Nearly five years ago I had a near death experience. I ordered a beef wrap and attempted to swallow whole a fat piece of meat. In my car, I remember the struggle to breath, and it took me half a decade to understand why I almost died. There’s the question as to why I tried to ingest a huge chunk of beef, I ate too fast, or the meat wasn’t cooked enough. However, the meat I choked on exemplified an ill-prepared, low-grade piece of beef.
Consider that the typical cow symbolic of capitalism – better cuts up top, poorer cuts at the bottom. The former types of beef, like tenderloin, rib-eye, and strip, only need a few minutes of cooking on each side. These steaks are great medium rare. The lower cuts, such as a shank, chuck, or the popular flat iron steaks, need to be cooked for long hours (at least well done). Think brazing or stewing as opposed to grilling. The meat from that wrap tasted like an inedible cheap cut, fatty and chewy. Also, cheap has its price, and cheap food doesn’t require perfect prepping.
In terms of pricing and quality of food, Aladdin’s Eatery is no different from the vast majority of Mediterranean restaurants in Northwest Ohio outside of Byblos and Beirut. Places like Aladdin’s, The Wing Station, and Grape Leaf Diner pride themselves on selling cheap food with cheap ingredients for outrageous prices. Their business is necessitated by naïve Toledoens looking to branch out and try exotic foods. Aladdin’s is like the Red Lobster of the Arab food scene. If you want high quality exotic Mediterranean food, go to Tiger Bakery.