San Francisco: Sunrise Deli

I had a meeting in SF Friday afternoon, which worked out perfectly since my parents planned on picking my sister up that evening to take her home for the weekend.  This meant I got to save myself a BART trip and get dinner with my fam in the city.


Now, my father isn't the most adventurous when it comes to trying different cuisines.  My sister and I decided to cut him a break and spare him from Eritrean, which was our first choice.  Instead, we took my parents to Sunrise Deli:

My father has enjoyed Middle Eastern food in the past, so we figured it was a nice compromise.

Half grocery store, half restaurant, Sunrise Deli is made up of a counter and a couple of tables:

We ordered and paid at the counter, then sat at a table to wait.

The food came pretty quickly.  We got the chicken kabob plate ($12) at the recommendation of the young woman at the counter:

It came with our choice of two sides.  We went with babaghanouj and cucumber yogurt salad.  The chicken was tender while the babaghanouj was nice and smoky.  The cucumber yogurt salad, however, was not my favorite.  The yogurt part was just a bit too sour for my tastes.

The chicken kabobs were great, but the kufta kabob plate ($12) was even better:

You could just taste how fresh the meat in the kufta was.  And that seasoning?  Perfection.  The kufta kabob plate also came with two sides.  To switch things up a bit, we got dolma and tabouli.  Both were lovely.  

Both plates came with pita bread, which we gobbled up in no time:

But the winner of the night had to be the falafel:

We started with a half dozen ($4), but then realized the error of our ways and ordered another half dozen halfway through the meal.  We should have just ordered a dozen ($6) to start.  We'll never make that mistake again.

I always thought nothing could top the falafel from Falafel's Drive In.  But I was wrong.  The falafel from Sunrise Deli is different than that from Falafel's Drive In, though just as amazing.  While Falafel's Drive In falafel is crispy and lovely (that red sauce tho!), Sunrise Deli falafel has a creaminess to them that I've never experienced before.  Paired with hummus or tahini sauce...yum.  And so cheap!

Don't make me pick between the two falafel powerhouses.  I can't.  I just can't.  I love them both for different reasons.  Is that a cop out answer?  Why, yes.  Yes it is.

To round out the meal, we got some pistachio baklava and Turkish delight:

I can't say Turkish delight without thinking about Edmund from Narnia.  Given how much he loved the stuff, I always expect to be blown away by it.  On the contrary, I'm usually taken aback by how freakin' sweet and flowery it is.  Ugh.

Keep your Turkish delight, Edmund, I'll stick with baklava.  Even though it's ridiculously sweet as well and made me wish we had ordered another half dozen falafel.

Loved Sunrise Deli.  Great food in big portions and at affordable prices.  If I lived where my sister does, I would be there all the time.

All the freakin' time.

Sunrise Deli
2115 Irving Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 664-8210


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