The food cart is a wonderful thing. Perched near offices and easily accessible on foot, the food cart opens up a restaurant's customer base by bringing the food to where it's needed. But what if you've got a craving for some goods from your favorite food cart near the office on the weekend, or on a day you decided to play hooky?
Ali Baba's Fusion is a small restaurant with seating for about a dozen on the corner of Foxon Boulevard and Eastern Street in New Haven. Its two food carts serve hungry New Haveners on Cedar Street near Yale Med School and on Prospect Street near Ingalls Rink. The food is a blend of Indian and Pakistani food with Mediterranean influences.
Ali Baba's menu reads like you'd hope, with gyro and lemon chicken platters, falafel sandwiches and cous cous dishes. Flavorful with a bit of a kick, the chana masala over rice ($6) is a hearty lunch for the upcoming colder months. The lemon chicken platter ($6) is tangy and plentiful. There's definitely enough food for lunch and dinner, or two lunches, making the already inexpensive food an even better option if you're cash-strapped.
The standout is the kati roll ($2.50), or bengali burrito if you're ordering at the cart. It comes in a variety of "flavors," including chicken, beef and lamb. Each is served on paratha bread, a flaky, layered dough, with mixed salad and a mint sauce inside. Napkins are a must, as these can be a bit greasy. But the portability factor is high, as the kati rolls top out at about six inches in length. The veggie samosas ($3, with tamarind sauce and chana masala) are packed with spices.
Take a trip up Route 80 one of these days and see what Ali Baba is all about.
Ali Baba's Fusion
405 Foxon Blvd., New Haven, (203) 468-2328, alibabasfusion.com.