CVI Crapcam
A big, yummy plate o' food. Credit: CVI Crapcam

What: The Beef Kebab Combination Plate

Where: Aladdin Deli and Market, 68100 Ramon Road, No. A5, Cathedral City

How much: $11.99

Contact: 760-328-1159;

Why: This plate of food is beyond satisfying.

I have a theory: As a general rule, the farther a restaurant is away from the street in a strip mall, the better the food is at that restaurant.

This brings us to Aladdin Deli and Market. Technically, you could say Aladdin is located at the northeast corner of Ramon Road and Landau Boulevard, because it’s located in the shopping center at said corner. However, you won’t be able to see Aladdin from this intersection—because Aladdin is located in the back, back, back corner of the center.

Trust me: Aladdin is worth finding.

The little market is pretty cool, offering lots of great Middle Eastern food finds. But we’re hungry, and we’re here for the food: Aladdin offers various shawarma and kebab dishes (in this case, kebab means meat grilled over a flame, but not necessarily skewered), pita sandwiches, salads, hummus, taboule, grape leaves and other yummy treats.

On my recent lunch visit, I chose the beef kabab plate. Upon first glance, I was slightly disappointed by the amount of meat I received; however, by the end of the meal, that disappointment had dissipated: There was more than enough food on this plate—and it was good food. The seasoned meat had the perfect amount of char; the hummus was delicious and creamy. The rice, pickles (salad is available as an alternative to pickles) and other accompaniments complemented the meat and hummus nicely.

My only complaint was the pita bread was a little tough. However, that’s a nitpick: My lunch was beyond satisfying—and at lunchtime on the days that followed, my hungry stomach kept nudging me to head back to the intersection of Ramon and Landau for more.

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...