Rick's Reviews: Pita, Pita, Pita

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For a while there, Wilton Manors was inundated with sushi places. Now it seems Mediterranean spots are popping up everywhere. First, there was Ethos, then Sea & Olive and now Mini Pita. It’s not like they’re all the same, though.

Ethos is what I would classify as Greek bistro fare, Sea & Olive is Turkish, and now we have mini-Pita, where the food is decidedly Greek, but since the owner is Egyptian, there’s the influence of his cuisine as well. The Wilton Manors location is their second; the owners also have a larger place in the Southland Shopping Center, off Marina Mile and 12th SW.

The menu at Mini-Pita is very helpful; with good descriptions of each dish indicating which menu items are vegetarian and/or vegan. There is a vast array of appetizers, which can also be ordered as mezze (small sharing plates similar to tapas). Among the options are; taramosalata (a spread of fish roe and cheese), saganaki (broiled cheese, usually feta or haloumi), hummus, babaganoush (eggplant dip), falafel, fava beans, tzatziki (a yogurt-mint sauce), stuffed grape leaves, feta cheese with kalamata olives, tabbouleh (a salad made with finely chopped cracked wheat, scallions, mint, and olive oil) and kibbeh (ground beef with sautéed onions and pine nuts in a wheat crust). Most apps are priced from $5-$8, or you can order a combo of any three for $14.95. All are served with pita bread.

Entrée salads are quite filling and include such options as the “Middle Eastern” which tosses romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers and chunks of red and green peppers with the house dressing, a tangy vinaigrette. The similar “Mediterranean” starts with the same base but is sprinkled with chickpeas and fava beans. The Greek salad adds in feta cheese, kalamata olives and pepperoncini. Entrée salads are in the $7-$9 range and all can be augmented with a choice of proteins ranging from falafel, shawarma, gyro, shish kebab as well as the standard chicken, beef, shrimp or mahi for an additional $4-$10.

For something more substantial, there are pita pizzas and sandwiches. The pita pocket sandwiches are accompanied by a small Middle Eastern salad. Among the fillings are; gyro (try not to sound like a rube when you order, it’s pronounced ghyee-ro not geye-ro), shawarma (similar to gyro, but made with chicken or beef instead of lamb), falafel or sautéed vegetables. For something unusual try the konafa; a light, shredded, thin pastry that is layered with fillings and baked until golden brown; almost like turnover. They are available with spinach, eggplant, cheese, chicken, beef, lamb, or shrimp fillings. Most run about $9-$12.

There’s an “Exotic Platters” section of the menu, which pairs some regional specialties with Middle Eastern salad, pita bread and a choice of rice or fries. In addition to some of the grain-based and meat dishes listed above, the menu includes kefta kabab (a spicy ground meat “meatball” on a skewer), or shrimp saganaki (the only disappointment in our meal, it was mostly overly-salted tomato sauce with four shrimp and a few clumps of feta cheese). The dishes average $14, or you can get a combo of three for $17.95.

Mini Pita Plus also serves wine and beer. The wines are rather pedestrian and the pours are skimpy. Desserts are what you would expect; baklava and variations on that theme. Service is friendly, if inexperienced. While there’s nothing ground-breaking about what Mini-Pita is offering, in terms of food or ambiance, it is nice to have the option of a lower-priced option for “Greek” food.

 

Mini Pita Plus  

2410 Wilton Dr.

954-999-0771

minipitacafe.com

 

Sea & Olive

2390 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors

954-533-6660

 

Ethos Greek Bistro

2055 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors

754-999-0034

EthosBistro.com


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