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Try the baba ganoush and mujadara salad at Aladdin's Eatery

The girls and I were out running errands the other day and as it got to be near the dinner hour, everyone was hungry. We were out in the Grape Road area and decided to stop into Aladdin’s Eatery, located at 317 W University Drive, Mishawaka.

We have eaten there many times since it opened. What I love is the freshness of the food, clearly labeled vegan options, and a solid selection of options including soup, wraps, salads, entrée plates and even a couple of vegan cookie bars.

We started with a shared appetizer. I am a huge fan of baba ganoush, a smoky Mediterranean dip made with roasted eggplant, garlic, tahini, lemon and olive oil.

It is creamy, subtle and hints at smoke (I love smoky baba). This, generously slathered on pita, was enough to keep the three of us busy until our dishes arrived, plus we had enough to take a bit home for the next day.

The girls ordered a wrap and a pita pizza, which they had tried before and enjoyed.

Aladdin’s Eatery has what is arguably my favorite salad in the area, and I get it every time I eat there. It is a huge stuffed pita pocket (the mujadara pocket), nearly bursting at the seams full of freshness.

The thing I love about this salad is that it has the cool, crisp components of a salad, crisp greens and chopped fresh veggies, but also this savory warm element of lentils, rice and fried onions. It is delicious. Sometimes I crave this salad. I mentioned it’s huge, right?

After gently tearing open the top layer so I could drizzle my vinaigrette over the top, I started in on this beast of a salad. I managed to put a generous dent in it, but when I finally finished I still had enough to be part of tomorrow’s lunch.

I enjoy Aladdin’s as a casual place to grab lunch with friends or a quick dinner out with the girls. It is casual, always clean and they have a tiny patio area for outdoor dining, too.

I think the prices are reasonable and portions for some items are quite generous. We will definitely continue to keep this spot in our vegan restaurant loop.

For more tales of dining vegan in Michiana (and beyond) from Crystal Hallwood and her fellow meatless maven Rama Ganesan, subscribe to the Vegan at the Bend email newsletter.

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