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Lunch Notes: Middle Eastern Food in Industrial San Leandro

The Blue Dish Café offers delicious Middle Eastern, American and Mexican food, catering to the business crowd in the city's industrial area.

If I can find an excuse to be in San Leandro’s industrial area around lunchtime, it’s a good day; I can hit the for lunch. 

This little restaurant sits in a non-descript business park off of Teagarden, and is probably my favorite lunch spot in San Leandro. 

While the Blue Dish has a wide variety of lunch options of the American and Mexican variety, I go for the Middle Eastern food. It’s the only place I know of in town to get it. And it’s good! 

I discovered kefta not too long ago and am now always on the lookout for it. Kefta is ground beef or lamb mixed with spices and formed into balls. The Blue Dish serves a lamb kefta wrap that, when dipped in spicy yogurt sauce (ask for it!), is scrumptious.   

The wraps are stuffed full of meat, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, and lined with hummus. And they’re served with thin, hot, crisp French fries that are the best I’ve had in San Leandro. 

I have trouble straying from my favorite dishes, which is one reason I don’t do comprehensive restaurant reviews. But today I forced myself to try the falafel and grilled eggplant wrap. 

It was obviously good enough that I forgot to take a photo of the plate before devouring half of it, but I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the kefta (“duh,” say the meat eaters). Still, the falafel was moist and perfectly cooked, and the ingredients were fresh, as always at the Blue Dish. 

I also once had the Blue Dish salad with chicken, which was surprisingly filling, with lots of veggies and excellent dressing. 

I’ve heard people rave about the homemade soups, and today I watched a young kid plow through a lamb kabob platter — skewered meat, falafel, hummus, rice and pita bread — that looked excellent.

The Blue Dish also has daily specials, often including a Mexican dish and a pasta dish. 

There’s a good selection of sandwiches, including grilled chicken breast with brie, turkey with cranberry sauce, and zesty dilled egg salad, as well as hamburgers, meat loaf and other American classics. And there are burritos and quesadillas. 

The Syrian man and his Peruvian wife who run the Blue Dish make it a friendly, lively place. They opened the restaurant by popular demand as a complement to their catering business. 

Rumor has it they may be looking to open a kabob shop on the north side of town. Let’s hope so! 

If you go, get there early. The Blue Dish Café closes at 2 p.m.

Jennifer Courtney July 27, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Thanks for trying veggie options, Jill! Falafel's my favorite, I so gotta try this place.
Lisa Mosier July 27, 2011 at 07:54 PM
Fortunately, the address was in the photograph... it'd be nice if you included it in the review. I can't wait to try it.
Jill Replogle July 27, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Click on the link in the story! It takes to our directory with all the pertinent info: address, hours, phone, description. You can even review it there.

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