Let's talk about Middle Eastern food...where?

Love a falafel with extra tahini…
Chicken kabobs et al. . .
I used to go Market Grille in La Jolla when I was a true beach chick…

El Cajon has the beloved Chaldeans, that make fantastic food…but don’t know where to start.
Help a Chica out…

Calibanzo (Israeli in Scripps Ranch or Mira Mesa)
North Park Produce (Poway)
La Miche Kabobgee (Kearny Mesa)
Balboa International Market (Clairemont)
Ala Turca (Poway, I haven’t been yet but have been meaning to go)

If all that fails head up to Irvine to Wholesome Choice supermarket (great falafel and fresh sangak)

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Kebab House (not shop) at 25th and Broadway, Golden Hill
Cafe Istanbul 6th and E, downtown
Sultan Baklava, 700 4th, downtown
Alforon, 5900 El Cajon Bl, City Heights
Haritna, 7300 El Cajon BL, City Heights
Mystic Grill, 7000 University Ave, City Heights
Saray, Jamaica and Main, El Cajon


What do you like at Calibanzo ? We live close by and they have interesting dishes, e.g. sweetbreads on their menu but “reviews” on Yelp (yes, I know) and some of the photos don’t sound/look good

Only been a few times but agree they have an interesting menu with some dishes I don’t normally see at the typical middle eastern type places in SoCal. I liked the meat skewers and many of the appetizers, especially the shakshuka and hummus. The Jerusalem plate sounds good too. Give it a shot but Beware it is a bit pricey for sd. If you do try, report back as you seem tough but generally fair in your posts.

Thanks RedDevil!

Calibanzo for Israeli looks perfect and I go to that TJ store…
I’ve been to North Park Produce but I didn’t see food…didn’t venture all the way to the back of the store…food good?

I could eat a falafel sandwich with tons of tahini, all day long…


There is a restaurant attached to the side of the north park produce store on poway rd. Not sure if they’ve got falafel but liked what I’ve gotten so far.

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The relatively new Harvest International Market in Clairemont, (replacing the North Park Produce store at Balboa and CM Drive), has some really outstanding stuff at the deli counter.

P.S. This is interesting, from their website:

“Our Balboa (San Diego store) is tailored to more of a Persian and Eastern European kitchen items, and our El Cajon store is tailored to Middle Eastern Cuisine.”

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Maza Grill in DTSD.

Good burger.

How is that Middle Eastern? Cuz it comes with kick-ass tzatziki sauce.

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Did Harvest International replace North Park Produce, or did they just change their name?

The Balboa store’s focus on Eastern European items completely explains why it has become a favorite among some of our family friends.

‘Cuz it comes with kick-ass tzataziki sauce’…LOL

Rim shot…bada bing…
You playing the Tick Tock Inn later…:tongue:

I can’t speak with certainty, but I’m pretty sure that Harvest is different ownership. Next time I’m in I’ll try to remember to ask someone there about it.

You are likely correct. I was out of town during the switch, so I likely missed any details of it (if there were any). KirkK’s blog indicates it is a different entity and not just a rebranding.

My wife does not like that neighborhood at all; but if I end up back in town it probably will enter our non conventional shopping rotation (along with the Continent European Deli and Balboa International Market).

she dislikes the neighborhood of Clairemont or the neighborhood of El Cajon? :grin:

Go to Mama’s Bakery for the manakeesh.

Thank me later.

That little corner of Clairemont (Clairemont Drive at Balboa) is pretty seedy.

And I thought I was an elitist :pig:
But that will never stop me from going into ‘sketch’ neighborhoods to eat great food.

Love Lebanese…

It’s not being elitist entirely - would you walk across the parking lot by yourself at night? There are quite a few homeless that hang in that area, it isn’t very well lit, etc.