What is this food? A pizza? A pita? Nope. It’s Lebanese food and it is even better. Off of El Cajon Boulevard, Alforon is tucked into a nondescript strip mall with little to no standout features. However, the food offered is extremely fresh and distinct. Owner George Salameh said he strives to provide a unique take on traditional Lebanese food.
Most items on the menu are baked in an oven and served on the traditional mana’eesh flatbread, with exception to the falafel, which is traditionally deep-fried. The restaurant’s name, Alforon, actually means “the oven.”
The mana’eesh can be ordered with toppings such as spinach, beef, chicken and portobello mushrooms. The mushroom flatbread isn’t on the menu, but just ask Salameh and he will make it. In fact, the bottom of the menu reads “you order it, we’ll try to make it, even items not listed on our menu.”
The prices are great for cash-strapped college students. Nothing on the menu ventures into the double-digit price range. The mushroom flatbread is considered a premium item but is still less than $8.
Worth noting is Alforon’s meat. The meat offered is halal, so Muslim customers can eat it as well. Salameh and his family are Catholic but placed heavy importance on offering halal meat to invite Middle Easterners of differing faiths.
The best thing, however, is the garlic spread. Although perhaps not wise for a date looking to make it to first base, it is pure joy condensed into a delicious spread.
The garlic spread can be ordered by itself – it tastes great mixed with the fresh hummus – but it is also served in dollops on top of some of the flatbreads.
Alforon is family-run with Salameh, his wife Samia and his son.
And although the restaurant is not particularly big, they still make sure to provide each guest with their attentive service.
Many people visiting the restaurant seem to be regular patrons, giving it a comfortable, familiar atmosphere, and hanging on the walls are photos of “the old country” as Salameh calls it — bringing a little bit of Lebanon to San Diego.
5965 El Cajon Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92115