It is my first night back in Ithaca, NY, where I will be finishing up my Bachelor’s degree from Cornell! With that in mind, I decided to go out for dinner with a friend. Somehow Aladdin’s, where I eat on occasion, came to mind when suggesting a venue.
Aladdin’s is a Mediterranean (read: Greek) restaurant. As I have not really eaten real Greek, I cannot verify the authenticity. However, it is a place I do like to eat at on occasion, despite being on the slightly steep end as far as how much one would pay for dinner in Ithaca’s Collegetown. Restaurants in Collegetown tend to be a bit overpriced to begin with.
Ordinarily, I go with their pasta dishes, but I decided to go with the chicken souvlaki tonight, one of the restaurant’s specialties. The dish basically consists of a souvlaki chicken shish kabob (complete with onions and peppers) taken off their skewers and put on a large Greek salad (I opted for fat-free honey-dijon dressing) with folded pita on the side. Some crumbled feta cheese was sprinkled on top.
I personally feel like if you’re aiming to eat reasonably healthy in Collegetown, this is probably about as good as it will really get. The salad itself was plenty filling. Ordinarily, one would probably connote “inedible” with “fat-free”, but I very much did like the honey-dijon dressing. It was a pleasantly sweet flavor that nicely complemented the chicken.
As this restaurant is in Collegetown, you should expect it to be a little bit toward the fast food end of the Greek food spectrum; if you want higher end Mediterranean and are willing to pay more, you would be better off with Sahara in Downtown Ithaca. With that in mind, I have no complaint with the service.
Aladdin’s was very busy tonight. That is to be expected as tonight is the last Saturday before classes start back up for the spring term at Cornell. I had to wait a few minutes before being seated. However, once I placed my order, I was actually happy with the promptness in which it was filled. I was expecting to have to wait a while before being able to start eating, but that was not the case at all.
I reiterate that Aladdin’s is a little bit more on the expensive side at Collegetown. My dish cost a little under $13. Overall, from a student to other students, I would say Aladdin’s is a good place to treat yourself to once in a while (I ate here maybe 3 or 4 times last semester), but don’t eat here every day if you expect your bank balance to survive a term!
The verdict: The souvlaki-est souvlaki Collegetown has to offer