Got Baba Ghanoush? A Restaurant Review

Babalou's Mediterranean in Walnut Creek

Babalou’s Mediterranean in Walnut Creek

After work, I decided to head to the ATT store for some help setting up my new iPhone 5, which I absolutely love and adore, already!  I figured I’d get dinner in Walnut Creek right after, but could I find a good “Cheap Eat” there?  And then, could I dine alone in such a happening city?  I referenced the comments from my last Restaurant Review article, “Cheap Eats in My Sweat Suit and Ponytail” and found a great comment from a great friend suggesting that I try “Babalou’s Mediterranean” in Walnut Creek for some good Persian food at a way decent price.  So, Babalou’s it would be!  But then, I realized I couldn’t just go there in my black work slacks, white work shirt and black Dansko work shoes (which, btw, are the absolute best, if you have to stand all day long).  I mean that would NOT be very chic for Downtown Walnut Creek.  And, how sophisticated would I look if I opted for my sweat suit and ponytail?  Not very, I think.  A quick makeover was in order before I headed out the door.  If you want to know more about the makeover, please read the Swan Song post, “Don’t Forget the Makeover!”  Now, chic lady was ready to hit Downtown Walnut Creek!!!   After meeting up with the customer service guy at the ATT store, my new iPhone 5 is really ready to rock-n-roll.  I stand all amazed with my new effective functionality.  I’m just loving all the ability I now have with this advanced device after struggling with the ineptness of my defunct  iPhone 4S.  It’s time to EAT!!!  I find a great parking spot on the street right on Locust Street and walk over to Babalou’s.

 

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It’s 8:45, and they are still open taking their last customer, me!  They even let me dine in and hang around a bit, while they cleaned up for the next day.  I was hoping for a Kabob Koobideh, but they only had Lamb Shawerma, Chicken Kabob or Falafel, so I chose the Lamb Shawerma Combo for $10.95  (Served in a wrap or over rice – I chose the  rice, choice of two salads and Pita Bread).  They had a variety of sides, but I chose the Greek Salad and Baba Ghannouj (as it is spelled on their menu).

 

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Of course, I asked about the desserts, too, mentioning that I was doing a restaurant review for my new blog.;)  No matter how full I am, I still don’t feel complete without a little bite of dessert, at least.  The Baklava truly tempted my tastebuds, but I went for something new, instead, the Burma, a fried wheat vermicelli noodle wrapped around honeyed pistachios.

 

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They offered to bring the food to my table when it was ready, so I said, “SURE!”  While I waited, I snapped a few.

 

Very kitschy yet appealing, indeed!

Very kitschy yet appealing, indeed!

The walls were brightly painted, and it had a very kitschy yet appealing feel to it.  I felt rather warm and invited here, indeed!

 

Nice Glass Display of Side Dishes!

Nice Glass Display of Side Dishes!

 

The food arrived at my table along with a paper napkin and real fork, not plastic!  What a plateful, it was.  I noticed that even though I was only supposed to get two sides with the Combo, the Greek Salad and the Baba Ghannouj, he threw in a Dolma sorta dipped into the Baba Ghannouj.  Wow, I was impressed and hungry!!

 

Lamb Shawerma Combo over Rice Served with Pita Bread

Lamb Shawerma Combo over Rice Served with Pita Bread

 

After thoroughly enjoying the half of this meal that I was able to finish, I packed the rest up for next day leftovers, a dinner in and of itself.  I took a bite of the dessert, Burma, but I wasn’t quite feeling it.  I rushed to the counter and asked if I could PLEASE order a Baklava to go.  He agreed if I paid in cash, and I happily obliged taking the coveted Baklava in hand.  A whole other side story occurred at that moment when he told me that I was a lawyer!  I asked what made him think I was a lawyer.  Was it the way I dressed?  The way I acted?  He joked that he had seen me before here, and I said that I’ve NEVER been here before.  We both finally figured out that he had seen me at the grocery store where I work, and he knew a few other Persian ladies that worked there, too.  You ladies know who you are.;)  But, he insisted I was a lawyer!  I replied, “True, I work in a grocery store, and I’m also a lawyer..”  The thing is, how on Earth did HE know that?  Anyway, he had me going with his ramblings there for a while.  I was puzzled!  I showed him my food blog on my iPhone 5, and he seemed impressed.  I thanked him and headed out the door, but just as I was leaving, he said that the back of my credit card, CostCo’s American Express card, said that I was a lawyer.  Wow, he could have just left me wondering forever about his clairvoyance, but he turned out to be a pretty cool guy by letting me in on his secret.  I rushed to my car and snapped a few of the Baklava before I demolished every last heavenly bit of walnut, honey and phyllo pastry.  Truly my ambrosia, it was!

 

Baklava!

Baklava!

 

The next day, I enjoyed a full other dinner with the leftovers.  I nuked the Burma for 20 seconds and had that for dessert.  Yummy to the point of licking the wrapper it came in.  The most memorable delicious part of this great Mediterranean meal, for me, was the Baba Ghanouj.  It’s actually spelled Baba Ghanoush, most often, in recipe searches.  Rather than describe the wonderful taste and mouthfeel of this deliciously smoky creamy sour eggplant dip, I thought I’d give you a good recipe to make your own for your next party or small gathering.  Read my new post, “Recipe: Baba Ghanoush (A Creamy Eggplant Dip)” for the recipe with interactive features providing nutritional facts and a description of each ingredient.

Next time, you go Mediterranean, just ask, “Got Baba Ghanoush?”

 

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