Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ali Baba Kabob House, Calgary

Ali Baba Kabob House
Originally uploaded by Suzi Edwards
The restaurant that’s getting the most coverage in the Calgary blogosphere at the moment is Ali Baba Kabob House. Yes, there is a Calgary blogosphere. I was quite surprised too, but it’s well worth checking out the lovely Andree at ugonnaeatthat? and John Manzo at Creative Juices and Solids . I followed their lead and suggested that our CalgaryFoodie group trot along.

It’s often a bit stressful taking a large group of people to a place you’ve never visited before. Still, I had done my research and was prepared with a list of the dishes we should order. Of course I was late getting there and everyone else had already ordered. So they missed out on my research and looked a bit crestfallen.

Ali Baba is an Afgan restaurant, Calgary’s second, which has been open for a month or so now. Its very casual, more of a fast food place really, but some of the food is really good. My guide for dining here is as follows;

Have the qabali rice. It’s only a dollar extra and it’s fluffy, buttery, carroty and sultana-y all at the same time. I don’t have much time for sweet and savoury, but this is delicious.
Try the sultani dinner, mixed sticks of barg and korma kebab. I really hope that sultani means fit for a Sultana. This was.
Do not miss the boulanee. Street food is really popular in Afghanistan and the tabang walas (street vendors) often have these “turnovers” filled with leeks or mashed potato.
If you go before I get back there, try the choppan (lamb chops). I love a lamb chop, but thought it was a bit greedy to order these as well. Tell me what they are like.

Not everything is perfect here. The salad of iceberg lettuce and tomato is pointless and not livened up at all by the accompanying pot of yogurt and mint dressing. The salad with feta that someone else ordered looked very work-a-day. Most of the blogs that have written about this place haven’t praised the bread, so I didn’t bother.

But it’s cheap, tasty and cheerful, just as long as you stick to the guidelines above.

Ali Baba’s Kabob House 1602 14th St. S.W. Call 403-874-9791

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