A whole new world of flavors with a side of service woes at Aladdin Café

Shreya Ravi | Mercury Staff

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Aladdin Cafe’s warm and inviting atmosphere begins at its front door, with staff welcoming you as you enter, and is only enhanced by the abundance of Disney’s “Aladdin”-themed decor and silverware, but the service and food offerings leave much to be desired.

Located 13 minutes from campus and recently opened in December 2023, the cafe is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to midnight from Friday to Saturday. If you are worried about price, be sure to bring your Comet Card for Aladdin Cafe’s 15% student discount. To receive the best service possible, make sure you arrive early when the baked goods are fresh. Along with their sweets and typical cafe fare, they serve a variety of beverages such as hot tea, hot coffee and chocolate, iced lattes, fresh juices and cold smoothies. Between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., the cafe offers Middle Eastern breakfast options, and if you come during the evening, they will have dinner options.

Aladdin Cafe offers a variety of drinks ranging from tea to coffee, with both hot and cold varieties. My favorite was the lemon mint smoothie, which had the perfect amount of tartness and freshness. Although a hefty $7 for a medium smoothie, the quality justified the cost, and it was larger than a normal medium drink. I also enjoyed the $6 desert tea, which has just enough aromatic spices to give it a sense of warmth.

The café also offers an array of pastries and sweets — my favorite was the lago rolled cake, consisting of coffee filling and whipped cream with pistachio and a flower for garnish. The moist $5 cake is available in other flavors, including vanilla and chocolate. I also enjoyed the jasmine brioche rolls, which are fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

In addition to desserts and beverages, Aladdin Cafe also offers light meals. My favorite was the $9 fries sandwich, which is just as marketed on the menu – fries with coleslaw in a sandwich. I also tried the $10 crazy kumpir, which consists of baked potato filled with a salad of your choice, but the ingredients for this dish weren’t as fresh.

For the breakfast options, there was the Aladdin Tray, which is a four-person brunch containing vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, cheese and gravy. If you are going for a heavier breakfast for four, then try the Jasmin Mix which has sides of cheese, scrambled eggs and different types of meat. Lastly, if you want to eat alone, try the Genie Breakfast, which contains scrambled egg with meat, dried fruits, vegetables, one type of cheese, bread and hummus.

As for the atmosphere, Aladdin Cafe is best visited alone. The place would be too chaotic if you come in with a group, since they may get overwhelmed and mess up your orders. Due to the high demand, many menu options sell out quickly, which can lead to wait times up to 30 minutes. Regardless of how long we had to wait, the staff were kind and understood our frustration.

As for the service, the staff failed to direct me to my table or inquire about my reservation details until I located it myself. I arrived in a party of eight, and despite being assured a waiter would find us upon seating, we were left unattended, leading me to observe others placing their orders at the register in which I did the same. Despite appreciating the waiter’s recommendations, the service lacked consistency, resulting in order discrepancies and prolonged wait times, with apparent favoritism toward other customers.

In summary, while Aladdin Cafe offers a charming and nostalgic theme and some noteworthy dishes, its inconsistent service and lack of attention to the orders detract from the overall experience.


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