Not only is Pita Grill a petite Mediterranean market, but it also serves as an authentic restaurant providing food for its clientele. Unless you’re in the Sunrise/Plantation area, South Florida is not necessarily known for its high concentration of Middle Eastern population, let alone Middle Eastern restaurants. Luckily, one of the few that are available in the Kendall area actually manages to offer food that is not only fresh and delectable, but also as authentic as I have seen in a 10-mile radius.
It may be because Pita Grill’s restaurant section is attached to its market, but walking in you are bound to see Middle Eastern people. Or… it may be vice versa, where the market is attached to the restaurant. I’m not too sure which one came first, but the point of the matter is that both sections of this location are working in a symbiotic relationship that yields consistently great products to those that know about it. It is not uncommon to walk into Pita Grill and see a family go up to the restaurant counter, order their food, shop while it is prepared, and then sit down to eat. Although the food is taken on a counter similar to fast casual restaurants around the area (e.i. Panera Bread, Chipotle, etc), it may take a few minutes longer than what you would expect from this type of service. Still, it is worth the wait, since the food is always fresh and made to order.
I’m an avid fan of falafel, and the one at Pita Grill is better than everything else I have tried in the area. The chickpea fritters are crispy, rather than greasy and have a good shell with tender, moist interior. There is there a good balance of chickpea, parsley, acid, salt, and spice that does not let one ingredient overpower the next. The hummus is properly spiced with a creamy texture that is heavily flavored with toasted tahini, just how I like it. Some people prefer their hummus to be heavier tasting in the chickpea department, but since I get that so much in the properly executed falafel, I enjoy the chance of pace coming from the hummus. The basmati rice is tender without being mushy or too tough, having the goldilocks experience of being just right. Lastly, the simple, yet deceivingly simple salad is refreshing, mostly due to the cold tomatoes and water-filled cucumbers.
The service could be a bit more helpful than they are, since they rely on their exemplary food to make up for their tardiness in getting your food out. Still, the staff is willing to help you look for items in the market and may even go out of their way to make conversation with you if you catch them on a good day. The ambiance could benefit from some updating, but at the end of the day, this is still a market. It would be unwise for me to expect too much from here, so I’m just glad to get what they offer: plentiful and authentic food at affordable prices. That’s something I’m definitely content with.
12776 SW 88th St