Aida’s Mediterranean Bistro – fresh authentic food
If you’re looking for great authentic Mediterranean food, look no further, Aida’s on 4th Street is the place to go. We had a few people recommend Aida’s to us so it was time to take a visit. Our visit was on a Thursday at 1pm, just after the lunch rush. It’s a nice bistro with about 15-20 tables leaving it still spacious enough to enjoy your meal with a group of friends or a date. The service was very friendly and they helped us decide what we should have and what we should have next time.
We started off with the Veggie Mezza for Two (they customized it to accomodate the three of us). ($30 for this platter). The Mezza started off with three very fresh and well flavored in house made dips with some fresh pita bread, Hummus, Baba Ghannouj, and Mouhammara. I’ll first start off talking about the Mouhammara dip (red pepper paste, walnuts and pomegranate juice), this will be the best dip you’ve ever tasted, very fresh tasting, the balance of the flavors is excellent and you’ll keep wanting more. The next dip Baba Ghannouj was also very good, I have a soft spot for Baba from my previous life, this eggplant/tahini dip was also perfectly made and tasted just right. The last dip Hummus a creamy well blended chick pea/tahini dip was very tasty and well balanced. I really didn’t pay too much attention when I ordered, I thought this was it for the Mezza since it was already so good, all of a sudden the rest of the platter came filled with Fatayer(pita pastry triangles filled with spinach), Rookaak (phyllo fingers filled with a blend of cheese and olives), Grape Leaves (rice, tomatoes, and onions rolled in grape leaves), Falafel (seasoned chick pea patties served with tahini dip), and a fattoush salad (kind of like a greek salad). The highlights of this platter were the Rookaak, we could have eaten a hundred of these, tasted so good, cheese was creamy and just delish. The falafel was also very good and well flavored. We did find the Grape leaves a tad on the salty side, not sure if they are suppose to be this salty as I don’t eat these very often.
Vegetable Mezza for Two
For my meal I decided on a sandwich since I was so full already but I had to try more food. The sandwich I went with was the Lamb Kabob ($8), wrapped in a pita which was rolled with fresh veggies and hummus. Found another winner, lamb was well cooked, veggies were indeed fresh and the whole pita sandwich was just perfect. I ordered a side of Tabbouli ($7) which I always enjoy, this parsley salad was so fresh tasting you would think they have a parsely garden back there, dressing was just right and was very flavourful.
Fuzzy had the Grilled Chicken Sandwich ($7.50), which was a pan fried pita filled with chicken strips, pickles and garlic paste. You know it’s good when 4 days later he’s still talking about how good it was and how the garlic paste and pickles just made it outstanding.
Our foodie friend, Erwin, hopefully one day will be a contributing writer for YYC’s Best Eats, had the Majdool and Feta pita sandwich ($7.50). Erwin’s words are delicious and filling.
Next time I come to Aida’s I’ll need to try some of the Entrees, which take the kitchen about 30 mins to make each one. I hear the Mediterranean Chicken and Yogurt Lamb Chops are amazing. The waitress told us her favorite sandwich is the Grilled Cheese (Feta and Majdool Cheese, tomato and olives, broiled in a fresh pita) how good does that sound!
Overall impression of Aida’s is excellent, I do rank this as one of my favorite restaurants in Calgary and for sure my favorite Mediterranean restaurants period. This place is great for groups of 2 or 4, but I’m sure 6-8 can be done comfortably too. If you haven’t been and like this type of authentic food, you need to go right away and check out what your missing.