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Emily L and the Arabian Nights

March 12, 2019

Two weeks ago Emily L sent in a guest post about her tips and tricks for navigating the Asian Supermarket on Central Avenue in Albany. Even though it’s a place I personally shop with some regularity, she revealed secrets that I had not yet uncovered. Now I’m really looking forward to getting back in there and picking up a roast duck.

How does she do it? Well, one of the things I love about Emily is her ability to ask good questions. Being smart, curious, and outgoing are important qualities to have when trying to navigate new environments.

Today Emily is back with some insights on another international market on Central Avenue, a bit closer to Albany’s urban core. Not only that, but she beat the Yelpers. Amazingly there isn’t one Yelp review for Aladdin Halal Market. I haven’t been there either. They do have a Facebook page with some more pictures, and at least some of the meat prices. However, those are over a year old, so your mileage may vary.

The blog post below is super fresh, so let’s check out what Emily found on her recent outing.

A Guide to Aladdin’s Halal Market
By Emily L

My exploration of non-chain grocery stores in the Capital Region continues. Recently, I ventured over to Aladdin’s Halal Market on Central Avenue. Intrigued by the Disney-inspired name and font, I walked in not knowing what to expect. What I found surprised and pleased me. Here are some tips for your visit to this small, but clean Mediterranean grocery.

  • Aladdin’s carries primarily Moroccan, Tunisian, Pakistan, and Indian groceries. There is a small produce section, but they feature mainly dry imported goods.
  • There is a butcher in the back of the store, but no menu for meat. Simply go up to the butcher and explain the cut of meat you want. Remember, this is a halal grocery, so no pork. When I was there, he was cutting fresh chicken and large legs of lamb.
  • Speaking of lamb, Aladdin’s has the best prices I have seen in the Capital Region for beautiful racks of marbled lamb. Keep this in mind with Easter coming up.
  • Aladdin’s has a great selection of bowls and dishes needed to serve Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, including tajines.

  • Chutneys, chutneys, chutneys. Both frozen and jarred, at $1.99, I couldn’t help but pick up several new varieties.
  • Like flatbreads? This is your place. From naan to jeera to pita, Aladdin’s has it all. Most were priced around $3 or so, much cheaper than chain grocery stores in the area.
  • Near the front register, there is a small cooler with baked goods. While I didn’t pick any up this trip, the baked goods are delivered every other day from a local bakery and include gulab jamun and pieces of nut-filled phyllo dough.
  • And of course rice. So much bulk rice at such an amazing price. Grab a 10 pound bag for less than $10.

Central Avenue is becoming home to a number of interesting non-chain groceries and cuisines. I can’t wait to continue my exploration of this diverse area, from Jamaican ice cream to Sichuan buns. What else would you recommend for me to explore?

Personally, I think Emily answered her own questions. I want a report on the Sichuan buns and Jamaican ice cream. But next week Emily and I are going on an outing to Sheba al-Yemen, which is also on Central Avenue. So maybe that will be blog worthy as well.

One Comment leave one →
  1. albanylandlord permalink
    March 13, 2019 12:49 am

    Wow, really cool.. Thanks Emily.

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