"Turkish Cuisine" was the only thing I needed to see to make up mind what I was having for lunch. I was in Petaluma for the Cowgirl Creamery tour and just about three blocks away was Real Doner, a Turkish delight just south of downtown.
Having grown up in Saudi Arabia, I have a love and appreciation for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods. There is a lot of crossover or blending of the foods as you travel through the different regions, countries, and religious backgrounds. A Christian Palestinian has a similar kebab dish to an Iranian Muslim's. A Greek gyro is similar to an Arab shwarma.
Doner Kebab sits on a corner with a cute little patio. Inside is a small section selling a few Turkish groceries. There are lots of indoor tables, a wall bank for beverages, and the cooking, display case, register area on another wall. The menu hung above and I saw many items I recognized and a couple I did not. The Turkish gentleman, Sadat, who was at the register asked if I had any questions as I clicked a couple of pictures.
Adana Kebab and asked what it was. Sadat came around the front to point out one of the long skewers of spiced ground meat. He explained that it was spiced lamb. As I looked at the selection of skewers I asked if it was like kufta, which is the ground beef or lamb with spices that you find more in the Lebanon and Syria area. Sadat told me that the adana was with lamb and I later learned it is named after the city of Adana in southern Turkey. Next to it was a chicken adana kebab. I ordered the lamb one in a sandwich and went out to sit on the patio.
I was intrigued by the pile of pastry fluff of the Kadayif and asked what it was. Basically it is the same as baklava, but in a different form. Baklava lays out the sheets of Phyllo dough while the Kadayif is shredded. How they shred it into such fine pieces I have no idea. The ingredients are all the same: dough, nuts (usually pistachio), honey syrup. The appearance of the Kadayif was that it was rather dry looking on the top. But once I cut into it and took a bite I found that it was moist, sweet, decadently rich with honey and nuts underneath. One Kadayif would be the equivalent of three pieces of baklava I figured.
I'll definitely keep Real Doner in my thoughts whenever I visit Petaluma. You should too. Yes, you are in wine and dairy country with lots of fancy bistros, but sometimes it is the little, local, ethnic places that are the real finds.