I have been thinking about it quite a bit lately. After having been unemployed or undermployed for the better part of a year, I can safely say that I am a part of the strain on restaurants to meet their bottom lines. I just don’t really go out to eat as much, and when I do, I don’t order appetizers or desserts usually, and my bill stays relatively low.
But as readers of this blog know, I *do* go out sometimes, and presumably when I have a disposable income, I’ll be returning to a multiple-times a month schedule of dining out, because as much as I love to cook – I also hate to cook ALL the time. And when I go back to that, there are a handful of restaurants that I would like to still be there.
The Aladdin on Union Boulevard in Allentown is one of them. It would be an understatement to say that The Aladdin has been a big part of my life in terms of eating out. I don’t think there existed a time in my life that my family did not eat food from “Eddie’s.” I don’t know when my dad and Eddie Eunis struck up a friendship, but it was sometime before I was born, and as a result, as a child, I don’t believe more than a week or two went by that we did not either take out food or go eat in for dinner in their small but comfortable restaurant on 2nd Street – their family lived upstairs and the restaurant was on the first floor. For my parents, who were trying to come to grips with their four year old (me) declaring “I don’t eat animals,” a restaurant serving vegetarian specialties such as hummus and falafel and arnabit must have been a godsend.
When Aladdin moved to their current location on Union Blvd, it took us quite some time to adjust to the new flashy decor and christmas lights in the ceiling, but the food remained delicious as ever. Eddie passed away when I was a teenager, but his wife Violet picked up the business and she and her daughters have kept it going since then.
I met my dad and his girlfriend there tonight for dinner, and although it is never particularly long between visits, realized that it has been probably two months or so since I last had dinner there, and was reminded that as a customer, my role is not only to enjoy the delicious meal. These days, we all have a finite number of dollars to spend on things like meals out. In choosing which businesses get mine, I will definitely be considering the impact that each dollar has on the businesses and business owners I wish to support most. Aladdin is one of them. I’m not the first in the LV Blogosphere to blog about Aladdin, so I’ll spare you a long description of my meal. Sarina over at Lehigh Lexicon also gave a shout out, and last month LVInsite wrote about a fulfilling Aladdin meal, as well. The short version is:
delicious hummus, delicious salad, delicious smeed, delicious arnabit, delicious rice, delicious baklava. (thanks dad)
So yeah, the point of this post is really twofold:
One: Aladdin! Go there!
Two: whatever your favorite local restaurant is – go there. Find a way to budget $20 to go on Friday night and get dinner. Skip the drinks, skip the dessert – but give your business to the restaurants whose appetizers and drinks and desserts will make your tummy smile when your pockets aren’t so light.