Now that we’re back in town, back in business, straight out of Thanksgiving, what’s the best thing to do? Keep eating. The CT Eats grind stops for no one, not even those of us that still have not yet fully recovered from our stuffing-and-pie-induced comas.
Anyway, this week was pretty cool because I got to check out a place that’s pretty new to the scene. Although I myself never had the joy of experiencing a meal at Soup Spoon, a restaurant formerly located in College Town (and which I have been told many times by fellow UR students had very good food), I did get to attempt Pita, which moved into its place. And I would definitely rate the Mediterranean experience of Pita as quite enjoyable.
Ryan remained off-duty for this week of CT Eats, so I had another miniature Friendsgiving and took my roommate, Kristian, out for this review. We ordered a few dishes to share. Kristian spent a fair deal of time this summer living with his friend in Lebanon, so he turned out to be a fitting assistant to me, especially with dishes such as the “Lebanese pizza” that we ordered. So, let’s start there.
Our first dish was a manakeesh, which the menu described as a sort of “Lebanese pizza.” We ordered, more specifically, the za’atar manakeesh, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Seriously, if I hadn’t had so many other foods to taste and only such a limited amount of time, I easily would have devoured this whole thing.
I’ll describe it as a crispy, buttery, thin-crust pizza topped with olive oil, herbs, spices, and seeds. The textures of both the crust and topping were phenomenal. The coarsely-ground herb and spices on the pizza created such a unique feeling, especially along with the crunch from the seeds. And even though there were visibly so many spices and herbs and various elements with intense flavors atop the manakeesh, the flavor was still somehow just a lovely light, warm, earthy taste. Again: would have devoured.
Kristian’s choice entrée was the basmati rice and meat plate, with chicken as the meat. Again, there was a lovely warm, earthy flavor to this dish. The chicken also had a lovely spice rub on it, and while a bit dry, it was the sort of dry texture I’d associate with pulled chicken, and I thought it worked quite well in this case. There was also a cup of what seemed to be Greek dressing on the side, and I thought that was well-executed too: smooth, creamy, and refreshing.
Our third shared entrée was the beef shish kebab pita pocket. My one criticism for this dish would be the cook on the beef inside the pita pocket. Although I did see how a bit of a firm, chewy texture on the meat would work quite well with the rest of the components, I did find this beef to be a bit too tough. Nonetheless, the flavors of both the beef and the rest of the components were perfectly pleasant. I loved the tart, creamy dressing on the inside, the solid portion of veggies, and the salty tang from the bit of crumbled feta.
And now for the most important meal of the day, serving it up Gary’s way: the dessert. As a child, I was taught in spelling that the difference between “dessert” and “desert” is that “dessert” has one more “s” because you want more of dessert. And I definitely wanted more of these desserts from Pita.
In my very first review for CT Eats, I reviewed a baklava, and now I’m back at it, baby. This was the densest, thickest baklava I’ve ever had, and I mean that in the best way possible — there was just more of it to love. There was a heaping portion of large chunks of walnut on the inside, giving the pastry quite a strong nutty flavor and a great element of texture. Even the non-syrup-soaked filo layers towards the top of the pastry were still so buttery.
Our second pastry, which I had never before even heard of, was the namoura. This pastry impressed me so much: not the easiest of feats. The flavor was a delicate kind of syrupy sweetness, which I would actually equate to that of a baklava. But the true star component of this namoura was the texture, which really captivated me: an intriguing crossover between crunchy, chunky, and ooey-gooey goodness. It was sticky and chewy and had some grainy crunch from ground almonds. I definitely encourage you to give this one a go the next time you’re over in College Town.
If the Campus Times were some sort of pagan college newspaper society, I would definitely be thanking the CT Eats gods right now for blessing me with such great experiences of Mediterranean meals. My first ever CT Eats review was of another Mediterranean joint, Aladdin’s, which I would recommend for more of an occasion, like family is in town visiting, night out with friends, date night, etc. But, if you’re looking for more of a simple, tasty, fairly-cheap meal close to campus, Pita will certainly satisfy those Mediterranean cravings. And I will emphasize again “cheap.” To start with, the prices on the menu are not bad at all, but then, on top of that, Pita offers a 10 percent discount to students with a UR ID at all times AND a 15 percent dinner discount, as well.
This place now has a pita my heart. You get it? Pita like piece of? I’m hilarious. And tired. Really tired. Someone please bring me sugary desserts from Pita before finals begin, thanks.
Pita is located at 1378 Mount Hope Avenue.