Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Olympic Pita Review

If you're looking for lunch in the Garment District, the options are more limited than in some of the city's other neighborhoods. You'll likely end up eating from a food truck or going for Chinese food. But there is actually another great spotOlympic Pita on 38th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, which bills itself as Israeli-style cuisine.

Ordering can be a bit confusing, but our server kindly and patiently answered our questions. The mezze sampler is a nice way to start off the meal. We decided to go for three — beet salad, Moroccan carrots and fried eggplant. The sampler came with a huge piece of laffa, a thicker, chewier pita similar to naan in Indian food.

The carrots were heavily seasoned with cumin, but tasty. The beets were pretty standard, but the fried eggplant was wonderfully light and delicious.

If you order a sandwich or a platter, you can add the salad bar for an extra $2.95. You get to take a small appetizer plate to the salad bar near the entrance and pile it with as many of the condiments — spicy peppers, shredded cabbage, pickles, radish and onions — as you'd like. They're a good snack and they go well with the sandwiches.

The baby chicken pita. All the sandwiches come with fries tucked into them.

The falafel laffa sandwich.

The shawarma laffa sandwich. The shawarma is a combination of shredded chicken and lamb rolled in a laffa with hummus, pickles, french fries and lettuce. It's amazing and incredibly filling. Half of the sandwich kept me full for nearly the rest of the day. Most of the sandwich options can also be ordered as platters, which allow you to order some mezze as sides, for a few extra dollars.

Olympic Pita seems to do a swift takeout business and there are people constantly popping in and out of the front of the restaurant. But the back room is relatively calm and uncrowded. The sandwiches are mostly $11-$12, so they're not cheap, but not so bad when you realize that you can get more than one meal out of it.

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