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Mid Eastern lunch for group of 8 in Plano/Richardson

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I've read several posts with people chiming in for Sheiks, Shine*, Ali Baba, etc. Out of town family (w/ parents) will be visiting cousins in Plano & may do a group lunch (incl. kids) nearby on a Saturday. Please advice with choices to suit our group. Need great lamb shawarma/gyros or kabobs (no beef), great veg. dishes (falafel, hummus, etc.), & reasonably comfortable area to sit. Family *ALWAYS* does Indian buffet, I am trying to steer them away.

*just looked at Shine's menu, doesn't look like it has lamb

Thank you!

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  1. a lot of the places here do beef shawarma rather than lamb. it's still pretty good.

    for a group of 8, sheikh's is probably too small. i don't know anything about shine. i'd go with afrah, they have things like hamburgers or pizza type things for the kids (saw some arab kids eating hamburgers last time i was there :), can't really comment on the vegetables, surely i've tried the tabbouli but i can't remember whether it passed muster or not. the bread here's really good since they were originally a bakery and still bake everything daily, try the akawi pie. hummus is just hummus it can't be great. the lebnah was decent, not the best i ever had but at least they make it right. i think they have a lunch buffet.

    i think ali baba also has a lunch buffet. but i've only been once and had the rotisserie chicken.

    5 Replies
    1. re: luniz

      Thanks. We will have two vegetarians & three non beef diners (religious reason). Chicken is fine except in many of these places, I usually find them a bit dry & not as flavorful as lamb.

      How's Afrah as far as atmosphere? I'm looking for casual, but not necessarily a fast food type place. Would love to know what's in the Ali Baba buffet...

      1. re: ceekskat

        Ali Babba has a really nice lunch buffett. It looks like most everything on the dinner menu is on the buffett. OOPS I just reread your post. I don't know if Ali BAbba does a Saturday buffett. Check their website.

        1. re: fishfry

          I don't think any of the Arab places do buffets on the weekend, now that I think about it. I missed that in the OP, my bad. Afrah's pretty laid back, a little loud, more diner/bistro than fancy restaurant. People sit outside and smoke the hookahs (maybe too hot now). Pretty Arabic crowds when I've been, families and such. Ali Baba's probably a bit more upscale-ish.

          irodguy has a point about Fadi's, I've heard it's nice but I haven't been.

          1. re: luniz

            Shine's is more like a fast-food (or deli) type place and I wouldn't recommend it for a group lunch.

            I don't think Ali Baba has a buffet on the weekend, but they serve lamb. I love their hummus, cauliflower and other veggie dishes.
            Richardson Menu
            http://www.alibabacafe.com/richard_in...

            Afrah's buffet is rather small. Their baklava is the best in town!

            To me, Fadi's is not Middle Eastern, but a health-oriented buffet (lots of veggies) with a Greek/Middle Eastern twist. Luniz, you probably wouldn't like it, knowing that you like more authentic Middle Eastern.

            1. re: kuidaore

              These are also in Plano.

              Shandiz (Persian)
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/364544

              Afgan Grill
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/483468

              Taste of Galilee
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/459483

    2. Afrah has some good food and great pastries. If there are vegetarians you might actually think about Fadi's in Frisco.

      1. Thank you all for your suggestions. For me, good lamb is a must for a Mid Eastern restaurant; therefore, I'll keep Afrah & Ali Baba in mind.