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Mar 2, 2009 04:58 PM

Aladdin Cafe, Thai Basil in Casselberry?

Hey, has anyone ever been to the Aladdin Cafe on 436 and Red Bug Lake Road in Casselberry? I am particularly interested in the weekend dinner buffet they offer. I really like Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, and I've had mixed experiences with the buffet at Ali Baba on 434 in Longwood. It's always decent-to-good, but never knocks my socks off.

How is Thai Basil on Red Bug and Tuskawilla? I went there once, several years back, and thought it was okay, but overpriced for whatever it is I got. Thai Singha in Waterford Lakes was my go-to place for Thai food in Orlando, but a recent visit with bad service and an unapologetic manager made me seriously doubt ever returning. If Thai Basil gets good Chowhound reviews, I'd like to make it my regular source for Thai. Do they had pad kee mao/drunken noodles, by any chance?

I'm always on the lookout for some decent recommendations for other good, affordable restaurants in Casselberry/Winter Springs/Longwood/Altamonte/Winter Park/Maitland. I'm admittedly not a fan of haute cuisine and "fine dining." I like Sonny's BBQ just fine (more than Bubbalou's), Little Saigon and Lac Viet on Colonial, Kohinoor in Altamonte for Indian, Greek Flame Taverna on 436 and Howell Branch, Italian Village in Casselberry for pizza, Chilango's in Winter Springs for the best Mexican in town, Fuddruckers at Festival Bay Mall for flawless burgers, and of course The Ravenous Pig for a nice night out.

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  1. My parents and I used to love going to Aladdin Cafe - but the last time we all went was at least 5 years ago. When we first moved to Florida in the early 1990s, they were the only Middle Eastern grocer we could find. This is long before they turned their location into a decorated restaurant . Over the many years we went there, we watched them change from barely a hole in the wall with a kitchen to a nicely decorated cafe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TampaAurora

      I wish i had more to tell you but i haven't been there since i left orlando 4 years ago. I really miss living there.

    2. I agree about thai singha, it has the worst service possible so be careful of this place, the rudest people there ever. Left a bad taste for me and my wife as well. Thai basil is alright and not so bad, with decent service.

      5 Replies
      1. re: dave39

        Wow, this was a very old post of mine that got bumped back up. I think I've been back to Thai Singha once since then, and all is forgiven. The food is just that good. If it wasn't on the far side of town, my wife and I would probably go more often.

        As for Aladdin Cafe, we went for dinner on a Friday night a few months back, and the food was outstanding. It was an all-you-can-eat buffet setup with a variety of wonderful things -- stuffed grape leaves and cabbage rolls, falafel, hummus, pita, salad, lamb, chicken, the most amazing green beans I've ever had in a tomatoey sauce with meat, and more. It was something like $20, but well worth it. I will definitely go back there, and I recommend it highly to all Orlando-area Chowhounds. Such a pleasant surprise!

        1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

          I'm so glad this got bumped up b/c I've lived here 8 years and never seen Aladdin Cafe even though I frequent restaurants all over town. I will have to give that a try very soon!

          As for Thai places, and maybe you've tried them b/c I know you've been around Chow a while, but Tasty Thai on Curry Ford Road is wonderful and super cheap, and Napasorn downtown is amazing and moderately priced. (not exactly your geographic area, but they are our go-to Thai places. Went to Thai Singa once about 5 years ago and thought it was overpriced).

          1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

            nice aladdin cafe ...i will check it out as well...maybe for lunch

            1. re: pdpredtide

              Just so you know, they only have the all-you-can-eat buffet on Friday and Saturday nights. You order off a menu the rest of the time, and while the food is good, the buffet is REALLY impressive.

        2. Yes, Aladdin's cafe has fabulous food, though I have not been there for the buffet! I am Lebanese and this is the closest I have ever had to home cooking! Owner very nice and great prices as well!