Sinbad's in San Mateo
There is a restaurant/Middle Eastern store called Sinbad's on 4th Ave (between san mateo drive and b street) in downtown San Mateo, and the food is really excellent. The owner is really nice as well, he'll explain what things are and recommends good food. They have freshly made sweets too, which are also excellent. The meat served is all Halal.
I would recommend any kebob, and my husband always has the falafel sandwich, and he loves that. They offer great feta pies too. To end the meal, of course you must have the tea, made with fresh cardamom seeds. The workers are all extremely nice and helpful, and in this time, it might be a good idea to visit to show your support for Middle Easterners. :-)
I'd recommend it to anyone!
Jen, thanks for posting! Linked below is an earlier thread on Sinbad - do you know whether the owner is Syrian?
Also, I was driving eastbound last week on Hillsdale toward 101 and saw a place called Aladdin on the south side of the street. I was in the wrong lane to check it out. Do you know it?
re: Melanie Wong
I have also seen the Aladdin store on Hillsdale, going East from the el Camino. I don't know if it has a restaurant, but I have seen 2 small tables outside of it. It is a store, so I'm sure you can get all the Mid-East Yummies you want!
PS Don't know if he's Syrian, we speak with him weekly and he is really nice. Great food too!
re: Melanie Wong
I used to work near Aladdin and went there often for lunch. They are primarily a store but have a deli in the back where you can get Shawermas and Falafals and some other middle eastern plates. I always got the shawerma and was always happy with it (though I think the best ones are made Mediterranean Wraps in Palo Alto).
Even if you don't go for the sandwiches, the store is nice and the people are friendly. They seem to have frequent bread deliveries and I would usually pick up some flat bread to bring home.