Eat the Strip

Ali Baba Bakery

200 Vanguard Dr #7, Orléans, ON K4A 1A1

April 16, 2023 6:17 PM

By: Danielle Jeffery


Middle Eastern meat pies have become a staple for us since we were introduced to them a few years ago.

Ottawa is as much a meat pie city as it is a shawarma one. And it was only a matter of time before we head out to review a food-joint that specializes in them.

The low cost and savoury satisfaction that comes from just one or two have revolutionized breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks in our household. Last year, after a long day at the beach, our friend Cynthia Wagner was able to feed her two kids for under $15 with meat pies, or manaqeesh, at Ali Baba Bakery, a quintessential strip mall gem in Orleans. (We followed up with the customary ice cream at Chocolat Favoris across the parking lot.)

Fresh meat pies are served hot off the oven at Ali Baba Bakery, one of the best Middle Eastern meat-pie shops in the east-end
Fresh meat pies are served hot off the oven at Ali Baba Bakery, one of the best Middle Eastern meat-pie shops in the east-end

Since we were headed to Orleans this week to catch a screening of The Whale, we decided to make a pitstop at Ali Baba Bakery to grab a quick bite before the movie. (On a side note, try catching a movie at the Cine Starz in Orleans, as everything from the snack selection to the furniture will take you back to the 1980s–including the very affordable prices.)

Back at Ali Baba Bakery, we were met with a line of five or six people that moved along pretty quickly. With such an extensive pie menu, it was tough to decide which ones to get, but we decided to stick with classic meat pie and a meat and cheese pie. For our dips, we chose garlic sauce and hummus, of course. Though I’m sure we couldn’t have gone wrong with any of the delicious looking options that were available, from donair pie with cheese, sujuk (spicy sausage with cheese), pepperoni, zaatar and veggies, and many others we look forward to trying in the future.

Manaqeesh, or in singular form man'ousheh, is a popular Levantine dish consisting of dough topped with thyme, cheese, or ground meat. Similar to a pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can be served either for breakfast or lunch
Manaqeesh, or in singular form man'ousheh, is a popular Levantine dish consisting of dough topped with thyme, cheese, or ground meat. Similar to a pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can be served either for breakfast or lunch

Normally, when I indulge in these culinary delights, I stick with garlic sauce as a go-to dip, but on this occasion, I could not stay away from the hummus. There was just something about the combination of each bite of pie topped with hummus that I finished half the container of hummus. Needless to say, both pies were gone within 15 minutes and I barely had room for the movie popcorn.

Will definitely be going back to Ali Baba Bakery to try more flavours.