This past weekend however, I had the opportunity to check out a restaurant that has popped up on my radar due to the allure of gluten-free falafel. Despite the dismal weather, I made the rain-drenched trek to Federal Hill in high hopes of delicious cuisine.
When I arrived at Baba's I quickly realized that the restaurant was not wheelchair accessible. Not to be deterred, I decided to get an order for take out, and would enjoy it as I was making the trek back to the Hippodrome Theater, which was where I was heading afterwards. I looked over the extensive menu, and tried to decide what to order.
After speaking with staff members and letting them know my dietary restrictions, I realized that my dream of falafel was dead when I realized that the fryer is not dedicated gluten-free because the zucchini fries do contain gluten and dairy (they are marked "gluten free" though). Expressing my concern about the labeling, I give credit to the two staff members who helped me, because they were able to point me to options that would be safer and were very knowledgeable about ingredients.
After contemplation, I decided to go with the tabouleh quinoa salad with chicken added on top. Tabouleh is a dish often that is off limits for gluten-free eaters because it traditionally is made with bulgher wheat. Seizing a rare opportunity to enjoy a safe version of it, I knew that was the trial dish for me.
The portioning of the salad was deceptive, as it doesn't appear like much, but is actually quite filling thanks to the quinoa and chicken. The chicken seasoning is good and it is cooked to tender perfection. The real star of the salad however is the tabouleh, which is flavorful thanks to the simple magic of herbs, lemon, and olive oil. I loved how the tomatoes, quinoa, lettuce, and dressing were balanced evenly and clearly fresh because of incredible flavor.
The salad came with tahini sauce, which is made with sesame seeds and is gluten and dairy-free. In an effort to minimize the mess of my meal, I did not open it.
Due to the lack of wheelchair access and limited gluten-free options, I don't know if I will be making a second visit any time soon, but it's nice to know Baba's is yet another option in the city. One staff member in particular (I feel terrible that I forgot his name) was really accommodating, and went over and beyond to make the best of my experience.
For those who are visiting the city, Baba's is just down the road from Fort McHenry, so it's a great place to visit if you are planning to sight-see there!
Address: 745 E. Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Mediterranean
Ideal For: Lunch, Dinner
Price: See menu prices in above menu photo.
Accessibility: No wheelchair access, tables outside of restaurant available
Special Feature: Call ahead to place an order for pick up. Their phone number is 410-727-7482
Accessibility: No wheelchair access, tables outside of restaurant availableSpecial Feature: Call ahead to place an order for pick up. Their phone number is 410-727-7482