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Dec 9, 2008 07:59 PM

Alibaba on the upper West Side

How is the quality these days at Alibaba on AMsterdam and 85th Street on the upper West Side? I know when they opened a few years ago people raved about the freshness and quality of their shawarma and falafel, but fel they were not as quick as other such places. How is it now? And are their homemade desserts like baklava and so on really good..... I went in really late one night last week and it was still lively, but I had eaten dinner so just bought a malt beer while my friend had a laffa full of salads which she liked. Any advice? It had the feel of a real Yemenite place more like israeli shawarma/falafel outfit......

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  1. The shwarma itself is the same, but everything related to it has gone down. The laffas have gotten smaller so you get less meat. They dropped Israeli salad for a more typical American salad with lettuce. They rarely have eggplant or grilled onions to add to the shwarma.

    I still enjoy their soups though. I've never had any dessert or most of the other dishes, so I can't comment on them.

    1. Who is their hashgacha?How are their prices?Is it near Deli Kasbah?Is Deli Kasbah still open? Thanks

      1 Reply
      1. re: momrn

        They are under Rabbi Avraham Marmorstein, who gives the hechsher for the baked goods and kosher foods at Fairway, as well as for many of the other UWS kosher establishments. It's on Amsterdam between 84th and 85th, and is also known for being open extremely late, well past midnight some nights. I do not remember the prices off the top of my head, but it's not particularly expensive. It's also one of the smaller restaurants I've ever seen - there's one table, which seats eight people if they're good friends. I've never had dessert there, but I've liked the food I've gotten (soups, pitas, and cigars, mostly) in the few times I've been there in the last year.

        I believe Kasbah is still open, but has dropped the 'Deli' from its name. It's a few blocks away, on 85th between Broadway and West End.

      2. Funny. My husband just said that the place has gone downhill. He is somewhat heartbroken as he loved it. It was a little gem, authentic, open late.

        1. Unfortunately, the portions have decreased along with the quality of the food and the prices are astronomical given what you get. Not that it's particularly convenient from a geographic standpoint, but Golan Heights has some of the best falafel, shawarma (etc) outside of E"Y and the prices are definitely fair given the massive portions and the quality of the food.