Last month CC and TC of Pink Candles at Ridgemont High came up to my ‘hood to have lunch with me! I picked a tiny little spot that I had seen a few times but never dined at. I forgot to take an outside photo but this lunch spot is actually inside of a Middle Eastern market called Ariana Produce and Cuisine. The market is in a strip mall on Camino Ruiz. A 7-11 is nearby as well as Rita’s Italian Ice, a little Mexican market, a taco shop and a Filipino joint.
In the back left corner of the market is this counter. If you go right from here there is the halal meat counter. Apparently you can get fresh goat here. If you’re looking for that.
I found this video about the market on YouTube. I have no idea what the guy is saying in the video but it shows the inside of the market plus the cuisine area.
Here’s the menu. Click on it to make it big and legible!
After CC and I ordered, we grabbed some drinks and I picked up this for dessert since I was curious about it. There’s one guy that works the store and meat counter and we had to wait a bit for him to come up and check us out since he was helping someone at the meat counter. No worries though. We weren’t in a rush and we were just waiting for our food anyway.
I got this mostly because I liked the look of alllllllll of those nuts in it… BUT… the rose water threw me for a loop. The rose water was a little too heavy for me and it ended up tasting like soap to me. I can only handle a tiny bit of rose water in desserts, otherwise I find it overwhelming and soap-like! I ended up giving this to T since he tried it and liked it. At least it didn’t go to waste!
[tikka kabob – skewer only / $3.99]
I ordered two things. This one came out first. I wanted an additional skewer of meat to go with my other dish and I asked the friendly lady working at the counter which one to get. She recommended the Tikka Kabob and said they use filet mignon for the beef chunks. Yum! The very tender meat is marinated in a wonderful sauce and grilled. They were soft and tender and I loved the flavor of the meat. I got a taziki sauce (the white sauce) on the side and another herb sauce (the green one). I didn’t know the name of the second sauce. I preferred the taziki which was a yogurt based sauce (but it didn’t have cucumbers and herbs in it like tzatziki sauce – but it was similar. Very excellent meat!
[shami kabob plate / $8.99]
CC and TC shared this kabob plate. It is a marinated ground beef plus a salad, rice and bread. I had a little bite of the kabob and it was very flavorful and quite juicy! I really liked it and I think I might order that kabob instead next time. I liked the seasoning and the texture of the ground beef.
[sambosa / $5.99]
CC got an order of sambosa. It is a fried pastry that had potato and vegetables on the inside with some great spices mixed in for flavor. She generously gave one to me to try and I liked the bit of crunch from the pastry shell. Who doesn’t love fried stuff?
[bolani kachaloo – potato / $8.99]
It took a bit for this one to come out and I was surprised at how big the plate was! I insisted that CC and TC have some (and take some home) because there was so much of it.
It is a Bolani Kachaloo – which I have never heard of before – but the description on the menu made me want to try it. It’s an Afghan flatbread stuffed with potatoes, onions and cilantro (and I’m sure other spices). The flatbread itself was warm and fresh and I suspect it was grilled due to the wonderful golden color and slight crispness on the outside. The filling was quite tasty as well and dipping this in a bit of the taziki sauce made it even better. It reminded me a something like a pita bread or a quesadilla – but filled with a wonderfully seasoned potato on the inside.
The lady at the counter asked if I had dined here before and I said no and she told me she was surprised that I ordered the Bolano. She said most newcomers don’t order it. But hey – I love trying new stuff – especially if it sounded as delicious as the Bolani!
It’s safe to say that I’ll definitely be back in the future. The food was very fresh, delicious and they had a great combination of items on their menu.
Here’s CC’s post about our lunch.
Ariana Produce and Cuisine (Yelp)
(inside the Ariana Produce market)
11261 Camino Ruiz Suite 3,
San Diego, CA 92126