Ali Baba Kebab
Rua Palma, just south of Martim Moniz Square
We love Middle Eastern food, so we were definitely excited to find a few options in Lisbon (more reviews to come). Walking down Martim Moniz square, M’s eye was immediately drawn to the döner spinning in the window. In the words of Ron Swanson, a character from one of our favorite shows, Parks and Recreation, “There’s a hot spinning cone of meat in that Greek restaurant next door. I don’t know what it is, but, I’d like to eat the whole thing.” That was pretty much our reaction upon seeing the Ali Baba Kebab Haus.
Unfortunately, we had just had dinner, so we vowed to return on another day. About a week later, before a night performance at the Dona Maria II National Theater in Rossio Square, we headed over to Ali Baba for a quick bite. When we arrived, the spot was filled with a fast-moving crowd composed of the local middle eastern community and a strong local/German tourist contingent (let us not forget the stunning popularity of döner kebabs in Germany).
Ali Baba serves Turkish food, and there are only three things on the menu: chicken döner, beef döner and falafel. You can get each filling option in a pita or a durum wrap, along with a side of salad or french fries. We each opted for a durum – M picked the chicken and L went with the falafel. All of these options are between only 3.5-6€. Once you pick your filling, you tell the sandwich maker what sorts of toppings you want, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, hot sauce (fantastic!) and garlic sauce (similarly awesome).
Fair warning – there are no tables, just a tiny stand-up counter in the very tiny store. No surprise, many people take the orders to go. M enjoyed his chicken döner, but found it a little greasy for his tastes. The Turkish-style falafel was tasty, and completely complemented by the garlic sauce. Though we had a little trouble eating the overstuffed durums at the stand-up counter you will definitely be hard-pressed to find a better cheap meal near Rossio Square.