Ali Baba Mediterranean Grill – Memphis, TN

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We’re still COVID dining, so another episode of take-out. Today I check out Ali Baba Mediterranean Grill in Memphis, right on the border to Bartlett. I ordered on their website and make the 5 minute drive over to pick it up. I ordered a dozen falafel (falafels?) and their combination grill plate. It consists of lamb shish, chicken shish, lamb kifta, and chicken kifta, along with rice. The place is relatively small, but they do have very large tables, so once going to restaurants is a thing again, this would be a great place for group dining.

I peeked into the kitchen and noticed that they do, for real, grill over coals. You can see the coals over on the right side of the cooktop in this picture.

The ride home was torture, because the food smelled awesome. I may or may not have broken some traffic laws on the return voyage. I got home and popped open my now very familiar to-go boxes. First up, the falafel. They were very crispy and perfectly cooked with a lovely green interior and bold but well balanced spices. The tahini sauce they come with was also good for cooling off your mouth if you put the red hot sauce on your food.

The grill combo was very tasty. Daisy liked the shish lamb the most, but I’m on the fence. The lamb was good, but the shish chicken was also really really good. The milder meat really highlights the grill flavor to me, and they absolutely nailed the cook on it, totally cooked but still plenty juicy. Both the kifta dishes were also really good, she just preferred the shish. Everything still got eaten, don’t worry. The rice was also a lot more flavorful than you would imagine. Daisy is something of a supertaster, and she tells me the spice blend in the rice has some subtle pine nut notes, and I believe her. I just know it’s tasty.

I feel like a total moron for not ordering hummus, one of my favorite things in the world. My only defense is that I was thinking too much about falafel and totally blanked. I’m sure we’ll go back again as this place is pretty close to home, and I’ll update this post with hummus when I do. I would say this place is definitely worth driving for, some of the best Mediterranean food in the Memphis area that I’ve found. Support a small family owned restaurant and go check them out.