Pita Pocket

25 06 2011

Finally, a Mediterranean take-out place in my neighborhood! I am an enthusiastic lover of all things chick pea and Pita Pocket was so authentic, supposedly you can smell the Mediterranean Sea when you walk through the door.

I kid.

But when Matt went to order food, he said the head chef (aka the man behind the counter) was as welcoming as a father and made him try anything he wasn’t sure about. And, in accordance with Orthodox Judaic custom, the shop is closed from sundown on Fridays until Sunday mornings.

The shop is located in a pretty run down strip on the border of Philadelphia, Cheltenham, and Abington, but the food was not run down.

For me, Matt chose the Falafel platter ($8.95):
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This came with hummus, one pita, and “Salad.” Salad = a wide variety of sides from a salad bar. I got roasted beets and some other little mix of pickled veggies. The falafel was cooked perfectly–a bit dark and crisp on the outside but moist on the inside. The hummus was amazing. Just the right amount of olive oil–GOOD olive oil–ran through it. The salads tasted light and fresh.

After our night with Anthony Bourdain, Matt was excited to try the Foule’ ($5.95), which Tony had recommended.  Here it is:

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Basically more beans and veggies on a pita, Matt reported that this was earthy, rich, and filling.

I live for baklava.  I was a bit disappointed with this one ($2.50), and Matt said he thought it wasn’t one of the freshly-made items.  There weren’t enough layers or honey for me.  I usually expect my fingers to be dripping with honey when I am finished eating baklava but this was a bit dry.

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Matt chose a hibiscus sangria (non-alcoholic, $1.75) drink for us to share.  He loved it but I really just tasted sugar and not much other flavoring in this.

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The menu isn’t extensive at Pita Pocket, but when you taste the food, you’ll know that it is made with love and care and you’ll want to go back.

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Chris’ Taco Stand

24 06 2011

There’s an unassuming truck parked outside of the Fox School of Business called Chris’ Taco Stand. Before you see it you’ll smell the grilled meat wafting from the tiny metal box that Chris stands in all day.  Chris cooks everything fresh and to order.  He makes his own salsas and sides and offers a nice selection of Mexican sodas and juices.  I’ve eaten here twice this summer, and plan to go back to sample the rest of his menu.

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On my first visit, I tried the chicken taco.  Everything about this was fresh and tasty.  The soft corn tortillas barely contained the generous portions of fresh veggies and chicken.  I thought I’d miss cheese or sour cream, but I think it would have overwhelmed the ingredients.

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On my next visit, I ordered the carne asada quesadilla and a Mexican apple cider soda called Sidral.

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The quesadilla was bigger than my hand and bursting with skirt steak, cheese and veggies.  The cheese stayed gooey and warm the whole time I ate it and there was a piece of steak in every bite.  Dare I say this, but there was actually a bit too much meat for me in this quesadilla, and the chunks of steak a bit big.

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This was delicious, but on a hot day it was a tad heavy, and the lighter taco would have been a better choice.

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The Sidral was light and bursting with flavor, and it felt a bit naughty to drink out of a glass bottle on campus.

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Chris assured me he’d be around all summer, a time when a lot of the trucks shut down until the students return in the fall.  I assured Chris I’d be back to sample everything from his menu.  And in my next post on Chris’ Taco Truck, I’m hoping to report on where his meat comes from, as I am trying hard to be a locavore.





No cook Mediterranean wraps

17 06 2011

The concept of this wrap came from Whole Foods. Matt made it for dinner. So good! So filling! So easy! So cheap! The hardest part is cutting the veggies. You’ll need: a wrap (our red pepper wrap had a nice flavor), tomato, summer squash, red onion, Kalamata olives, cucumber, avocado, spinach, and hummus. Chop the veggies up and pile them on the wrap that’s spread with the hummus, and eat. Perfect for a hot summer day.

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Victory Helios

17 06 2011

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This is a really great summer ale. Helios is peppery, light, and a bit hoppy for a Saison style, but typical for Victory. And any hoppiness is good for me.





Easy Banana “Ice Cream”

16 06 2011

This was an amazing discovery my brother shared with us: freeze some bananas with the peels off and then throw them in a food processor. Voila! Banana ice cream! Here it is pictured with Matt’s homemade goat milk caramel (sinful) and Trader Joe’s cookies. So easy. So good.

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Deep Fried Girl Scout Cookies

15 06 2011

There’s a truck on campus run by a few young guys called Munchies. They had lots of specials on April 20th. You get the drift. In the spring they sold deep fried Girl Scout cookies and I got hooked on the peanut butter cookies formerly known as Tagalongs. The cookies got nice and warm and gooey. The batter was essentially a funnel cake. How could you possibly NOT like this creation?

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La Source de Vignelaure

14 06 2011

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This blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault tastes of strawberries with a little acidity and soft flavors. Went well with a hearty white bean salad.