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Sep 14, 2001 11:00 AM

Middle Eastern Grocery

  • c

I went out of my way to stock up at the grocery next to the Pita Inn on Dempster just East of Crawford in Skokie. I had the hour wrong and was there just after 9 (they open at 10), and the owner opened up just for me. He seemed uneasy so i asked "How's it going". His response was that, mainly, he was "first in line to give blood", not all Mideasterners were bad, etc. Please patronize these guys. I get the sense that their business is off. Not only are they real nice and helpful, they have great mideastern/Mediterranian products

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  1. Oh, god I love Pita Inn and the experience my husband and I had there last night made us frightened for their safety. I was unsure whether to post this here or in "not about food", but as you brought it up and as it concerns a much loved establishment in our own city, here goes.

    First of all, the place was packed, which was heartening to see. But as we were leaving, a fellow drove up in front of the place, slowly scrutinizing it. He glared at us, then bitterly stated, "thanks for supporting the Palestinians!". We were essentially speechless, and stupidly mumbled something like, "uh, ok...". He shook his head disgustedly and drove away. We took down his license plate number (Illinois 611 849) and called the police when we got home (they seemed fairly organized and grateful for the information).

    We felt enraged, scared and powerless. If we had been a darker-skinned couple, would there have been violence? I'm now frightened for every non-white person I know. There was a racially-motivated assault at Foster and Western yesterday as well. Is it really all falling apart?

    2 Replies
    1. re: sc

      We should be there tonight. Have been meaning to try their dolma and now seems like a great time. I'll let folks know how it goes (since I am arab-complected, may get a sense of that too)

      1. re: sc


        Some ideas on how to show support for friends and neighbors who may be victimized in the near future:
        - Offer to accompany females traveling alone to the market or on errands.
        -Offer to accompany them when they are walking their dogs. (I would say 'or other pets' but can think of none off-hand that require walking...?)
        - Offer to walk their children home from school if you are able.
        - Speak up in the face of bigotry.
        - Continue to patronize their businesses and support their membership in your communities.

        Tara, praying for us all in her own particular way