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Going Greek
Substance over style at Stocktons Petra Deli & Market
pic veg falafel copy
A popular vegetarian dish at Petra Deli in Stockton, tabouleh (above) is made with tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Falafel (left) is a deep-fried ball or patty grounds made with chickpeas, fava beans or both. - photo by Photos contributed

Greek cuisine is ideally suited to vegetarians and vegans.

Just take a look at the traditional cooking and you’ll notice the use of fresh seasonal vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes, herbs, spices and olive oil.

Petra Deli & Market at 236 W. Alpine Ave. is an unassuming Mediterranean deli off Stockton’s Miracle Mile – modest indoor dining with photos of the menu dishes coupled with some outdoor dining.

“The decorations and ambiance may not be great but the food is good,” said Daisy of San Francisco in her online post to

She was a regular during her days at the University of the Pacific.

Petra is a hop, skip and jump from campus. But blink and you might miss it.

 Nicolle of San Francisco called this place more than just another hole in the wall. “I prefer a diamond in the rough,” she said in her Stockton Restaurant Faves review.

A fan of Greek food, Nicolle, in particular, raved about the tabouleh at this family owned and operated establishment.

Joe, the owner, even has the ingredients on his menu for vegetarians and vegans. “I make sure to put the ingredients in the menu,” he said.

Take tebouleh, for starters. This vegetarian dish or salad consists of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint and onion seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.

Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty ground chickpeas and fava beans.

Joe serves up falafel in a pita pocket or flat bread and topped with pickled vegetables and drizzled with Tahini, a sesame seed-base sauce.

Hummus is pureed chickpeas with olive oil, lemon juice and Tahini.

For those on the go, hummus / tabouleh can be had as a cold pita sandwich with lettuce.

That’s not to be mistaken with the vegetarian sandwich, which also comes in a pita but filled with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and a toasted red bell pepper.

Petra does have its fair share of meats (cold cuts, lamb shawarma, chicken and hamburger). However, the Mediterranean dishes are authentic.

Joe has been in the same Stockton location for the 14 years. But prior to that, he had a restaurant in Europe, featuring many of the same Greek items.

He has no plans to move.

“I like my quiet location,” Joe said.