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Pita House, Moved to King and N. Columbus Street in Old Town Alexandria


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Don asked where we've eaten recently. Last night we walked to the Pita House in Old Town.

website

It was our second visit this year. It is a nice walk though old town and a casual and inexpensive spot. They seem to do a fair amount of takeout, as well. I had the chicken shawarama salad and my husband had one oft the specials - it was lamb stewed with okra and other veggies. He loved it. The lamb was tender and he really likes okra. It came with a basic salad and rice. The shawarama salad was a basic garden salad with feta cheese and chicken shawarama. Pretty tasty, although a the chicken was a bit dry. The tahini

sauce was a nice addition. I didn't try the pita bread, but my husband pretty much demolished the basket on his own.

We've been eating out a lot lately - this last week has also included:

CD Cafe - Solomons

Overwood - Alexandria

plus festival food at Zoofari and the Brew-and-Que (St. Mary's county)

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Had dinner here tonight with two companions. I would consider it a good but not great dining experience. The dining room is small, even a bit cramped. The menu was all over the place -- good mezze, but not the assortment you might find at other places. We split the mezze sampler and enjoyed foul, mujadarrah, hommos, baba ghanouj, tabouli, kibbee, filafel and grape leaves. The baba ghanouj was the standout, with nice smokey flavor and thick texture. The hommos was pedestrian and the kibbee was small, maybe golfball sized.

No kibbee nayee on the menu. Bah!

I asked the waiter if he would let his mother eat here, and if so, what would she order? I liked the response....his mother cooks there!

I enjoyed the lamb shank, which was pleasant and meaty enough, but not the quality of the lamb shanks at Layalina. Companions enjoyed chicken kabob and lamb kabob and declared them good, but not show-stoppers.

This is a good place for a nice bite of Lebanon if you're in the area and looking for some not-bad Lebanese food. It is not a destination or worth-the-detour Lebanese restaurant. As Old Town goes, it's on a par with Layla, but well below the standards of Layalina or the original Lebanese Taverna.

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So ate here this afternoon. I noticed a sign on the door that said they were moving to King Street in 2011.

We had fool which was good, went well with my kafta platter, which had excellently seasoned meat. I think one of the places where the Pita House shines is the seasoning of their meat. Nice veggies and rice with it. Hubby had a schwarma sandwich and fries. They have really good fries. I am not crazy about the pita here, I prefer Lebanese Taverna, but this place is a nice little place for good staples.

With the Lebanese Butcher gone, this fills a nitch for small little place for a nicely seasoned sandwich or etc. But I do miss me some Lebanese Butch right now.

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So ate here this afternoon. I noticed a sign on the door that said they were moving to King Street in 2011.

They are moving into the space previously (and briefly) occupied by Raw Silk Indian. I've always like Pita House - hope to get in there more frequently once they're a little closer (those few blocks make all the difference :) ).

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This place is one of the few real restaurants that delivers to my office. I'm always happy when it's a Pita House day.

Well, no more Pita House days for us. My office is just south of OT, and we order lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Pita House was at least twice a month, if not more. We had gotten used to the fact that they would inevitably screw up or forget at least one item per order. We knew that when they said "45 minutes" it was always a full hour.

But last week took the cake. Our physical therapists have an appointment schedule, so it's not like they can take lunch whenever they want. We ordered an hour in advance, no delivery. After an hour ten minutes, we called. They told us that it had already been delivered. We're a small joint, it's not like we could have missed someone walking in the front door with food. We told them, no, nobody has arrived yet. They hung up on us.

80 Minutes after we ordered, they showed up. We asked, uhhh, so what happened. The delivery guy yelled at us that we need to call "at least 45 minutes in advance". When we told them that we called an hour and twenty minutes ago, he told us that we should never order from them again.

All of us here have worked in the service industry. It's the first time anyone can remember not tipping for delivery. I would have called management, but at this point I don't care if they could use this information to better their business practices.

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Had only had lunch from the old location once but today I tired the new location on King St with a coworker. Nice space right next door to Lighthorse (our first choice but not open for lunch). We arrived around 12:30 to a nearly full restaurant - pretty solid crowd for a Monday. Lighthorse should re-think about opening for lunch, not to mention we saw a few other people trying to open the door to Lighthorse only to find it closed.

Started to get a little nervous when it took nearly 10 minutes for our server to appear. We ordered food and drinks when he arrived fearing he would not return but to our delight drinks arrived promptly as did the food. We both went with the Create your own Platter:

CREATE YOUR OWN PLATER

Baba Ghanouj, Hommos, Fool M'dammas, Labneh, Loubieh Bel zeit, Grape Leaves, Falafel, Spinach Pie, Sambousick Cheese, Kibbeh, Sambousick Meat, Tabouleh, Avocado Salad, Moujadra, Beef or Chicken

Choice of 3 - $8.75

Choice of 5 - $12.75

I selected 5: Baba Ghanouj, Hommos, Loubieh Bel Zeit, Avocado Salad and Chicken Shwarma. Everything was tasty, well prepared and a good sized serving of each. Good value in my opinion. The only downside to me was the pita bread, obviously not made in house.

Will be back to try some more of the menu.

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Tonight was my first visit to the new Pita House location. Based on tonight's meal, it ranks with Me Jana as my preferred destination for Lebanese cuisine. 

I started with the simplest of appetizers -- shankleesh -- a soft Levantine cheese with za'atar, a hint of spice, olive oil, tomatoes....and pita. It was blow-me-away delicious. Mind you, if you have not grown up with this taste from your youth, and had numerous swing-and-miss tastes of various versions over the decades since then, and then encountered this version, you might not appreciate it like I did. But wow, it was sensational. For $6, I would take a detour just for this simple dish.

My main was the Ouzi, a simple stewed lamb and rice dish that I wolfed down. With a few glasses of Ch. Ksara 2014 cabernet sauvignon, this was a meal I would do over and over again.

(Caphe Banh Mi moved into its old location, but I can't find Pita House in the Dining Guide. It merits a top ten, if not a top five, place in that section of Old Town.)

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We got Pita House delivered the other night.  If you get the vegetarian sampler (Baba, hummus, fool, tabouleh, falafel, pickles, moujadra, grape leaves) and a shawarma combination you will have enough for two people for multiple meals.  And they will be great meals.  It made two full meals, plus some items that I made into a lunch bowl. I hadn't been here in a while, as that section of King St just isn't where I hang out a lot, but I won't be so long in returning.  

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