Aladdin Mediterranean Grill & Grocery

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Since 2004, Yoseph Ali’s Aladdin Mediterranean Grill has been Jackson’s go-to spot for healthy, meat- and vegetable-based Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. The Fondren restaurant’s menu includes a wide range of dishes: beef and chicken kebabs; lamb chops; kibbeh; dips and salads, including baba ganoush, fatouche and tabbouleh; baklava. Its vegetarian options, like the famous falafel plate, and its hummus earned the restaurant multiple Best of Jackson awards this year.

Jacksonians looking to try something new or craving the taste of home can head next door to shop at Aladdin Groceries, which won Best Ethnic Market in Jackson. Customers can browse the aisles for jams (apricot, fig), grains, herbs, nuts, cheeses (feta, nabulsi, halloumi), labneh (yogurt cheese), soujouk (a popular Middle Eastern dried beef sausage), pickled vegetables, tins of stuffed grape leaves, olives, Turkish biscuits and chocolates, candies, teas, oils and much more.

The market also offers halal whole and ground beef, chicken, lamb or goat by the pound. Pro tip: Place an order in advance with Mohamed and pick it up on a Wednesday, when the weekly meat shipments come in.

Perhaps best of all is Aladdin’s selection of plump medjool dates. The date palm—a sacred tree for Middle Easterners and North Africans, one the Qu’ran frequently references—bears a fruit widely considered a delicacy. Aladdin sells 5- and 11-pound boxes of the dates. Deep honey-colored and delicious, they make you wonder what was really inside of the glowing suitcase that Jules popped open in “Pulp Fiction.” — Seyma Bayram

WINNER: Best Ethnic Market, Best Place for Healthy Food, Best Place for Hummus, Best Vegetarian Options

Address: 730 Lakeland Drive, Jackson MS 39216

Phone number: 601-366-6033

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