On our way back to San Francisco from Yosemite, we had planned to stop at a Filipino place that gets high marks on Yelp, but we got lost in the strip malls.
Thankfully, we stumbled upon Afghan Market in the Valley Shopping Center at 3258 N. Tracy Blvd
in Tracy. The front window advertised kebabs, so we decided to check it out.
In a nutshell, this is destination Afgan food with zero ambiance and the friendliest family running the place imaginable. We shared Aushak (leek dumplings) and a lamb kebab.
The Aushak were leek dumplings, like momos if you are familiar with Nepali cuisine, covered in a house-made yogurt sauce, seasoned ground beef sauce like a bolognese, and a sprinkling of herbs like dried mint. It was true comfort food, flavorful and delicious, satisfying and filling. These were so tasty that we asked if we could buy any to take with us to cook later at home, but she didn't have any extra. She said if we give her 2 or 3 days warning, she can make us as many as we want to order.
The lamb kebab was 4 nice lamb chops, marinated in a flavorful spice rub and grilled, served with a brown-spiced basmati rice that was fantastically fragrant and a little green/cucumber salad. The lamb was succulent and richly flavored with plenty of spices I'm not used to and couldn't identify. It was especially delicious with a tart/spicy green Afghan dipping sauce that the friendly mom running the kitchen had on hand. The rice was so fragrant that we later asked her exactly which brand she used, and bought a 10 lb sack of it to take home.
The menu featured several other types of dumplings, some curries, and other kebabs like ground beef, chicken, etc. There were a few specials that looked familiar from persian food, like bademjan or eggplant stew.
While we will be back for food alone, the market in the front is a great resource for unusual middle eastern ingredients and especially persian or afghan specialties. I recognized zalbia, a sweet honey-soaked fried treat that is great with tea, and several other typical persian sweets and breads. In the produce area, I found a 2 lb crate of sour cherries from Utah, that were in surprisingly fresh shape, a good quantity for making a cherry pie.
3258 N. Tracy Blvd
Tracy, CA 95376
3258 Tracy Blvd, Tracy, CA 95376