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Real Doner Traditional Turkish Food (Petaluma, CA)

July 1st, 2009 · by Cyndi · 3 Comments

A few months ago, a new cafe opened in downtown Petaluma near Walnut Park.  Foodies in the know thrill because the owners are family of the owners of a now-defunct Turkish restaurant in Santa Rosa, Real Gryo, which I never had the pleasure of trying.  Real Doner is a small place with a deli feel.  There are a few indoor tables and a few outdoor tables, but your best bet is to take your food a block away to the park and eat there under the trees.

Real Doner (Gyro)
307 F St, Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 765-9555
Open daily: 7 am – 7 pm

Real Doner Counter

Real Doner Counter

I figured I would have hummus and other standard Middle Eastern fare, while my family and the friend who joined us would have meat dishes (the ones reviewers were raving about).  To my dismay though, the owner informed me that they added mayonnaise to the hummus and baba ganoush.  Even a touch of mayo is a no-no because Miriam reacts to the tiniest bit of eggs, including when I eat it.

As we spoke further, I discovered food allergies also ran in her family and she turned out to be very knowledgeable about how to put together substitutes.  I ordered the eggplant salad and falafel but she made me an amazing meal that didn’t feel like second best at all.

Falafel with salad

Falafel with salad

I got five large beautiful falafels, perfectly cooked in oil that does not see egg or wheat batter, pickled red cabbage, cucumbers, and a lettuce and tomato salad.  My only regret was not getting several containers of the delicious vegan tahini dressing.

Eggplant salad

Eggplant salad

The menu claims the eggplant salad is pureed, but this one was certainly not.  Perhaps the best eggplant salad I’ve ever had.  Cooked just so with a hint of heat.

Michael ordered the chicken shish kebab and Miriam ate from both our plates.

Chicken shish kebab

Chicken shish kebab

Our friend got the Cigarette Borek and some lovely looking bread.

Cigarette Borek

Cigarette Borek

Bread

Bread

I didn’t taste the meat or bread dishes but the others liked them very much.

My only complaint about the place is that service is extremely slow.  I think it took about half an hour to get our food after ordering, even though the only other people in there were served a couple minutes after we arrived.  Everything is made to order and is extremely fresh, but I hope they find a way to speed things up without cutting corners.  The long wait is part of why I haven’t been back yet, though the food is calling to me.

Menu, outer page

Menu, outer page

Menu, inner page

Menu, inner page

Reviews:

Chowhound Places
Chowhound: Real Doner (Gyro) is destination worthy … amazing great
Chowhound: Real Gyro Re-Opens

Categories: Food · Restaurant Reviews · SF Bay Area Restaurant
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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carys // Jul 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Oooh, the falafels and kebabs looks especially yummy to me.

    Can you call ahead to have food ready when you get there? One of the takeaways in Hayward did that, and it made it much easier to go to.

  • 2 admin // Jul 1, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I probably will after a couple times eating there. Because the allergy issues are pretty detailed I want to be sure I know all the right wording so it’s done properly, especially if the female owner isn’t the one taking the order.

    Cyndi

  • 3 Eggplant Salad | Norwitz Notions // Sep 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    […] by the chunky eggplant salad at a local Turkish restaurant, Real Doner, I decided to create my own.  I make baba ghanoush, a creamy eggplant dish, all the time but have […]

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