Food Baby: Ali Baba

Ali Baba might be is my favorite restaurant in Troy. The place is no frills and may not be the best place to go for a first date (unless you're trying to tout your cultured palate) but this kitchen churns out the best Turkish food in the Capital Region. 

The walls are bare except for a few Turkish tchotchkes that try to spruce up the space (but fail); linoleum tables and plastic, cushioned chairs litter the small 40 seat space and the open kitchen with a legitimate stone oven serve as the restaurant's focal point. This is a family restaurant staffed by waiters who never seem to talk to one another. On busy nights, your order will be taken by at least three different people who are unaware that someone has already come by. Your food will come out when it is ready, not when the table's order is completed. 

However, the price and quality of the food more than make up for the haphazard service. Those unfamiliar with Turkish food (i.e. pretty much everyone who is not Turkish) are saved by the pictures that accompany every dish so you at least have a vague idea of what you are ordering, and it is hard to make a wrong choice. Another plus, most of the entree plates come with delicious pickled red cabbage, pickled onions, and rice (which is cooked in butter and is incredibly delicious on its own). 

Also, let's take a moment to discuss Ali Baba's baklava. This is the best baklava I have ever had in my life, hands down. The top is delicate and crisp, the middle is a pistachio nutty goodness and the bottom of the pastry is pure syrupy goodness. Another plus? It's not overly sweet, a big problem with most baklava.One order has four squares which is good for two people, but you'll likely want your own order because it is just that good.

Suggested Orders:
  • Lavash Bread (comes with a banging yogurt dill sauce that you'll want to swim in)
  • Baklava
  • Chicken Shish
  • Beyti Sarma (although this dish is a bit of a gamble as it sometimes it can be a bit dry)
  • Chicken Shish
  • Chicken Iskander
  • Turkish Coffee
  • Guvec 

Beyti Sarma

You'd be a fool if you do not order the lavash and baklava, do you understand?? Although it should be noted that some of the dishes come with lavash. You could double check before you order, or you could have two orders of lavash. Whichever!

Ali Baba Information:
  • Website
  • Online Menu
  • 2243 15th St Troy, NY
  • Hours: Monday - Thursday, 10 - 10; Friday - Saturday, 10 - 11; Sunday, Closed
  • Price Point: Dinner for two: ~$40 

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