I will be the first to admit that while I have some experience with Mediterranean cuisine, this week’s Foodie Friday lunch proved to be an incredible educational experience about authentic Mediterranean cooking and what is involved in preparing traditional dishes.
So, we are grateful for Pita Houzz’s General Manager, Q, who took time to educate us on the authentic processes behind their dishes.
Pita Houzz Pitaria & Mediterranean Grill is located in Highland Village off of 407, right next door to Pei Wei and across the parking lot from Rosa’s Tortilla Cafe. They’ve been open for about five months, finally realizing the owners’ 20-year dreams of opening their own restaurant.
The owners were able to snag a world-class chef to head their kitchen and create those authentic dishes. He has 20 years of experience in preparing Mediterranean food and also happens to own a Mediterranean bakery in Richardson which is where they get all of their breads.
And while the preparation of the food is purely authentic, the concept of how Pita Houzz serves it it one-of-a-kind. Restaurant patrons have the opportunity to “build their own Mediterranean dish” by choosing your pita bread, choice of meat or veggies, toppings and a side. Then you get to watch them cut the meat and veggies and assemble the dish right in front of you!
In an effort to tell you about as much of the menu as possible, we had Q and his staff bring out samples of all of their most popular and successful dishes for us to try this week. (So get ready because it’s a lot of food!)
Once we sat down, Q brought each of us what may be the most famous and most mainstream of all Mediterranean dishes – gyro sandwiches stuffed with freshly-carved gyro meat, Tzatziki sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and feta cheese and served with a side of fresh-made pita chips. The pita bread used as the base is soft and delicious and is hearty enough to handle all of the delicious ingredients stuffed inside. Each sandwich they serve weighs in at one whole pound – and I can tell you that we had no problems finishing our sandwiches they were so great!
Q also brought out some of their famous hummus and their signature spinach salad made with spinach, olive oil, garbanzo beans, feta, tomato and onion. Now, I’ve bought hummus from the store plenty of times before and none of that store-bought stuff comes even close to the hummus Pita Houzz serves. It’s simple yet delicious, creamy and light on the stomach. I had to make sure to tell everyone to get a few bites in before I ate the whole thing myself! I’d say they absolutely deserve the title of “Best Hummus in Town.”
Then we had the chance to sample all of Pita Houzz’s side/salad options including their eggplant salad, yogurt salad, Babaganoog and Tabbouleh. Their Tabbouleh was amazing and we also loved the eggplant salad as it had a little bit of heat to it with the mix of peppers.
And no Mediterranean meal would have been complete without trying some of their falafel, so Q brought us some of that as well! If you don’t know what falafel is, it’s soaked garbanzo beans ground with a mix of Mediterranean spices and then rolled into balls and fried. Pita Houzz serves theirs with a Tahini sauce made with Mediterranean yogurt and lemon, adding a nice light and fresh quality to the fried garbanzo beans.
So… after trying all that food, the Jay Marks verdict is that you definitely need to go give Pita Houzz a try! Some of the items we tried are new since their opening in late August, so go try something you haven’t before! We know Mediterranean food may sound scary or intimidating to some of you, but Pita Houzz makes it incredibly easy to enjoy and allow customers to sample different items prior to ordering so you make sure you order the perfect option for your taste.
And if you have any questions, Q is always ready to give you a lesson about what’s involved in preparing the food and what makes their food authentic and delicious.
Expand your dining horizons, Foodies, and go try a gyro sandwich and some of Pita Houzz’s delicious hummus this weekend! Let’s do our part to support this local business and others this weekend.
Jay Marks writes the Foodie Friday each week. You can read his blog at http://iamjaymarks.wordpress.com