Eat Healthy, Eat Good... and lose 150lbs in 8 Months
Aladdin's Eatery in Toledo boasts the tagline: "Eat Healthy, Eat Good." Nick Chamoun, who purchased the franchise in 2007, validates the "healthy" part. Over the last eight months, he experienced significant weight loss thanks to his own restaurant. "I lost 150 pounds eating healthy at Aladdin's," Nick said. "I'm eating the same plate every day: Fattoush with chicken with no pita chips." But healthy options aren't all Aladdin's is known for, the restaurant's Lebanese food, specialties, gourmet desserts and personal atmosphere also play a role in its popularity. Nick's franchise is on of 29 Aladdin's in the United States, all of which boast a diverse selection of Middle Eastern dishes. Most popular at the Toledo location is Aladdin's Famous Combo, a sampler platter with kafta, beef, chicken, rice and salad. Nick's Lebanese wine and beer options also attract guests. On an unhealthy note, so do the desserts. Aladdin's gourmet cakes are a best seller. Newest on the list is Baklava Cheesecake. Nick stresses that as far as flavors go "Everything is good." But most people visit his restaurant because of the healthy options Middle Eastern cuisine offers. "The people who care about healthy, they come here every day," he said. And he's not kidding. Some guests visit for lunch daily and eat the exact same meal. Others have their favorite Aladdin's dishes regularly catered for corporate events. Authentic offerings and a health-conscious community help get guest in he door. But Nick says it's Aladdin's personal atmosphere that keeps them coming back. Nick puts effort into remaining visible to guests, most of who he knows by name. "I treat people as a family, and when you treat people as a family, they will come back to you all the time," he added. Anyone who would like to be a part of this "family" - or see the effects of healthy eating - can head to Aladdin's where Nick is sure to greet them at the door, 150-pounds lighter. His goal is to make it 200.