A Fresh, Healthy (And Tasty) Alternative Offered By Aladdin\’s Eatery

By Jessica Feuerstein, Cleveland Culture & Events Examiner

Rockside Road in Independence is always a busy, crowded place. Full of businesses and shops, there is rarely a time when this area isn’t bustling, especially with the recent addition of a new plaza with a Winking Lizard, Melt, and Panera Bread. There are certainly plenty of dining choices around Rockside Road, but one small, inconspicuous restaurant provides delicious, unique dishes in a pleasant atmosphere that feels entirely separate from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the Rockside area. Aladdin’s Eatery offers a large selection of Lebanese and Mediterranean dishes, all made with extremely fresh ingredients, and a friendly, welcoming staff as well for an all around enjoyable dining experience. Those who aren’t familiar with Lebanese and Mediterranean food may be intimidated by Aladdin’s large menu full of difficult to pronounce items. Luckily, many of the items are described in detail and other handy definitions for dishes are provided at the front of the menu. Those who are familiar with some of the dishes will find all their favorites: hummos, baba ghanoush, falaffel, stuffed grape leaves, lentil soup, tabouli, and much more just for starters. Aladdin’s offers a large selection of dishes, many vegetarian friendly and many non-vegetarian friendly. Their Rolled Pitas are outstanding, filled with varieties of chicken and beef, turkey, and more. Vegetarian Rolled Pitas include ones filled with hummos, baba ghanoush, falaffel, and more. Other pita based dishes include Pita “Pitzas”, large pieces of pita bread piled high with fresh toppings and baked liked a pizza, and Pita Pockets, which are soft pitas filled with a salad mix and other toppings of your choice. Other specialties include their chilis and soups; Aladdin’s offers their patented Len-Chili, a bowl that is half Lentil soup and half chili. They also offer Chicken Chili, and Vegetarian Chili, for those looking for something a little different. The Vegetarian Chili has a nice kick without being extremely spicy and the red kidney beans add a nice flavor to the tomato base, and the Baba Ghanough has a hint of lemon that is very pleasant. The mint tea is very enjoyable, since the mint is not overpowering. All of the menu items are made with fresh ingredients, and are not overly fried, providing a healthy alternative (that doesn’t sacrifice taste) to many other dining options. Prices are very reasonable, with most entrees ranging in the $6-$10 range, so even poor college students can afford a delicious meal. Besides all their outstanding entrees, Aladdin’s also offers a large selection of teas, including always freshly brewed mint tea and black iced tea. They also offer Lebanese beer, along with a selection of other beers and wines. Perhaps one of the most noticeable features of Aladdin’s, however, is the pastry case. Upon entering Aladdin’s, it is impossible to miss the large case of tempting cakes and other desserts. These greet diners as they enter, and are difficult to resist by the end of the meal. With everything from Carrot Cake to a selection of cheesecakes and many chocolate cakes, each more appealing than the last, it is difficult to choose a dessert but feels almost imperative. Aladdin’s certainly isn’t the largest restaurant in the Rockside area, or perhaps the most unique, but is a pleasant surprise and change from some of the other large chains. With a pleasant, helpful and prompt staff, and many delicious menu items to choose from, Aladdin’s is a great place to meet with friends or family. Whether it’s for a quick meal or to spend an evening catching up, Aladdin’s offers the perfect atmosphere in the midst of a busy business district. It may not be flashy, but Aladdin’s is a great alternative to other dining options for those looking for something new to try. Other Aladdin’s locations include: Mayfield Village, Cleveland Heights, Middleburg Heights, Lakewood, Westlake at Crocker Park, and Mentor. http://www.aladdinseatery.com/ 6901 Rockside Road Independence OH 44131 examiner.com