Look back in the olden days, I used to eat Greek, Mediterranean food because I liked it. Now, I strictly eat that stuff because I can pretentiously roll my eyes and say things like "this baba ghanoush is good, but I had better in Athens." Get ready for a very obnoxious Arbitrary Criticism this Monday. +7
The thing that I love about Aladdin is the tile work when you first enter the building, really ornate Turkish tile. When I visited Turkey this summer (I'm sorry, did I make it sound like this review was at all going to cover anything except my vacation?) my parents and I went and visited the ancient city of Ephesus; you guys have probably never done anything so cool so I'll dish on how awesome it was. For one thing it was built thousands of years B.C., which makes it older even that my biology professor freshman year. For another thing they had a secret passageway from the library to the brothel across the street, which is pretty cool, I've give them how awesome that is. I watched a lot of Scooby Do when I was younger, and having a secret passageway has always been a bit of a dream of mine. Still, my friend Nick used to work at the UH library, and he told me some skeezy details about things he came across which suggests to me that maybe no secret passageway is necessary. Our tour guide showed us some ancient text carved into the stone outside the brothel, and told us that this was the first advertisement in the world. This claim has not been independently verified. (I just started reading the newspaper again and they say this all the time; I'm starting to realize that it means the same thing I mean when I use it, that the journalists are just too lazy to do any digging on their own.) Ephesus was constructed before the Turkish tile you and I are familiar with from outside Aladdin, but they did have very ornate mosaics laid into the tile of their homes. +21
What's good about Aladdin is that you can get a lot of food for not too much money. I think their special is three vegetables and one meat for $10.99, and four vegetables for $9.99. I mean it's not the cheapest meal in Houston but I took home leftovers and ate them again for dinner. +10 Even when I'm a millionaire (in about two more years I think) I'm going to be complaining about how much restaurants cost, maybe I'm not the most objective person to have a discussion on this. When I was abroad this summer (yeah I went there), my family and I frequently had the opportunity to dine on taster platters of nations' foods. Personally I'm a huge fan of grape leaves, I didn't try them at Aladdin, but in Greece and Turkey each I had the chance to try them. I'll tell you that the ones I had in Greece were much saucier than in Turkey, which I liked, but in Turkey I found the filling to be a bit tastier. Obviously I didn't have enough room in my belly to try them from enough places to independently verify if this is a trend across the nations or just the specific way each restaurant prepares them. I actually never did have baba ghanoush until I was in Greece; I've always been a hummus girl but I really like how lumpy baba ghanoush is and I think I like it better. The baba ghanoush is really kind of sour at Aladdin, it's not bad but it's not the same, guys. The guy behind the counter wouldn't even give it to me until I understood that it wasn't the same, which was nice of him to look out for me. +12
The first thing you see when you walk into Aladdin is a sign on their Coke machine, an advertisement, with two men with their arms around each others shoulders and big bold print that says "We know your partnership needs financial planning too" or something like that to indicate, in case you were worried, that Aladdin is not owned by Chick-fil-a. +5 Greece is not, to my understanding, gay, but they could certainly use the financial advice. Bazinga!
The other good thing about Aladdin is they actually have a lot of parking available. I guess it's kind of hard to find their parking, if you're my boyfriend, but they have two lots which is a lot when you're a restaurant on Westheimer. In Europe, this isn't really necessary because all of their cars are three feet long and you can fit six of them in a normal parking spot. I was really excited about moving to Europe when I first got there, because I understood that their gasoline cost 1.78 a gallon, but then my dad pointed out to me that it was actually 1.78 EUROS per LITER, which means their gasoline costs thirty thousand dollars per gallon. This number has not been independently verified. +87
If you're interested in seeing my 1700 pictures from my trip to Europe, please email me at arbitrarycriticism.com and I'll set up a time in which I can look at them all with you and delight you with all the details.