Vegetarian and vegans rejoice! Aladdin’s Eatery has opened in Boca Raton and is serving up all kinds of fresh diet conscious dishes. There is meat on the menu, with only a few omissions (like pork), but the menu is large enough to please carnivores, vegans and those just trying to eat a bit more healthy.
Located near the GreenWise Publix adjacent to the Boca Town Center Mall, Aladdin’s Eatery focuses on Mediterranean cuisine. There are a few tables outside, but we decided to go inside for lunch. It’s actually a large space with lots of plenty of seating. It’s nicely decorated with burgundy walls and wood tables and chairs. They offer take out and have an impressive cake selection at the front counter as well.
The menu is large and split into all kinds of sections. Many of the items have a note to designate if the dish is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or contains nuts which we found helpful. Today’s mission was to find something a bit on the healthy side and we think we did a good job. Sure, there are some items that look healthy, but have tons of calories, but we figured there were enough vegetables to counteract that right? Service was a bit ‘clunky’ with our server not really hitting a smooth stride through lunch. Our food came out quickly, but he just seemed a bit frazzled and there were only 3 other tables dining at the time.
Vegetarian Combo ($12.50) – A sampling of all your favorites! Hummus, Tabouli, Baba, Falafel, and Dawali. We decided to share this appetizer and wow was it big. This could have actually been both of our main entrees there was so much food. We loved the yogurt sauce and asked for more and the pita served on the side was hot and fresh. There were a lot of items on the plate and I’ll break it down for you:
- Hummus– Puree of chickpeas, tahini, and lemon topped with fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil. Pita on the side. This was a great version of hummus, very smooth and flavorful. It was my favorite item on the plate.
- Tabouli – A delicate mixture of parsley, onions, cracked wheat and tomatoes seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, lemon and herbs. I found this to be a bit on the dry side and the cucumber/yogurt sauce helped a lot. It was fresh and light.
- Baba – Puree of eggplant, tahini, garlic, and lemon topped with fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil. This item takes some getting used to. I think the texture usually puts people off and Chris was not a fan. The flavor was good and it was smooth, but it wasn’t as addictive as the hummus.
- Falafel – Mildly spiced vegetarian patties made with chick peas, fava beans, parsley, and scallions. Fried in peanut oil and served with Tahini Yogurt sauce. Crisp and packed with flavor, we found this to be a good version of falafel. What’s not to like, it’s fried and you dip it in tahini yogurt sauce!
- Dawali – Grape leaves stuffed with rice, chick peas, tomato, and parsley, topped with Aladdin’s dressing, feta cheese and parsley. I’ve never been a fan of these and always leave them off to the side when I get them at a Greek restaurant. I tried a bite and while it didn’t convert me, Chris seemed to like them.
There was a break between our appetizer and main course and the table next to us took this time to quiz us on what was in our appetizer. It was a bit off the wall, but stood in for some entertainment. The quiz picked up again once our main dishes were set down.
Greek Pita Pitza ($7.40) Feta cheese, zaatar (an ancient Mid-East herb), diced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, julienne green peppers and slivered kalamata olives and garnished with flakes of sweet basil. This was one of the best versions of a pita I’ve had. They actually make it like a pizza and the pita itself was light and crisp. The topping were so fresh and the feta cheese was nice and creamy. The kalamata olives were like salty gems among the fresh drizzle of olive oil. I really liked it.
Chicken Shawarma Rolled ($6.40) – Marinated char-grilled chicken with tomato and onion topped with Tahini Yogurt dressing, rolled in a pita. Chris said that this was also a great choice with all kinds of fresh veggies. The chicken was also tasty and it was well worth the price.
Aladdin’s Eatery is a great spot to grab a quick lunch and not have to worry too much about picking something healthier. If you are on a special diet that is high in veggies or gluten free, the menu is easy to follow and has lots of options. The menu is so big that you could come here very often and never order the same thing twice which is kind of cool. We left stuffed and actually felt good about everything we ate. I’m also sticking to the theory that we ate enough vegetables to cancel out the higher calories sauces and hummus. After all, it’s the ‘good fat’ right?
Aladdin’s Eatery is located at 21200 Saint Andrews Blvd Boca Raton, FL 33433