Follow Pomona resident John Clifford as he eats at EVERY restaurant on Garey Avenue “Eating Garey Ave”, and writes about his experience. He started at In N Out South Garey in January 2016.
by Pomona Resident John Clifford
President, Pomona Public Library Foundation | Member Save Our Pomona Public Library | Director, Historical Society of the Pomona Valley | Member, Pomona Christmas Parade Committee | Historic Consultant–Mayfair Hotel | Instructor–Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM)
Zuby’s Cafe — 3131 N Garey Ave Pomona, CA 91767
My Meal Cost: $13.07. Health Rating A. Yelp 4 stars
Since I had the owner waiting on me, I asked him about the depth of his menu. He explained that his philosophy is that he wanted anyone to be able to come in and find something they’d like. He further explained that all of his food is Halal (a muslim preparation of meat that meets the requirements of Sharia law–similar to kosher for Jewish people). He explained that there are few restaurants that offer Halal and that he wants a wide variety of culinary options that still follow in the Halal tradition. I asked him what he would suggest as a dish he’d like his restaurant judged by?This stumped him so I asked about popular dishes. He pointed to the burgers and chicken options. I explained that since it was cold that I was thinking about the stews and asked his recommendation. I particularly noted that Gheimeh stew, which was split pea in a tomato sauce, had french fries on top. ? He explained that is the way that the Persian’s eat it but he’s not a fan. He suggested the Gormeh Sabi, a stew made with a lot of herbs, chunks of beef, dried lime (?), and kidney beans that was thicker and less soupy. It also came with buttered Basmati rice with saffron.
The stew was interesting in that the green herbs (cilantro, parsley, chives, and methi leaves or fenugreek) were the bulk of the dish. It was simmered in a sauce and had tender chunks of beef. The beef flavor was hard to discern over the large amount of herb in the dish. The beans did give a good textural contrast and added to the overall taste. Quite warm and more filling than I might have expected. I was particularly impressed with the rice. It was not like rice in Chinese or Japanese cooking nor like the rice in Mexican or South American cooking. The rice was very long thin grains and with the saffron and butter had a very buttery, moist flavor. Usually I like some kind of sauce on rice, but this stuff was great just as it came.
After my meal, I was talking with the owner and for the first time in doing this blog exposed myself as a blogger and what I was doing there. I asked him about the place and particularly why it was empty. He said that because it was Tuesday and the first day for kids going back to school that it was very quiet. He said that yesterday, Monday, he was swamped with a lot of folks coming back from the mountains. He also said that this restaurant also provides school lunches for a Muslim school in the area.
A delightful time, good food, in a modern, attractive space.