Appetizing Indian Cuisine at Spice Rack

On our recent visit to Bensalem, a small town near Philadelphia we came across Spice Rack after reading a lot of immensely positive reviews in Yelp. Located on Knights Road, this is a small restaurant with limited seating mainly dealing in take-out.

Let’s talk about “Food”

The menu is quite extensive so it took us a while to decide what to start with. This time we opted for only Vegetarian dishes and ordered Bhelpuri, Dahi Chaat and Papdi Chaat for appetizer.

After a bit long wait we got served with these delish snacks. From the first bite I got hooked on Bhelpuri, a tangy, garlicky and fully flavored one with authentic Indian spices. It was the most delicious chaat I ever had till now in USA.

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Bhel Puri

Dahi Chaat one of my all time favorites didn’t disappointed me as well. Crisp puri exotically garnished with sev and coriander were so inviting that we finished all of them in a blink. Papdi Chaat took me back in streets of Delhi, the taste was equally good to what we use to have back home.

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Dahi Puri
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Papdi Chaat

As we got fully confident on flavors we visited Spice Rack again to try some more items from the menu.

We ordered Paneer Pakora, Mutter PaneerGarlic Naan and ended up with Gajar ka halwa. Sadly, Paneer pakora really disappointed us, they were not as savory as they look, on the other hand Mutter Paneer was zesty, typical North Indian style.o (1)IMG_9354

I am a die-hard fan of garlic naan and after a long while I had one of the best at Spice Rack, crispy and light with loads of garlic. Uhh, this place has awakened desi foodie inside me.o (3)IMG_9356

The only thing in which this place lags behind is service, it’s slow. It can take a while to place an order and longer to get it on your table.

Overall, this place reminded us street food of Delhi. Spice Rack really surprised us with strong flavors, a small joint delivering the true taste of Indian Cuisine.

My rating

Food: 4.5/5

Location:3/5

Ambiance:2.5/5

Service: 2/5

Spice Rack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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We tried “St. Louis style BBQ”..!!

Hey everyone, we are back from St Louis with some wonderful experiences, be it our road trip or witnessing the beautiful Gateway of Arch or roaming around the city.  But first, we would like to share our encounter with Smoki O’s. As foodie travelers, we always have few local joints of every visiting city to try out and Smoki O’s was on our list for BBQ.

Thinking about St. Louis  food specialty, what comes into mind is St. Louis BBQ, uniquely prepared by grilling the meat and pouring the sauce over, rather than dry rub or slow smoking. One can taste St. Louis style BBQ ribs at many other restaurants and they might be good as well, but we opted for well known & the authentic one.

Located on N Broadway, Smoki O’s is one of the most famous BBQ joint and has been acclaimed by many for its ribs, briskets and rib tips.

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The lady behind the counter/the owner(Earline A Walker) ,greets you warmly & help you through menu. She took a great interest in knowing from where we are and our feedback for the food !!!

Though everything on menu looked like worth trying after reading so much good about this place, but we had to bound our self to Ribs and pulled pork sandwich which comes with sides ,we opted for BBQ Spaghetti & Mac and 3 cheese.

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We are new to BBQ world, but we still found STL BBQ sauce a bit sweet and less smoky one compared to Chicago. Ribs were perfectly grilled and BBQ sauce gelled well with them. The pulled pork sandwich was flavorful with soft bun,portions are good and even sides are great to choose from.

Awards and Recognition

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If you are in city, this is a must try few blocks down from The Arch, worth for the price you pay with a great hospitality.

Address- 1545 N Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102

Tips:

  1. Do try their snoots appreciated by Andrew Zimmern, Bizzare foods , we got a couple free samplers and they were great,too crispy, though we came to know lately that they were actually “nose” parts…
  2. If you are looking for a fine dining then this is not a place to be, its more like a takeaway joint with few seating.

Rating for Smoki O’s

Location- 3/5

Food- 4/5

Service- 5/5

Smoki O's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Uncle Bub’s Award “Deserving” BBQ

Here we are with our first Restaurant Review of 2016 and this time it’s BBQ.

Uncle Bub’s, an award winning family owned BBQ started its one and only joint 17 years ago in Westmont, IL. Even after “award winning BBQ”, its hard to believe that they are restricted to one location,to keep it the best instead of making it a franchise.

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What’s so special about this place ?

BBQ –  Their famous BBQ is an ultimate example of their dedication for it, along with the secret spices…served with two options mild and a spicy one. Be it brisket, ribs or pulled pork, each meat is “slow cooked” to provide the charred  & smoky flavor to it.

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Awards- They have received various awards such as first place in Rib Category at Ribfest Chicago 2014 and many more like this.

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Interior and Ambiance- This place resembles a roadhouse with some quirky interior. You have to order at the counter and you will get a waiting number in the form of hen or rooster maybe..The lamps over your head are actually hanging metal buckets.

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What to order ?

Well! in case you are here for first time and confused as we were,then you can get started with:

The famous Uncle Bub’s Sampler Platter It has a bit of everything, meat, ribs , super soft briskets and you get to choose 2 sides from a handful options, fried Mac and Cheese and Hand cut French fries are our personal favorites.

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Sample Platter with sides and corn bread

Baby Back Ribs Do get your hands dirty with smoky, well cooked Baby back ribs and you will never regret it. We opted for the half slab and trust me it was a mouthwatering deal.

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Uncle Joe Burger 1/2 pound grilled burger with pulled pork, topped with cheddar cheese, pickles, lettuce and fresh tomatoes also served with two sides. The first bite was the burst of grilled and smoky flavors of tender pork. Definitely, this is one of the best burger we ever had.

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Uncle Joe Burger

Uncle Bub’s Wings  As I am in love with traditional wings since I came to States, so I try them every now and then but Uncle Bub’s Wings are distinct…. juicy from inside & crisp from outside. They have a unique blend of flavors, as usually they use their own recipe for making them so good with secret spices and seasonings. Do not forget to add-on a mug of Beer.

If you are in Chicago or have any plans to visit,then Uncle Bub’s should be on your list for memorable BBQ experience.

Location:  132 South Cass Avenue
Westmont, Illinois

My rating for Uncle Bub’s

Location-4/5

Food- 4.5/5

Ambiance- 4/5

Service- 4.5/5

Uncle Bub's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Just Like Mom’s As They Say !!!

We are back with another restaurant review of very famous breakfast joint Blueberry Hill Breakfast Cafe ,a family restaurant,located on Butterfield Rd, Oak Brook.It’s one of the best breakfast chain in Chicago suburbs offering delicious homemade food at various locations..

We have visited here couple of times and began to fall for their scramblers. Along with delivering appetizing food, they have really classy interior with enough space for seating..

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What’s in the menu?

Traditional breakfast which includes Sandwiches,pancakes,french toast, waffles,wraps,scramblers,omelettes etc etc. In beverages they have fresh juices,hot/cold coffee(my fav. bottomless),latte etc..

What we had?

Chunky Monkey Waffle– When I ordered this waffle, i didn’t expected it to be so good. The waffle baked with pecans topped with banana,chocolate syrup,coated with powdered sugar and pecans… Truly inviting and mouthwatering !!

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Texas Style French Toast – The regular french toast with the pinch of cinnamon was just average in taste. We ordered it by its unique name but it came out as a regular one.Nothing special about it…

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Butcher Shop Scrambler- Meat Lovers..!!!! This one is for you…ham,sausage,bacon with eggs deliciously served with potatoes and toast/pancake.This shouldn’t be missed if you are visiting Blueberry Hill cafe.It’s on our favorite list now.

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Green Eggs and Ham- Rightly marked as Blueberry signature dish,this brings freshness of pesto and spinach with scrambled eggs. Personally, I am not a spinach fan specially the cooked one and choose to avoid them most of the time but this one came as an exception..And finally I am in love with this Green Egg scrambler ..!!!

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Ace of Club Sandwich- Deli style turkey & roast beef, topped with bacon, is served on white toast along with American & Swiss cheese, tomatoes,lettuce and Hellmann’s mayonnaise. A sandwich with these ingredients was like burst of flavors in my mouth. I was sure it cannot go wrong in taste at all..

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Overall, as per our experience, this restaurant has always met our expectations.

My rating for Blueberry Hill Cafe:

Location- 4.5/5

Food-4.5/5

Service-4/5

Ambiance-4.5/5

Blueberry Hill Pancake House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Harvest Pancake House “Gem of Westmont”


Indian Bloggers

The Harvest Pancake House  has been our favorite destination for breakfast and brunch from past 4 months specially over the weekend. It was just a coincidence when we got to know about this place and since then we became habitual to this place.

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Located on West 63rd Street,Westmont, this place is mostly crowded on weekends and weekdays don’t differ a lot.It is a family restaurant with ample seating space specialized in traditional American breakfast and lunch whether it’s pancakes, waffles, scramblers or sandwiches.

Lets start with the Menu which is quite big and everything there is worth a try. We have tried our level best to taste almost everything on the menu(except salads and soups) and would like to share what should not be missed..

Waffles: We are a big fan of waffles from Harvest,crispy base topped with fresh fruits and whipped cream is always the best thing to start my weekend.
As I haven’t tasted waffles earlier, my love for waffle started from Harvest only. For toppings there is a lot to choose from like strawberries, blueberries, banana, pecans, chocolate chips etc.


Crepes: Personally, I am not a crepe person, but I have tried couple of them like Tutti Frutti Crepe and Banana crepe filled with Nutella topped with whipped cream. Indeed a great choice for kids !IMG_4553

Pancakes : Next on the menu are pancakes, you can either opt for Oven baked or the regular ones. Our choice is the regular one served with topping and whipped cream. They provide it as per your cravings, Short stack has 3 while full stack has 4 pancakes. As I have mentioned earlier, same toppings as for waffles are available for pancakes too. They are very soft and melt in the mouth when poured with maple syrup8c207c6f928c018b27c2e5f44258a24b_1438548912

French Toast: No breakfast is complete without French Toast !! Go for either Classic French toast or the Stuffed French toast (filled with cream cheese) both are good option to start your morning. I would recommend the stuffed one..crisp from outside and creamy cheese inside topped with fruits and whipped cream makes you drool over it.bd34aa37a1c2b0fd4d24a88e0455ccde_1442877872

Wraps, Sandwiches and Burgers: Not only the sweet but there is a lot to choose from in the wraps, sandwich and burgers, served with fries, potatoes and soup (which we always exclude as we are not soup lovers on breakfast).

I personally love Cheeseburger for its juicy patty which goes really good with a fresh bun and Chicken Malibu for its big tender chicken piece topped with crisp bacon and cheese. From wrap section, Santa Barbara wrap with chicken strips and freshness of tomatoes and lettuce is my personal favorite. Must try Chicken Melt,Buffalo Ranch Wrap & Chicken Philly.

Eggs, Scrambler or Omelette: Eggs are always a great breakfast choice and here you can opt from scrambler, omelette, skillet or make up your own.

We love Cowboy Scrambler (heavenly for meat lovers) as it has all the goodness of ham, sausage and bacon along with eggs and it comes with potatoes to make it more desirable.

Also the Country Skillet is worthy enough, as it has everything just like cowboy scrambler and comes with potatoes and toast as an additional follow ups.

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Cowboy Scrambler

Apart from this,there are also Salads and Benedicts to choose from and well in beverages you can go for fresh orange juice, iced teas, hot tea or like us go for bottomless coffee regular/decaf.

Staff and service:   I must say we never ever had a bad day here. I would like to mention the warm welcome we get every time we visit and people do remember us ask for and greet and treat very well. Especially the owners are very kind and the lady recognized us since our second visit.

Timings:   Mon-Sun:6:00 am-3:00 pm

  • If you are living in Westmont and had never been to this place then it’s time to try it out.
  •  Health conscious people don’t get disappointed,as they have Gluten free meal too !!

Here goes my rating for this restaurant :

Location-3.5/5

Food-4/5

Service-5/5

Ambiance-4/5

Harvest Pancake House & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Restaurant Review: Dining at Sushi House, Westmont !!


Indian Bloggers

Our second visit to this joint in the recent past shows the love we have for Sushi. I had first sushi experience here only, that’s why this place holds a special place.

Sushi House Westmont, located in Saint James Crossing Shopping Center,is one of the most appreciated joint nearby. This place has an elegant ambiance, with comfortable seating. You can choose either to sit near the sushi bar or enjoy the food in dining room, there is also traditional seating option.

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To start with, we got a menu page(long list of various rolls) to fill the quantity of different sushi.

What’s in the MENU?

For appetizer we had Shrimp Shumai, the amazing shrimp dumplings with some sauce(don’t remember the name exactly) and crab cake roll. Both of them were finely cooked with the delicate flavors.

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Shrimp Shumai

For sushi we have tasted many of them from menu. California Roll, Caterpillar Roll, Chicago Fire Roll(too good), Volcano Roll, Sake & AlbacoreI was quite afraid of eating a raw fish but it was worth a try, fresh and delectable !!

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Fresh Salmon(Sake) & White Tune(Albacore)
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Chicago Fire Roll
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California Roll -A perfect blend of Avocado, Crab-stick, Masago & Cucumber.
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Caterpillar Roll- The spicy delight of Shrimp Tempura, Eel, Cucumber & Avocado.
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Volcano roll – A baked Sushi with White fish, Salmon, Crab Stick & Mayo.

We loved all the Sushi especially Volcano Roll,California Roll & Chicago Fire Roll.

In Entree, we ordered Dan Dan noodles, a dish with Pork & Scallions fried in Sesame & Peanut sauce served on noodles. The combination of sauce and pork comes out really well but the sad part is it was too greasy for me.IMG_4587

Moving towards the next item, Schzewan Grouper-Grouper fish fillet cooked with Napa Cabbage, the fillet was very tender, finely cooked, altogether with Napa Cabbage and topped with crushed red pepper. Totally Delish !!

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Overall, a wonderful place for Sushi beginners. Staff whether it’s the lady who served us or the people behind the bar, all were cordial.

Here goes my rating for this restaurant :

Location-3.5/5

Food-4.5/5

Service-4/5

Ambiance-4/5

If you have any suggestions or recommendations for Sushi joints in Chicago suburbs, please leave your comment,we will surely consider..

Sushi House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Keep Calm And Eat Zinger Burger !!

Last night we had the best halal burgers,at Mr. Broast, in Lombard. While searching for our snacking joint I found this place nearby with nice reviews.

So,today we are going to review Mr. Broast.(I found the name very catchy.)

Established in 2012 this place offers authentic halal meat.Some of their sandwiches are really very popular like Zinger Burger,Peri-peri burger,Philly Chicken,Club Sandwich, etc. They specialize in broasted chicken(combination of broiling and roasting).

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A restaurant with plain interior is not that inviting but their food is !!!

There is a lot to choose from and really hard not to drool upon, but we tried out Zinger Burger Combo (with fries and Pepsi) and Peri Peri Burger and kept others for our next visit. While Peri Peri Burger I chose to be regular, zinger we opted for the spicy delight.

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Zinger Burger
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Zinger Burger Combo

Zinger burger had a crisp patty of chicken coated with homemade sauce…It was finger licking good.. crunchy,juicy and fully seasoned in a single bite..I would like to mention their homemade crisp masala fries(seasoned fries),very crispy and mouth watering.

Peri Peri was all about the spicy grilled chicken…chicken was tender and moist,bit spicy for my taste buds. The bun was fresh and balancing the spicy zest of chicken topped with onions.o (8)

Overall, I am very impressed with this place and service. It took 10-15 minutes for food to reach at the table, so hold your patience as it will be worth. There is ample seating space for bigger groups of 10-15 people as well. Do stop at this place if you are visiting Lombard next time.

We will be here again for sure to try their other items from menu.

If you have any suggestions or recommendations for us please leave your comments and do share the other food joints, serving halal meat.We would like to visit them as well.

Here goes my rating for this restaurant :

Location-3.5/5

Food-4/5

Service-4/5

Ambiance-3.5/5

Mr. Broast Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: A Fabulous find !! Honey Jam Cafe…

Saturdays are generally a day to relax and have brunch and well Chicago suburbs do have a lot of breakfast joints to offer. But for some reason we had restricted ourselves to one from past many months till last week, when we got to know about this place from Zomato and couldn’t resist ourselves.

Honey Jam Cafe, its a perfect place to have breakfast and brunch on weekends as well as on weekdays.IMG_3881IMG_3882

It was 11 am and as we have expected the place was almost full. The ambiance is bit dark, but space wise they have ample seating space.

They took roughly 5 minutes to get us seated and after that we ordered 2 coffee(bottomless), they do have other options to choose from like fresh fruit juice,soda,lemonade etc. but we have a preference of coffee over others always. As most of other breakfast joints this one also has a lot to offer and the menu is quite extensive.

They offer a wide variety of pancakes, waffles, crepes, french toast, benedicts, omelettes, skillets, fritatas, burgers and sandwiches etc. So,we did what we always do, choose the specialty/signature dishes of the restaurant and taste the best they have.

We ordered San Francisco Chicken melt, Monkey Waffle & Red Velvet french toast with cream cheese,strawberry & chocolate sauce.

Monkey Waffle was a pure blend of sweetness with freshness of fruits topped with smooth peanut butter sauce. It was as good as it looked, totally mouthwatering !!!!IMG_3875

We have tasted a wide variety of french toasts. But while going through the menu my eyes stopped over this one, Red Velvet french toast, stuffed with cream cheese.. and the fusion of this delight doesn’t ends here !!! It was topped with fresh strawberries and chocolate sauce. The best french toast I had till date.

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San Francisco Chicken Melt, a combination of grilled chicken breast with ham, cheddar cheese and tomatoes, serves on grilled wheat and it comes with fries(sides). The chicken was tender,full of flavors & best of all it just melted in my mouth.IMG_3879

Overall, this place has got everything what you can expect from a breakfast joint.The only con was the service which was a bit slow, didn’t liked it. But surely we would like to try out more of their signature dishes on our next visit.

If you are in western Chicago suburbs then surely make a visit to Honey Jam Cafe,Downers Grove, they are also located in Bollingbrook. 

Please feel free to leave your suggestions or recommendations, they are very valuable for us.

Honey Jam Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Pub-Style “Fuller House”

Fuller House is very popular pub style along with family restaurant. Located in Hinsdale downtown it’s always occupied, especially on weekends it’s hard to find a seating space.
After going through the restaurant reviews on Zomato, I was more eager to try those Mason jar Cocktails. 

As we reached there it was fully packed. We were warmly greeted and seated comfortably near the bar. The interior  was very classy,there was an upper deck for family seating and a full bar on the lower one.

So, let’s get started with drinks. I asked my server what would she recommend us and she suggested Blackberry Lemonade and Alagash and Blue Moon. Alagash, a draft beer with generous portion of wheat spiced with coriander, on the other hand Blue Moon is brewed with Belgian style wheat and oats having orange flavor.

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Alagash & Blue Moon Belgian style wheat

Blackberry Lemonade includes Bulleit Bourbon,fresh lemonade and blackberry. It was served in a Mason jar,totally fascinating. Alagash was light with refreshing taste while Blue Moon was spicy.

For starters we ordered loaded Nachos with chicken(I am a nachos fan really, so no other food stands the chance.) and Buffalo Chicken Wings. Both were appetizing but wings were better out of the two.

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Chicken Wings

With a very little space left in stomach, we opted for BBQ chicken pizza. It was average, that’s all I have to say as it was neither really flavorful nor bland !!!

not so good BBQ Pizza

Overall, it was a great experience of a pub-style restaurant. We really liked the service and food.

Here goes my rating for this restaurant :

Location-4.5/5

Food-3.5/5

Service-3/5

Ambiance-4/5

Fuller House is surely a place of its own kind. 

Fuller House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Review: Pita House, Lombard IL

I have always preferred other cuisines whenever it comes on Mediterranean food, but this time we decided to have a shot at this joint called Pita House in Lombard,IL.
Very comfortably located at Roosevelt Road this one was recommended by Foodie colleague from Zomato Meet.

As we entered there was no crowd as on weekdays people prefers takeout. A decent place with ample seating space and self-service.

If you are looking for a restaurant with luxury dining, great interior then please avoid this place, you will be disappointed. 

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We ordered Chicken Shawarma pocket, Hummus with pita bread & falafel combo

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Hummus with pita bread
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Shawarma Pocket
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Vegetarian Falafel Plate

Well, Hummus tasted really good while pita bread served was soft and fresh, very much authentic. 

Vegetarian Falafel Plate- Falafel was really delicious with strong flavours, crispy served with the rice, lettuce and tomatoes. The combo also includes pita bread & sauces, sufficient for 2 people. Chicken Shawarma Pocket was average in taste with lost flavors on the way to our table. The  chicken was tasteless, the seasonings were missing..not like the one I have tasted earlier.

For drinks we opted for Turkish coffee and Baklava in desserts. Baklava is a filo pastry sweet, filled with nuts & honey. 

 

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Baklava
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Turkish Coffee

 

The combination of soft filo and crispy nuts was savory and very light. The coffee was as usual a bitter, concentrated drink but with no flavors & sensations. It was not at all near to what I have heard.

Overall, we liked this place, its worth a try for palatable Mediterranean meal especially Entrees.

My Rating for Pita Bread

Location-3.5/5

Food-3.5/5

Service-4/5

Ambiance-3.5/5

Pita House Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato