Community Spotlight: Ali Baba offers a taste of the Mediterranean

Looking for a culinary treat from another continent? Look no further than Ali Baba Grill at 109 Rubey Drive in Golden. Serving up a variety of fine Lebanese and Persian foods, Ali Baba Grill offers something an entirely unique cuisine to the Golden area. Founded in 2000 by Fiyahd Aoutabachi and Mahmoud Dukmak, the restaurant has received multiple awards for best Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food in Golden, and has become known as a destination for fine dining. Natives of Syria and Lebanon, Aoutabachi and Dukmak have brought their love for good food and hospitality to Golden in order to serve a blend of authentic flavors from their homeland.

The restaurant is beautifully decorated with numerous wall hangings and paintings as well as various interesting objects and items from both Syria and Lebanon. From the Hookahs (Turkish water pipes) to the Turkish coffee pots, the beautifully painted cabinet doors to the hanging light fixtures decorated with beads, the decorations gave you a very Middle-Eastern feeling, like you  were stepping into another country on the other side of the world. And the feeling did not stop at the decorations, either. The menu is filled with a  variety of foods whose names are unfamiliar, and you may even have to be a little adventurous to try them.

The dish of choice was the Mediterranean Gyros, a seasoned lamb topped with cucumber sauce served on Pita bread, with rice. The seasoning was wonderful, both in the lamb and the cucumber sauce, and the presentation was excellent. The dish looked very appetizing on the plate, and the flavor did not disappoint. The only flaw, and this is quite minor, is the Pita was slightly crispy. It was served in a basket separate from the lamb, and in doing so probably dried out after heating. One possible remedy to this would be to eat quickly! All lunch entrees are served with white rice and salad on the side. With so many wonderful options from which to choose, a return visit is requisite.

The experience was a good one, and for less than $10 with a decent tip, it was affordable too. The meal was quite filling, and would be sure to keep you satisfied for several hours at least. If you are feeling adventurous, give the Ali Baba Grill a try, and let the tantalizing flavors excite your senses and carry you across the globe.

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