Alforon (La Mesa)
Hello foodie community! It’s been a while it seems since I’ve posted something local here in San Diego, but alas, I have been eating…just not posting. So today I’d like to take a little trip to a local mom and pop shop called Alforon. The place is small and quaint but doesn’t feel suffocating. In fact the second you walk through the door you can smell the fresh flat bread baking in the oven viewable from the seating area. The owners George and Samia are always friendly and willing to chat you up. Everything I’ve had here was served fresh and was quite good. Onto the food!
We started with the Fattoush salad. We got a regular size at the recommendation of George. This was a good decision because we wanted to try more things and you never know how large the portions are at a new place. Good idea. It was a good amount to serve the two of us. I loved the toasted pieces of pita bread mixed in the salad to give it a good texture and the dressing was very light and refreshing. I’m not sure what was in it but it tasted citrus based with olive oil. There was lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes in it. Good way to start the meal.
The LahmBajeen. This was the first of two beef dishes we got. The flat bread on this was thin and crispy. I prefer the flat bread to be a little thicker and less crispy, but the toppings of beef and tomato were nice. The spices that accompanied them were not overpowering and you can tell everything was freshly made. This was one of the lighter dishes on the menu that we tried and I’d get this if I wanted a snack or something to supplement the meal.
We also got hummous which came with pickles and pita bread. We polished this off pretty fast. But we ran out of bread. So what did I do? I ended up using the pickles to scrap up the remaining hummous leftovers. I give the slight edge to Aladdin for best hummous in San Diego, but I would get this again here as it tastes healthier and still is very good in its own right. I do wish I had more bread, but that’s probably because the bread is so good and disappeared quickly into our tummies.
Next up, the Soujouk! The exclamation point was not a mistake. This was my favorite savory dish of the night. It was similar to the LahmBajeen but the bread was a little thicker and besides the beef, onion, and tomato it had cheese. A piece of this and I was sent to another place for a short while. I don’t often go to a restaurant and try the same dish twice in a row on consecutive visits simply because I always like to find that gem of a dish and would rather chance it for that opportunity. But this was going to be the one exception to the rule. It is a little dangerous because at $5.75 I could get a lot of these. But there’s so many attractive options on the menu so I must force myself to not get too distracted from the greatness that is the Soujouk.
So after all this food we were pretty full. Not stuffed full as in I want to go lay down and take a food coma nap, but instead pleasantly full and happy because I could think about those tasty dishes in my mouth and I could have a food dream without actually falling asleep. So as we went up to the counter to pay Samia asks how our meal was and we exchanged pleasantries and gave them compliments on everything we had. It happened to be Valentine’s weekend and I commented on the nice decor of the place since they completely decorate the restaurant during major holidays. As I was about to give Samia my credit card George comes out from the kitchen and says we should sit back down. I wasn’t sure what to expect as no one has ever really said that to me except my mom or dad or maybe other older members of my family. But he quickly follows that comment by saying “you have to try my specialty dessert, it’s on us.” At which I replied “okay.” I am never one to turn down free food but you can tell they are such a nice couple and they are very passionate about what they do. To say no would’ve been disrespectful (at least where I come from).
Last was the on the house Aaysh Essaraya. This isn’t something I’ve had before nor would I order. So George and Samia are smart in giving it away to us. Although I don’t think it was their original intention entirely, they are that confident that you’ll come back and order it after trying it. The top is full of pistachios, with a pastry like layer underneath with creamy layer. Samia topped it off with even more pistachios and poured a rosewater sugary syrup around the dessert. I expected it to be on the heavier side with the creamy layer but like everything else we had it was not heavy at all. The dessert was quite surprising and I’m glad we got to taste it. I’ll certainly order it in my many future visits to Alforon!
5965 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115
Tue-Sat 10 am – 9 pm
Sun 10 am – 7 pm