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Samir Aburashed, manager 

Petra Mediterranean Pizza and Grill

NEW TIMES: What made you decide that this was the right time for Petra?
ABURASHED: The Central Coast is in dire need of some fresh Mediterranean food. There aren’t any real authentic Mediterranean restaurants in the area. The food my mom makes is even better than the food you can have in Syria. Everything she makes is fresh. Forget about these frozen foods. Our meat is fresh, our bread has no preservatives, and our humus is also made fresh. We want to have the best of the best for the best price. Also, we wanted to provide a place that is open late, because there are no places that stay open late around here.

NEW TIMES: How has business started?
ABURASHED: Business is moving excellently. We get a lot of people coming in to have my mom’s homemade cooking. Seriously, eating here is just like eating at our house for dinner.

NEW TIMES: What’s the most popular item on the menu?
ABURASHED: That has to be the Gyro plate. It’s a combination of beef and lamb and is served with a fresh loaf of pita bread, humus, and salad.

NEW TIMES
: Do you offer anything different than the typical restaurant?
ABURASHED: Well, we have our pizza side of the restaurant that serves gourmet pizzas and the other side that serves traditional Mediterranean plates. We literally have two different restaurants.

NEW TIMES
: How is it working with your family?
ABURASHED: It’s tough. I have a master’s degree, but I feel like I am a little kid again. But, if you love what you do, and you love the restaurant, you enjoy it. The thing is we don’t care about the money. We do it because we love it, and we do it because SLO needs it.

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