Eat This

A Lunch Buffet That Doesn't Blow: Ali Baba

Recently I had lunch at Ali Baba Grill in Irving. I'm usually anti buffets, but the lunch all-you-can-eat spread here is actually executed quite well. They're good at rotating in new stuff so, for the most part, the food stays fresh and warm. And if you want flavor without the nap-inducing carb overload, they have a ton of salad and veggie dishes.

For the number of different dishes offered, most of them are well done. The standouts include the thyme pie, roasted chicken, tabouli salad and curry chicken. They also include all the standards: piles of pita bread, moussaka, lamb, and dolma. And there are ample sauces: hummus, babaganoush, garlic and cucumber.

The lunch crowd is mostly groups of casual business diners, and the place can get packed at high-noon. The help-yo'self set-up makes it quick, if needed. But hanging out at a table, avoiding going back to the cubicle, is easy too.

The buffet is $10 and a drink is $2. It's a pretty good bang for your buck for a flavorful lunch.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.