The Lebanese and Mediterranean Kitchen

When someone visits our restaurant and tries the food, one knows immediately the difference between a Restaurant Commercially set up and a Restaurant that happens to Feel like a home;  a Home feel with it’s  Cleanliness, Cleanliness, Cleanliness, Cleanliness.

Our customers walk in and leave wanting to make an impression on us instead of the other way around. Just as if the visit was to relative’s house, and the attempt is to leave a good impression after their visit, to leave with their clean table and or give up their table to other guests or introduce themselves and talk to others totally strangers to them, just as everyone does when they find themselves in the house that hosted them, also hosted other guests or family members and the introduction responsibility is left to everyone , to interact, catch up and explore.

We cook home food not Restaurant food. It won’t take much to discover the passion, love and the work we put into our food.

ALFORON is not about to sell anything or offer anything that would not have been made at home at the exact style, quality and freshness in ingredients especially without commercializing any aspect or part of it.

ALFORON is the ultimate Home kitchen with the complete sense of  Hospitality, Originality, Tradition and Heritage.

Our Restaurant has that Homey feel. We want your visit to be an experience not just a lunch or a dinner. We work really hard to leave a strong positive impression on every visitor, especially the youngest of them.


619 269 9904

5965 El Cajon Blvd

San Diego, CA 92115



Mediterranean Restaurants

Why is Mediterranean Cuisine so Popular? one asks.

It is first and foremost as simple a cuisine as it gets; this cuisine uses basic, simple and earthly ingredients found all around the eastern and Northern edges of the Mediterranean Sea. The focus in the cuisine is on Hearty vegetables, leafy greens, olive oils and fresh and simple mixes of spices that the western world had long moved away from, but slowly getting back to. No complications here and no secrets to their mix either, it is as simple as the Trio as we always called in our house fresh Garlic, Fresh Lemon juice and the ever popular Extra Virgin olive oil that no house in Lebanon is found without. This trio applies to just about fifty percent of the Mediterranean dishes. Now the Trio is also used as the base from which you build the dish and build the flavors that applies to whatever you plan on cooking. Mediterranean cuisine in very much into Fruits, vegetables  grains, Nuts, Beans, Leafy greens, Herbs, Seeds and Fish. add to it the best part in Flat Bread baking.

Use that on a bed of Romaine lettuce and you have one of the healthiest, tastiest dressings you have ever tried, it is simple and extremely affordable and available in almost everyone’s Pantry.

Use that Trio on a bowl of Fava Beans or Garbanzo (ChickPeas) and you have one of the most filling Vegan dish, satisfying and healthy dishes. Most of all the simplicity and it’s rich Nutritional value.

Use it on Green Beans and or spinach, or try it on a bed of steamed kale. you will have the best side dish to compliment any Entree.

Use it on a piece of flat iron Beef or Chicken and now you have  an amazing simple marinate.

ALFORON has dozens of dishes that uses the TRIO some are listed on the Menu some are not ask us about our non published menu items that are purely Vegan or vegetarian. You will find them very appetizing, filling and fulfilling.

This is the best Heart Healthy diet recommended by most if not all Scientific Organizations and Dietitians for the best weight control and the prevention of Major Chronic diseases.



5965 EL Cajon Blvd, San Diego CA 92115



Aaysh Essaraya at ALFORON aka’ “The Love Dessert”

In a late summer eve, the Pasha in one of his Saray’s (Palaces) in Lebanon, one of  Turkey’s most admired colonies, screamed at his guards to bring him the best Pastry Chefs in the Saray. The Pashas at the time was the most feared dictators of their times, ruled without mercy, compassion or respect for human lives.

The Story goes that the Pasha had his eyes on a beautiful woman and he wanted to make a big impression. His idea was to make her  a dessert original enough to be unlike anything he has ever tasted, something that had never been done before.

Summoning that Pastry Chef was all about that creation. He wanted to have that Sweet dessert ready that evening or the poor guy would disappoint the Pasha and anger him, and whoever disappoint the Pasha usually had his head publicly chopped.

That is how the concept of Aaysh Essaraya came about that afternoon by that poor pastry maker. It was a hit with the Pasha who was delighted by the results, and a very positive result with his Beautiful guest. The dessert was then named Aaysh Essaraya referencing the Palace Dessert. (Aaysh means Bread or food of the  Saraya or Palaces)

Why this story?

To give you the background of this dessert only, and nothing else. Because our Aaysh Essaraya  may share the name of what became the Pasha’s favorite dessert during and after that hot date, but it does not share anything else. The set up perhaps, but here at ALFORON, we’ll be sharing our experience with you in this story, but more so we will be sharing one of the most treasured Desserts ever made. As old as this dessert is; the recipe has evolved through the years. It has definitely evolved with me for the last thirty or so years. It now has such original spices and delicate balance that would be extremely hard to duplicate or even come close to duplicate. Spices that embodies this dessert, so unique and so rare in pairing together. I have had years of fun trying to get it to this perfection.

It is with our deepest most cherished pride and true joy that I and my wife bring this dessert to San Diegans in this Small and Humble Restaurant.

Enjoy it, Savor It and let everyone knows about your experience.


619 269 9904

5965 El Cajon Blvd

San Diego, CA 92115


Lebanese restaurants, San Diego, California

There are many Restaurants you can go try and eat Lebanese food in, but none will be anywhere similar to ALFORON’s.

It’s table service fine Lebanese Cuisine in a small and quaint setting. Built and decorated as an old house somewhere in the High Mountains of Lebanon, Alforon is not your typical high line Restaurant, it is your typical down to earth Fine Dining that resembles a Lunch or Dinner visit to an old friend’s home. Try it and you leave with that kind of impression and once you try the food you will be craving it all the time.

Do you remember a dinner visit to your GranMa’s or your Aunts house? well a visit to ALFORON is a dining Experience that is not going to be much different.



5965 El Cajon Blvd

San Diego, California  

A Lebanese Breakfast

Lebanese Breakfast
by Fouad.

I remember breakfasts of Labneh, Zaatar, mint, tomato and cucumber with fresh, paper thin markouk bread. On weekends, when time was a luxury we could afford, it would be kishk and qawarma hiding full cloves of garlic in creamy whiteness speckled with shallow fried pine nuts. We burnt our tongues in impatience and never learned to wait. Eggs with sumac were fluffy and crunchy, slowly fried with olive oil in pottery and devoured within seconds with farm fresh home made goat’s milk yoghurt. Every once in a while, mom would send dad down to the baker’s with a variety of containers to be made into Lebanese pizzas and pies. The one for manakish would be full of her special zaatar mix – hand picked mountain thyme, dried and mixed with freshly roasted sesame seeds, sumac and of course, olive oil from our decades old olive grove. Another would have spinach and wild silver beet mixed with onions and used to fill the triangular Fattayer b’Sbenekh w Selek. Then there was Lahm b’Ajeen, mutton and beef mince mixed with onions, tomatoes, pine nuts, pomegranate molasses and spices served piping hot on top of the crispy golden brown pastry. A squeeze of lemon juice was all it needed to become the perfect meat pie. Let’s not get into an argument here.

Dad would drive on missions in search of the freshest produce. On his way back home, he would beep the horn, sending a special message that got us on to our feet and out to greet him. The three boys would help dad carry boxes full of the freshest produce upstairs where mom would complain. On a good day. electricity was only available for two or three hours if we were lucky, and that meant that produce needed to be bought and consumed very quickly. But Dad had a problem. Buying a kilo or less of anything was a strange concept he never embraced; and so mom got busy cooking three or four meals at a time, preserving what she could and handing out the rest to the neighbours, who were all too keen to repay the favour and offload their own husbands’ overzealous shopping habits, undermining mom’s evacuation efforts.

History Of Humous


The word comes from Arabic: حمّص‎ḥummuṣ[ ‘chickpeas’. Like many other Arabic loanwords and names, romanized spellings of the word in English can be inconsistent. The earliest use of the word hummus in English as noted by the Oxford English

Among the common spellings for this word as transliterated into English are hummus, hommos and hoummos. The spelling humus is generally avoided in English as it is a homonym of humus (organic matter in soil), though this is the usual Turkish spelling and the OED indicates the word entered the English language from Turkish. The full Arabic name of the prepared spread is حُمُّص بطحينة (ḥummuṣ bi tahina) which means chickpeas with tahini.

Historical origins

Hummus with pine nuts and olive oil

Many cuisine-related sources carry forward a folklore which describes hummus as one of the oldest known prepared foods with a long history in the Middle East stretching back to antiquity, but its historical origins are unknown. The historical enigma is such that the origins of hummus-bi-tahini could be much more recent than is widely believed. One of the earliest verifiable descriptions of hummus comes from 18th-century Damascus and the same source claims it was unknown elsewhere.

Meanwhile some cookbooks repeat the legend that hummus was first prepared in the 12th century by Saladdin. Sources such as Cooking in Ancient Civilizations by Cathy K. Kaufman carry speculative recipes for an ancient Egyptian hummus, substituting vinegar for lemon juice, but acknowledge we do not know how the Egyptians ate their chick-peas. Similarly, no recipe for hummus has been identified among the many books on cooking surviving from ancient Rome.

Charles Perry, co-author of Medieval Arab Cookery notes that owing to hummus bi tahina being an everyday staple, and because of the lack of Arab recipe books published between the 14th and 20th centuries, no recipes documenting this food’s early ingredients have been found. He says the nearest medieval example recorded in a 13th century Arab cookbook, Kitab Wasf al-Atima al-Mutada is Hummus kasa, which substitutes vinegar for lemon, includes extra herbs and adds walnuts.

It is known that the Lebanese cuisine expanded on many of these traditions and added the various flavors of this amazing dip, creating a variety and additions like meat, pine nuts and other toppings to the dish.

Lebanese Mediterranean Cuisine (a one of a kind)

Lebanese cuisine includes an abundance of starches, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry is eaten more often than red meat, and when red meat is eaten it is usually lamb on the coast and goat meat in the mountain regions. It also includes copious amounts of garlic and olive oil, often seasoned by lemon juice.

Rarely does a meal goes by in Lebanon which does not include these ingredients. Most often foods are either grilled, baked or sautéed in olive oil; butter or cream is rarely used other than in a few desserts. Vegetables are often eaten raw or pickled as well as cooked. While the cuisine of Lebanon doesn’t boast an entire repertoire of sauces, it focuses on herbs, spices and the freshness of ingredients; the assortment of dishes and combination are almost limitless. The meals are full of robust, earthy flavors and, like most Mediterranean countries, much of what the Lebanese eat is dictated by the seasons.

In Lebanon, very rarely are drinks served without being accompanied by food. One of the more healthy aspects of Lebanese cuisine is the manner or custom in which their food is often served, which is referred to as mezze. Similar to the tapas of Spain and antipasto of Italy, mezze is an array of small dishes placed before the guests creating an array of colors, flavors, textures and aromas. This style of serving food is less a part of family life than it is of entertaining and cafes. Mezze may be as simple as pickled vegetables, hummus and bread, or it may become an entire meal consisting of grilled marinated seafood, skewered meats, a variety of cooked and raw salads and an arrangement of desserts.

Although simple fresh fruits are often served towards the end of a Lebanese meal, there is also desert and coffee. Balawa is also a popular Lebanese dessert.



A unique cultural past has helped make Lebanese food the most popular of all Middle Eastern cuisines. For most of its past, Lebanon has been ruled by foreign powers that have influenced the types of food the Lebanese ate. From 1516 to 1918, the ottoman Turks controlled Lebanon and introduced a variety of foods that have become staples in the Lebanese diet, such as cooking with lamb.

After the Ottomans were defeated in World War I (1914–1918), France took control of Lebanon until 1943, when the country achieved its independence. During this time, the French introduced some of their most widely eaten foods, particularly treats such as  caramel custard dessert dating back to the 1500s, and buttery croissants.

The Lebanese themselves have also helped bring foods of other cultures into their diet. Ancient tribes journeyed throughout the Middle East, carrying with them food that would not spoil easily, such as rice and dates.


The Lebanese gastronomy is a rich mixture of various products and ingredients coming from the different Lebanese regions. Olive oil, herbs, garlic and lemon are typical flavours found in the Lebanese diet.

The Mezze, an elaborate variety of thirty hot and cold dishes, had made the Lebanese cuisine renowned worldwide. A typical Mezze may consist, of salads such as the Tabouleh and Fattoush, together with dip such as Hoummous, Baba ghannouj or Moutabal, and some patties such as the Sambusacs and finally stuffed grape leaves.

Family cuisine offers also a range of dishes, such as stews or Yakhnehs, which can be cooked in many forms depending on the ingredients used and are usually served with meat and rice vermicelli.

The Lebanese flat bread is essential to every Lebanese meal, and can be used to replace the usage of the fork.

Arak, an anise-flavored liqueur, is the Lebanese national alcoholic drink and is usually served with the traditional convivial Lebanese meals. Another drink is Lebanese wine, which is now enjoying a worldwide reputation.

Known among the great variety of Lebanese sweets, are pastries such as Baklawa, the Lebanese ice cream with its oriental flavors, and the Lebanese roasted nuts variety and mixes as part of culture.

Social events play a significant role in Lebanese gastronomy, as some dishes are particularly prepared on special occasions: the Meghli desert, for instance is served to celebrate a newborn baby in the family.

National cuisine

This is a selection of appetizers that can be eaten alone as in breakfast, as well as important ingredients of Lebanese dishes)

  • Ackawi – white cheese originating from the Palestinian town of Acre or Akko
  • Baba ghanouj – char-grilled aubergine (eggplant), tahina, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic puree—served as a dip.
  • Baklawa – a dessert of layered pastry filled with nuts and steeped in Attar Syrup (orange [or] rose water and sugar), usually cut in a triangular or diamond shape that originates in Lebanon.
  • Roasted nuts – a mix of more than 20 kinds and flavors of kernels, mostly dry roasted.
  • Balila – known as Cumin Chickpeas.
  • Batata Harra – literally “spicy potatoes”.
  • Fattoush – ‘peasant’ salad of toasted pita bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, chickweed, and mint.
  • Falafel – small deep-fried patties made of highly-spiced ground chick-peas.
  • Fried Cauliflower
  • Fried eggplant
  • Foul Mdammas(Vicia Fava) slow cooked mash of brown beans and red lentils dressed with lemon olive oil and cumin.
  • Halawa – sesame paste sweet, usually made in a slab and studded with fruit and nuts.
  • Hoummous – dip or spread made of blended chickpeas, sesame tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, and typically eaten with pita bread
  • Kenefeh pastry dessert stuffed with sweet white cheese, nuts and syrup, or more commonly the version with semolina pastry served on a sesame bun with sweet sugar syrup (very popular for breakfast). Generally these can be found in sweet shops, as well as bigger bakeries.
  • Kibbeh– the national dish, mainly stuffed, can be made in different forms including fried,uncooked, and cooked with yogurt.
  • Kibbeh nayyeh – raw kibbeh eaten like steak tartar.
  • Kafta– fingers, stars or a flat cake of minced meat and spices that can be baked or charcoal-grilled on skewers.
  • Kousa Mehshi– stuffed squash, many varieties are used
  • Kubideh – served with pivaz (a mix of minced parsley, onions, ground cumin and sumac).
  • Labneh– strained yogurt, spreadable and garnished with good olive oil and sea salt.
  • Znood Es-sett – filo pastry cigars with various fillings
  • Lahm Bajeen a pastry covered with minced meat, onions, and nuts.
  • Ma’amoul – date, pistachio or walnut filled cookies shaped in a wooden mould called a tabi made specially for Christian (traditionally Eastern) and Muslim holidays (such as Ramadan).
  • Makdous – stuffed eggplant in olive oil
  • Manaeesh – mini Flat Bread loke pizzas that are made in any number of local bakeries or Furns, traditionally garnished with cheese, Zaatar, spicy diced tomatoes, Kishik in its Lebanese version, or minced meat and onions. Some bakeries allow you to bring your own toppings and build your own or buy the ones they sell there.
  • Mujaddara (Imjaddarra) – cooked lentils together with wheat or rice, garnished with onions that have been sauteed in vegetable oil.
  • Mulukhieh – A stew with mallow leaves, chicken, beef, and in the Lebanese fashion, topped with raw chopped onions, and vinegar over rice. It sometimes has toasted pita chips under the rice.
  • Mutabbel – made from eggplant
  • Pastirma or Bastirma
  • Samkeh harra – literally translated to “hot fish” – grilled fish that has been marinated with chilis, citrus,and cilantro
  • Shanklish -string cheese
  • Shawarma – marinated meat (either chicken or lamb) that is skewered on big rods and cooked slowly, then shaved and placed in a 10 inch pita roll with pickles, tomatoes, and other tangy condiments.
  • Shish taouk – grilled chicken skewers that utilize only white meat, marinated in olive oil, lemon, parsley, and sumac
  • Siyyadiyeh – delicately spiced fish served on a bed of rice. fish cooked in saffron and served on rice with onions, sumac, and a tahini sauce (the most important part of the dish) originated in Saida (saidon).
  • Tabbouleh – diced parsley salad with burghul, tomato, mint and Extra Virgin Olive oil. A Lebanese delight.
  • Tahini – sesame paste
  • Toum – garlic sauce
  • Wara’ Enab – stuffed grape leaves
  • Za’atar– dried thyme and sumac that can differ from region to region and from family to family. Most are made in house, but can be bought at Lebanese larders.

Regional cuisine

  • Beit Shabab: Riz bi-Djaj (chicken with rice)
  • Douma: Laban Immo (cooked yoghurt and lamb with rice)
  • Hammana: Fasoulya Hammanieh (kidney bean stew)
  • Kfar meshki: Kebbe bil-Kishk (meat mixed with wheat and yoghurt)
  • Baskinta: Makhlouta (meat, rice, and nuts)
  • Tripoli, Lebanon: Mjadrah and Fattoush (crushed lentils and salad)
  • Broummana: Deleh Mehshi (stuffed rib cage of lamb)
  • Baino: Kebbe and Lahme bil-khal (meat mixed with crushed wheat and meat soaked in vinegar)
  • Dhour Choueir: Shish Barak (dough balls stuffed with ground beef and cooked in yoghurt)
  • Firzel: Freikeh (cooked wheat with meat)
  • Ehden: Kebbe Zghartweih (oven-cooked meat and crushed wheat blend)
  • Beit Mery: Kebbe Lakteen (pumpkin-flavoured meat)
  • Beirut: Samkeh Harra and Akhtabout (spicy fish and octopus), Roasted Nuts
  • Greater Beirut : Kenefeh bil Jibin and Tabbouli
  • Jabal libnan: Kibbeh Nayeh and Asbeh saouda (Raw Kibbeh Meat)
  • Zahle: Kebbe Zahleweieh (meat and crushed wheat blend)
  • Rashaya Al-Wadi: Kebbe Heeleh (meatballs)
  • Ras al-Metn: Fatet (yoghurt, fried bread and nuts)
  • Ain-Zibdeh: Hareeseh (wheat and chicken)
  • Rashana: Mjadrat Fasoulya (lentils and kidney beans)
  • Beiteddine: Kafta Bithine (spiced meat with sesame concentrate)
  • Ihmej: Ghameh (stuffed cow intestines)
  • Saida: Riz bil-Foul (Rice and fava beans)
  • Bsharri: Koussa bil-Laban (meat and rice-stuffed zucchini cooked in yoghurt)
  • Deir al-Kamar: Fatet Batinjan (yoghurt, fried bread and aubergine)
  • Saghbeen: Zinkoul bil-Laban (meat filled pastry and yoghurt)
  • Sour: Saiyadit al-Samak (rice and fish)
  • El-Koura: Abu Shoushe (topinambur and lentils stew)
  • Baalbek: Safiha Baalbakieh (meat-stuffed puff pastry)
  • Jbeil: Koussa and Wark Inab bil-Kastaletah (stuffed zucchini, grape vines and steak)
  • Kalamoun, Lebanon: Fresh Carrot juice with ice cream inside

Common beverages

  • Almaza Beer
  • Arak
  • Sharab ettout Black current Berry juice
  • Ayran
  • Jallab
  • Lebanese wine
  • Tahn
  • Turkish coffee
  • White coffee
  • Arabic coffee qahwa sada (plain coffee) is plain and more bitter,although it originates in Lebanon, it is popular in many the Levant countries.


Alforon, 5965 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Fresh and Healthy Manakeesh / Flat Bread sandwiches Lebanese Style

Alforon uses the freshest of ingredients, no microwave, no forced heating of anykind.Fresh and Healthy Flat Bread sandwiches Lebanese / Arabic Style
Imported Zaatar and Summac, Imported Olive Oil along with an imported idea to bake like old times, the soft flat bread sandwishes you use to roll when you were a kid, the toppings your Mom, Grand Ma and Aunts made for you growing up.

It is all done the old fashion way,  from dough preparation and handling to baking and storing. Our hand made state of the art oven insures even cooking and heat distribution with two long  flames on either side of the plate and a controlled thermal heat underneath.
Do you remember as a kid when your mom would send you off to the local Bakery “FORON”, with a bowl of zaatar mixed with her own mixture of olive oil, and you would apply that to the dough the baker would give you, and make Manakeesh Zaatar for you… That’s how we make things here at Alforon,
It’s just like your hometown baker did it in the old country.

Come try for yourself.

Alforon, 5965 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101 

Authentic Flat Bread Manakich Extra

Manakeesh or Manaeesh… A little fact.

Manakeesh, Manaeesh, Manaqish or in singular form manousheh

(Arabic: مناقيش‎ manāqīsh; sometimes called معجنات mu‘ajjanāt ‘pastry’) is a popular food consisting of dough topped with wild thyme, cheese, or ground meat. Similar to a pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can either be served for breakfast or lunch. The word manaqish is the plural of the Arabic word manqūshah (from the root verb naqasha ‘to sculpt, carve out’), meaning that after the dough has been rolled flat, it is pressed by the fingertips to create little dips for the topping to lie in.

Traditionally, Arab women would bake dough in a communal oven in the morning, to provide their family with their daily bread needs, and would prepare smaller portions of dough with different toppings for breakfast at this time.

Classic toppings

Zaatar (Arabic: زعتر, za’tar, manaqish bi’l za’tar). The most popular form of manakish uses zaatar as a topping. The zaatar (wild thyme) harvest wild dried and is then mixed with Summac, sesame seed (sometimes toasted) and olive oil and spread onto the bread before baking it in the oven. It is a favourite breakfast in Lebanon, and Syria, It is also served by cooks as part of a meza, or as a snack with a glass of mint tea and feta cheese on the side. Popular also in the Arabian Peninsula, it was likely introduced there by Palestinians making the pilgrimage to Mecca

Cheese (Arabic: جبنة, jubnah). Another type has Akawi cheese toppings instead, and it is a bit more expensive than the thyme manakish.

Minced lamb (Arabic: لحم بعجين, laḥm bi-‘ajīn, “meat with dough, sfiha). Other manakish are served for lunch because of their heavier contents. This popular manakish has lamb topping. The minced lamb is mixed with tiny pieces of diced tomato and vegetable oil, and this manakish is optionally served with ground pepper or pickles and yogurt.

Fancy toppings

Manakish can be prepared pizza-style with a variety of fancy toppings. These may include cheese, meat (beef or turkey), mushrooms, labneh, cheese with honey, or chocolate with bananas.