Afendi’s Offers Best Turkish Food in Bay Area

Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. Here's this week's choice.

Each week, Patch picks a restaurant in Novato, Petaluma or San Rafael that is worth checking out.  Here's this week's choice.

Afendi’s Turkish Grill

299 N McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, 707-763-1998


Open daily 10 a.m- 9 p.m.

Overview: In the past, I have dined many times at two San Francisco Turkish restaurants Troya and A La Turca, so I have a passing knowledge of the cuisine. Afendi’s, found in a shopping center with a Kmart and CVS Pharmacy and many other shops, serves hands down the best Turkish food I’ve experienced in the Bay Area.

Décor: One big room decorated with pictures of Turkey; placemats depicting the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul and a video screen showing educational videos of Turkish history, architecture and culture plays continuously. 

Drinks: Free and unlimited tiny cups of Turkish tea, and also Turkish coffee. Sodas and wine and beer also on the menu.

Appetizers: If dining for two, the best way to go is the generous appetizer plate combo, or in Middle Eastern parlance, a mezza. This generous platter offers hummus (a chunky, mild chickpea spread); patlican salatasi (a roasted eggplant salad with balsamic vinegar); dolmas (stuffed grape leaves); tabouli (a bulgur salad with tons of parsley and a nice hit of garlic); piyaz (white bean salad); patates salatasi (potato salad); and my favorite, ezme (chopped vegetables with finely chopped walnuts and chili pepper, lemon and olive oil). It runs $13.95, and those can all be ordered separately. Wonderful breads and rolls made in-house, especially a long flat bread with black and white sesame seeds.

Entrees: A large cylinder of lamb and beef is on a skewer that revolves in front of a heat source. "Doner" in Turkish equals "gyro" in Greek. Meat is sliced from the cylinder and comes in a wrap or as a plate. A chicken gyro also is available.

The other main offering is kabobs — lamb, chicken, spiced ground lamb or in a combination plate. Falafel is also another treat. 

I had the tasty lamb/beef gyro plate on toasted bread cubes topped with a tomato sauce and a yogurt sauce. (Afendi Iskender) $16.95.

There are several soups, salads and savory pies. Try spanakopita (spinach-Feta pie in phyllo dough); lentil soup flavored with mint; Greek salad; Feta cheese pie; and ground beef pie. 

Desserts: There is Turkish rice pudding, but almost everyone gets the housemade pistachio or walnut baklava. Sweet semolina cake is sometimes available.

Service: Warm and homey

Cost: Entrees $11-$17

Disabled accessible: Yes.

Noise level: Can talk easily.

david kurland February 25, 2011 at 06:14 PM
I am truly enjoying The Patch. A thought. While an excellent review... and it might be just our home, where my child has returned a vegan, (Alas, sorry, you West Marin cattle raisers.), and I'd think we are not alone, so a sentence about the availability of vegan if not veggie dishes would be greatly appreciated.
Nicole Ely (Editor) March 02, 2011 at 12:32 AM
Thank you for your feedback, David! I'm sure we can incorporate that in our restaurant articles.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something