There are many places to get Mediterranean food in the Capital Region, but one spot, nestled on a quiet side street in Troy is where I choose to return over and over again. It’s a quiet and comfortable open space, I love the warmth of the wood fired oven, and the food is always fresh and delicious. You’ll usually find a small crowd at Ali BaBa [2243 15th Street Troy, NY 12180], a favorite haunt of nearby RPI students, families, and lovers of Turkish cuisine alike. Join them, and see what the fuss is all about. Your server will bring you over a large puffy loaf of lavash bread, accompanied by creamy yogurt dill dipping sauce.
This is unlike so many baskets of bread you have received at other restaurants, first off it’s hollow. Tear a piece of the warm bread and dip deeply into the tangy sauce, a match made in heaven. If it’s a cold night perhaps you’d like some Turkish tea, strong and satisfying, warming the body and soul.
They have a diverse menu ranging from items you might imagine like hummus and kebabs, to items like wood fired guvech and Turkish pizza. I’ve done the durum, I’ve done the guvech, both delicious, would highly recommend. On my most recent visit I just wanted a nice simple healthy greek salad.
It was perfectly executed. You get a nice big portion great for sharing if it’s only ordered as an appetizer. The lettuce was crisp and full of cucumber, tomato, onion, and a hefty sprinkling of feta, wonderfully seasoned chicken for some protein, and I was as happy as could be. It tasted delicious, I even felt healthy, and that means I can indulge on dessert. Who are we kidding here, no matter what you order don’t skimp on dessert at Ali Baba! Their baklava is what I judge all others from, and that’s some hard competition. Flaky layers of phyllo, delicate crunchy pistachio, oozing with just the right amount of honey.
I could easily eat all four pieces, but my date insisted I share. From lavash to baklava, and everything in between, dining at Ali Baba is one of my go-to favorites in the Capital Region.