In our never-ending search for the perfect shwarma, My Most Favorite Lunch Companion and I have found a couple of really funky little places in Manhattan. And I do mean little!
Today we visited Alibaba of the West Side, a Yemenite spot with a surprisingly large menu (including a number of vegetarian choices) for such a small place. It’s essentially a counter for placing orders, and one long table that seats 8 (if you’re very close friends!). And if too many people are placing orders at once, some will have to wait outside…
As for the food, it was pretty good, but not great. The soups hit the spot on such a frigid day – a tasty vegetable soup and a spicy beef soup. The shwarma was good, but nothing to write home about, and the portions seemed a little small.
A side benefit to this place is Moshe, the extraordinarily cheerful owner, who – if the restaurant isn’t too busy – will sit at the table with you and shmooze, or even conduct a shiur, at no extra charge.
Alibaba is at 515 Amsterdam Avenue, between 84th and 85th Streets. Supervision is by R. Avrohom Marmorstein.
BTW, we saw the Israeli movie “Ushpizin” after lunch. We recommend it!