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“Never Again”
Review of Ali BABA Persian Restaurant - CLOSED

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Ali BABA Persian Restaurant
Cuisines: Middle Eastern
Restaurant details
Reviewed August 5, 2012

Went to Ali Baba last night and will never go again! Haven't wanted to write it off the list, but it has been going down hill with every change of management cutting corners. I had so supported this place, even going right after 9-11 when there was so much backlash against middle eastern places of business.

The food was subpar with them messing up the chicken kabob, the signature dish. The chicken was flat piece of breast and tough. It looked more like it was a piece of frozen breast from a bag at Sam's or Costco. Rice was bland with only a small dot of butter poured over the center. One piece of onion and green pepper.

The poor server couldn't keep up since there was only one for the entire place on a Saturday night. Should have known that we were in trouble when we arrived at 7PM and there were only two other tables occupied.

We waited forever for service betweeen drinks and delivery of appetizers and again for the main course. Also wine was ordered but no water brought to wine drinkers. One member of the party had to get up from the table and go find the server to request a glass of water.

Management was rude and unresponsive to our complaints. We have been coming to this place for about 20 years. So with bad service, food and management we won't be back. I suspect many long time customers have already given up since this manager already has cut back the number of night during the week it is open. Probably the next cut back will the the final one as he goes out of business.,

Oh also giving it a terrible rating on atmosphere because it was very hot inside. Guess they have raised the theromostat trying to cut the bill. Even had a fan running because it was so warm in the dining room.

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Thank Leslie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (11)
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5 - 9 of 11 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2012

Went to Ali Baba tonight to eat with friends. We've been going there for years and have endured several changes in management. Sadly, with each change the quality diminished. For example, when we first started going, the tilapia would be served pan sauted in a caper and tomato sauce. It would come to table beautifully crisp, and the portion would be the size of a man's shoe...size 10. Visit before this one (the last one for sure) a sad little fillet, limply cooked, the size of an oak leaf was brought out, accompanied by two, yes two, capers and a couple of diced tomato pieces trying to hide under the rice. We discussed that we should finally play taps for this place, although nostalgia fought us on the decision. Enter tonight....We had a Restaurant.Com coupon that we decided to use and see if we could salvage our relationship with the place for old times sake. We even ordered the chicken kabob which is what started our love affair those many years ago. Although it is hard to ruin chicken, they managed. Dry, tasteless, thin...not descriptive words you want to use for your entree. Then...the coup de grace....the coupon. First, they were "unable" to take it because we were two couples and had requested two checks. Now keep in mind that the coupon required a $35 minimum, would add an 18% gratuity prior to deducting the coupon, and our check was $53. So, I said fine, just add both checks together. Well....not good enough. Then, they were "unable" to take it because there were two credit cards involved. I said fine...add it all together and put it all on my card. A member of the party told him (the owner) that the entire debacle was ridiculous, since the original ticket was well over the minimium, and what difference did it make if there were two others at the table on a different check? He puffed up and said...."read the coupon, it's what the coupon says" Well, I had read the coupon. It said this : Only one (1) Restaurant- Specific Certificate may be redeemed per party, per month, per Issuer (even if the party is seated at separate tables and/or receives more than one check.). I'd had enough by that time and just told him to run the checks separately, give me back the coupon and go away. I tore up the coupon, left it on the table, since there was no way I was ever returning, so why have a useless piece of paper lying around, and we left....for good. We were on the fence about the place anyway due to the declining quality of the food. This just cemented it for us. So, for $25, Ali Baba lost 4 returning customers. Customers who had been loyal for probably 20 years. I think they opened in the late 80's and we found them soon after they opened. Oh well...nothing lasts forever.

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Thank xsdv8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2012

The restaurant seems to be in the death spiral, food quality goes down, people stop coming, tips go down, lose your help, service goes down, more people stop coming, owners try to save money and cut food quality or quantity.
At there on a Sunday (better get there early they close at 7 on Sunday). They have cut out their broiled tomato as side, and charged for extra bread. Hummus was not up to their standards. Tried to order wine, out of our selection, which seems to be the case whatever you order, unless it is the most expensive bottle in the category. Never offered to let us pay the price for the bottle we wanted. This was one of the best restaurants in town, now it is hit and miss at best and has very strange hours, so check before you go to see if they are open.

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Thank ben-jam-in-done-that
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2012

The cornish hen kabob is excellent. Basmati rice is the best rice in the city. The bread with walnuts, cilantro, radishes, and feta cheese to make a "sandwich" is great.

Thank MacMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2011

This is a "must visit" restaurant every time I visit Birmingham! And I always get the mixed grill. Fantastic food! Attentive service. And live belly-dancing some nights! What's not to love?

I sure wish I could figure out how they make their grilled shrimp. It's amazing!!

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Thank frekwentflier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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