When hubby and I left Pittsburgh, one of the things we left behind was our beloved Aladdin's. Oh how their falaffel rolled pita would cure me of all the day's ills. No matter how insane my workday - if I knew I was going to Aladdin's for lunch, or for a takeout dinner order on the way home, all was well. All was right with the world. Their shawarma, their kabob. So yummy. We'd order this appetizer dip called Foole M. Damas - a mixture of ground fava beans, tomatoes, and olive oil. So out of this world you forget how much you might like hummus or baba ganoush.
Anyway, one weekend afternoon we were shopping Barracks Road, pining for some falaffel. And what should catch our eye but Aromas. Oh, yay, a perfect opportunity to rid us of our pinings, and at the same time, see how this new town of ours measures up. We sat at an outdoor table, big plus for us, a couple who absolutely require outdoor dining, and for 8 years lived in a city that had obviously never heard how great this can be. I of course ordered the falaffel roll, my hubby the kafta kabob roll (or some other meaty thing, it's been a few weeks, and this lazy reviewer never keeps notes but relies on her ever-shrinking memory). And we both ordered bottles of BELGIAN beer. Another big plus for a couple still pining over the loss of the Sharp Edge. We also ordered their appetizer dip sampler: hummus, baba ganoush, and one other???? (there goes that memory again!)
Anyway, it was awesome. Completely awesome. Almost awesome enough to make us forget our beloved Foole M. Damas. And good portions too - just enough to make us want a little more.
The beer was great too, obviously, terrific on this warm day. As was the service - the waiter was very attentive, just the right amount of "just on the edge, non-obtrusive hovering" that you want. He was very young, all the waiters looked like summer high school students. They were probably so damn attentive because the owner was EVERYWHERE. Literally. He was terrific, guiding people to their seats, barking orders at the waiters. Twice he came over to ask if our food was okay. This guy doesn't take any crap. Probably makes him hard to work for, but it sure improves the dining experience for lil' ol' me ;)
Now for the bad. While my husband's roll looked perfect - the meat juicy, the veggies crisp, and the pita fresh, the whole thing rolled tight, mine was kind of anticlimactic. The falaffel was good, just good though. I'm still pining for Aladdin's in other words. The veggies were okay, nothing to write home about (Aladdin's includes turnip pickles, so so yummy). It was the pita that got on my nerves. It was old, so old that when I went to bite into it, the whole thing fell apart. Not good for a roll. It was flaking apart, pieces falling off it, and it was as dry as cardboard.
The whole thing was rolled so much as it was folded over itself, and where it was folded was entirely split open. I ended up unrolling the whole thing and just eating the insides. Now it's not that I'm a pita connoisseur or anything, but this pita was crap. Pure crap.
I'll go back to Aroma's now, don't get me wrong. Those dips were amazing, and I'm anxious to try other things on the menu. But I'm still pining for Aladdin's.