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“Pistachio Baklava beyond compare”
Review of Real Doner

Real Doner
Ranked #67 of 268 Restaurants in Petaluma
Cuisines: Turkish
Restaurant details
Reviewed June 30, 2014

The first time my husband and I visited, we were famished, and the "Doner Plate" sounded like the most food, so we ordered it. SO good. There was so much variety on the plate, and so much flavor I knew I'd order it the next time we visited. But what knocked my socks off was the baklava. One order contains two substantial pieces. I made sure to come back for more the next day. The second time we visited, I ordered the same plate, but made sure to order TWO portions of the baklava and two more the next day. I swear, I have fantasies about it...

2  Thank Kristin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 - 34 of 51 reviews

Reviewed June 10, 2014

This restaurant serves very traditional food. The dishes we ordered were delicious and prepared well for take-out.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank Squirt77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2014

This is not your usual Sonoma County cafe. No white linen tablecloths. No extensive wine lists. Exotic smells of organic, farm fed animals roasting in clay ovens do not greet you as you enter. Nor does a lovely hostess with perfect teeth, a sparkling smile and a model's figure. This is not the kind of place you would go to if you actually had to plan what to wear before going out, and looked even once in the mirror to make sure you looked half way decent.

No, this is more like a cafe tucked somewhere behind a busy street in an Eastern European city, or on a road side en route to somewhere else. You come because you are hungry, want food quickly, and like good down home Turkish cooking. Whenever I go, I am reminded of similar cafés in Europe, like a dark and funky cafe in Girona I visited where Edith Piaf once sang. No nonsense. No atmosphere. But good food, washed down with Turkish coffee and maybe a nice piece of chocolate.

If you express just a modicum of interest in anything Turkey, the proprietors' distanced exterior warms. I have had maps brought to me with their hometown pointed out, photo books of Turkey, a free sampling of Turkish tea and a lesson on how it's brewed, and coffee prepared in traditional Turkish style.

We have been coming here for years, long before they had the blaring Neon sign or the newly added outdoor seating. I actually liked the simplicity back then. But the food hasn't changed. Nor the workers. Still home style cooking. Still a relaxed atmosphere where you can sip your coffee and not worry about the waiter trying to scoot you out and turn the table. Come with an open mind, a hungry tummy and a palate to try something new and exotic. You might just discover a taste of Turkey in the process.

5  Thank DabblesInFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2014

Family run, friendly service, tasty food: spinach pie for appetizer and kebab wraps and plates. Enjoyed apple or strawberry tea at the end of the meal. Turkish delight nougat with nuts is available as well as other desserts. Walls have native costumes, photos, maps, and art objects.

4  Thank Dalancou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2014 via mobile

This is one of the very few instances where I feel misled by most other Trip Advisor reviewers; the numerous 1-star Yelp reviews better describe our recent meal here. How anyone can claim this is one of Petaluma's best restaurants is utterly beyond me in a town that has Cucina Paradiso, Central Market & Della Fattoria. We will not be going back to what I consider an overpriced low-end joint.

While agreeing that the pink sultan (fermented red cabbage) appetizer was excellent (ditto for the falafel wrap), the remainder of the meza appetizer plate was just decent. Lamb shishkebab was surprisingly bland, & wine options limited to one white & one mediocre red (both imported from Turkey) was pathetic in a county renowned for its wines

Service from two men was chilly & utterly impersonal. Decor - primarily red Turkish t-shirts & a host of trinkets - is low grade & off-putting.

Got the sense this place is indifferent to its customers & is run strictly to turn a profit. If Real Doner's raison d'être is more complex, how about another car wash, here or in Albuquerque?

Thank Don L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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