For many years, Haji Baba’s in Tempe has been one of my go-to places for good Middle Eastern food in the Phoenix area. Indeed, it’s been one of the places on my hit list whenever I’m in the Phoenix area. Haji Baba’s isn’t exactly the best decorated place—it’s important to realize that the idea here is a market that sells food, and not a restaurant. As a result, the overall ambiance here is a bit lacking, it’s like eating in an office supply store. But you’re not coming here to enjoy the ambiance, you’re coming here to eat. And that’s where Haji Baba’s shines, with a solid menu of Middle Eastern delights, such as gyros, schawarma (shown here), hummus, tabouleh, grape leaves, olives, and such.
Where Offbeat Eats has been:
On our way up to our rental condo on the North Shore, every time we were leaving Kaneohe and heading north on the Kamehameha highway, we ran into two places that triggered my “Offbeat Eats” sense. One is an older place on the West side of the road called the Hygienic Store, which is basically a convenience store (the name comes from it’s former life as the “Hygienic Dairy”). We never made it in there, so we’ll have to save it for another trip. But across the street is some sort of abandoned business, but out in the parking lot are two food trucks that make up Mike’s Huli Huli Chicken. There was something cool about the hand-scrawled sign for chicken that make me interested, and when my friend Mark in Kaneohe mentioned that they were actually really, really good, we decided to follow up on it.