It was as if I had walked into a family celebration. Except it wasn’t my family! As soon as we sat in Alforon, a Lebanese restaurant on El Cajon Blvd., we were greeted first by a friendly young waitress and then by an attractive older woman, who sat down and told us she would help our group order. She welcomed our friends who had dined at the eatery once before, and then she took over in a caring, fun way.

We ordered hummus with homemade flatbread along with a tasty beet salad. As entrees, we had lamb and beef dishes. Our helper suggested several desserts, all of which were delicious. Award-winning Chef George Salameh stopped by the table, talked with us, and suggested I try Lebanese coffee. Served in copper mini pots with small cups, the coffee was delicious.

Later I chatted with Chef Salameh, a friendly, open man whom one couldn’t help but like. When we left, our waitress hugged us, and Chef said goodbye. We all agreed we had entered an experience beyond the menu. In an era of overpriced, precious, trendy restaurants, Alforon provided us with a beautiful meal in a warm, upbeat atmosphere with caring staff who introduced us to another culture.