Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Magic Carpet Ride

Well, not exactly. While Kima was in Disney World taking her turn on Aladdin's Magic Carpet Ride, I was in Fargo, ND, on a mission: find my spices to I can cook, and find a decent Indian or Middle Eastern restaurant to eat at as there are none in Bismarck (ah yes, I am currently living in Bismarck). So, hitting the road at 10am with my girl N, my Passat flew us into Fargo, where we did minor damage at the mall and Kohls before we decided that we were hungry. Well, relying on the magic of Garmin, we discovered two restaurants: Cafe Aladdin, and Aladdin Cafe. Well, deciding we'd try the first, I programmed the GPS and drove to the Cafe, which, turned out to be closed on Sundays. Alas, I re-programmed the GPS to Aladdin Cafe, and in about 6 minutes, N and I found ourselves in front of a sign that said Aladdin Cafe, but more importantly, OPEN! Well, how happy was I when the first thing I saw when I came in was a menu with the words: falafel, kibbe, kabobs, fatoush... oh yummy, this girl is so happy right now. The owner, a Palestinian man who has been in America for 30 years or so, greeted us with a big smile and began describing to us the various pastries that were on display in the glass case. You see, before any meal, one must choose her dessert. Well, N and I decided we were kinda hungry so we decided to split this delicious cashew treat. A paste made of sugar and cashews stuffed and rolled up in layers of phyllo with a syrup poured over- really, is that not heaven?
Anyway, as depicted below, we finally ordered our meals. As I gave up beef and N doesn't like lamb, we picked a couple of vegetarian dishes. Grape leaves stuffed with rice accompanied by a side of saffron rice, and lentils and rice with a side of hummous and pita. Oh, and we did get a side salad topped with fresh olives. The food was good, not hte best, but definitely good and makes your tummy happy. Why not the best? Well, when you've been spoiled as I have with homemade Middle Eastern foods, and MANY restaurants in the DMV, its very hard to find anything that compares, however; the grape leaves definitely had a nice lemon twang to it, and the saffron rice was fragrant and delicious. The hummous was a little think, and being Indian, I'm more used to yellow lentils than green (because dal is usually yellow), but it was still a good and satisfying meal.
So in the end, if for some reason you find yourself in Fargo, definitely check out Aladdin Cafe (which, by the way, is owned by the same people that own Cafe Aladdin)

Aladdin Cafe
1609 32nd St S
Fargo, ND 58103

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