb Tikka. We will definitely be ordering that again in the future.


The staff was super attentive while we were enjoying our dinner. They would often pass by the tables, asking customers if they needed anything else, and if everything was okay. I thought that was nice on their behalf, and it also makes it easier to communicate with the staff if you need something. I don't like when you are almost waving your arms in the air because people ignore you, or having to go all the way to the counter looking for staff to help you out. I think that the Ali Baba staff did a great job in these regards. 

We were pretty much aware that we were not going to be able to finish all of our food. While it was all very savory and flavorful, it was also a little too much for us. Needless to say, I just couldn't leave without having some dessert. Therefore, while the staff brought us some boxes, with the purpose of taking the rest of our food home, I also ordered a 'Baklawa' to go. The Baklawa is a dessert pastry made with philo dough, and is stuffed with loads of chopped pistachios. In my opinion, it looked great, and the size was about right, nonetheless a little too sweet for my taste. I ate half of it, and saved the other half for later. Now, if you have a super sweet palate, I would highly recommend this dessert to you. I think that my father-in-law and my brother would probably love this dessert. 


All in all, we had a splendid experience. The staff was very cordial and the ambiance of the restaurant was excellent. In my opinion, the prices are very reasonable, if you consider the amount of food you are getting for it, and for what it's worth, the food was superb. This is a place I would highly recommend to anyone who loves Mediterranean flavors, or is ready to venture into a savory culinary adventure. If you want to learn more about Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine, visit their website, and follow them on social media. Beware of the yummy photos displayed at their facebook page, you might just start drooling a little.

So if you live in the City of Escondido, or neighboring areas, and you want to have great food plus a fun experience; I was told that sometime between 7:00 PM and 7:30 PM, on the first Saturday of each month, there is also belly dancing at the place. How cool is that? If you have any questions about this monthly event, don't hesitate, send them a message, and make a reservation. 

Thank you for joining us throughout this featured blog post. We love sharing our opinion in different experiences we have throughout our life adventures, in hopes that our online community learns about different places, products, and services that could potentially benefit them, or provide them with a great time. If you like this content and would like to see your product or services reviewed by Just Happiling, please send us an email via justhappiling (at) g m a i l (dot) com. As always, thank you for reading us, and don't forget to follow along our social media accounts to be up to date with the latest in our Just Happiling community.

Smile, because it's contagious, and because it can take you to great places!

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