Haji-Baba

Although we drove past this place twice before finding it across the street, hidden by the light rail and in the corner of the parking lot, it was definitely worth the trouble. I had the beef shawarma plate and Robert had an Arabic coffee and the kafta on our first visit. When we returned a few days ago, starving after a trip to the rock gym, he had the kibbi, a delicious mix of ground meat and bulgar, and I had the lamb tongue sandwich. I would easily order both again. Although I have had beef tongue in several different ways, I think this was the first time I had tried lamb tongue. The texture was tender and not too chewy, and the flavor was stronger than beef tongue. I could definitely tell it was lamb, but as a fan of lamb and other more flavorful meats, I really enjoyed it. The food was excellent, definitely one of the better Middle Eastern places we’ve been to in the Phoenix area. It was also very reasonably priced with some of the sandwiches at only around $4.00 and the larger platters around $10.00.

Another great thing about Haji-Baba is the small grocery section that takes up about half of the storefront. With a variety of interesting and harder to find Middle Eastern products, it’s a fun place to shop after your meal. On our first visit we enjoyed the coffee so much that we bought a pack of the superfine ground coffee mixed with cardamom needed to make it at home. On our second visit we bought a little pot for making it. We will definitely be back to Haji-Baba, it’s a great place for cheap, delicious, filling food, and the type of place I am constantly looking for after moving back to Phoenix from New York City.

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