Ate at Pita House in Rego Park (Queens Blvd) the other day. It is Israeli food although they are Yemenite.
The highlights were the pita (very good), melawach (excellent), and humus w/ful (eaten w/the pita, yummy). The rice w/lentils was good too. I like their hotsauce even if it is the standard Israeli hotsauce.
The kabobs were not particularly good. Service wasn't great. She kept forgetting to bring us things and took her time.
The jachnoon was alright, but nothing special (according to my Israeli friend who was with me.)
Just don't ask me to explain what this stuff was. I'm not an authority on israeli food, although i ahd one with me (ordering in hebrew.) :)
I know this place had a different name originally. Anyone remember?
You know, I'm not sure there's anything called "Israeli food." Israel is a relatively new country, and its inhabitants come from all over the place - it's a melting pot. An interesting question, in any case. I went to Mabat the other day - the waitress was Yemenite, the grill guy looked Ashkenazi, and there are some Moroccan things on the menu, as well as some Yemenite. Yet this place is "Israeli."
Pita House (Q.B. around 66th St.) is my favorite falafel joint in the city. They make their own bread, which they sell individually for 50 cents a pop, and the falafel is heavenly.
Shwarma is pretty good too, but don't order the lamb kebab. I got a lamb kebab sandwich there once and I'm not kidding when I say that well over half the "lamb" was just gristle and fat.
Yes, the service sucks. As a Jew who's lived in NYC his whole life and who's eaten in hundreds of kosher restaurants, all I can say is that it's typical of the breed. Too bad. But the pitas and falafel are awesome.
I gree about the lamb kabob. The game hen kabob wasn't too interseting either. The kofta was good, but salty (which is probably the norm.)
I used to get felafel there a couple of years back and remember that it was very good, as was thier tahina. Maybe I should try that next time.
My Israeli freind had the shwarma and he didn't complain, so he must have liked it. :)
As fara s service, I've had better service at Kosher Jewish Delis (Like Ben's in Rego Park) than i have at any Israeli restaurant, so i just assumed it was cuz it's an Israeli joint.
I ahve since had the shwarma and it was terrible. It tasted like fresh turkey....but shwarma is supposed to taste like spices and be hammered (cooked) well...so that teh end product doesn't really taste like turkey.
I am basically not going to Pita House anymore because the things I lie there (melewech, pita, humus/ful lentil rice) are all starches. The meats arent' doing it for me.
I wen't back yeterday. Melawech, pita and humus/ful were (still) good. Got the ebans and rice....but their lentil rice is better.
Here is the thing....I got their shwarma...and we all agreed that it wa sthe worst we ahd ever had. It isn't that it wasn't fresh turkey or that it was funky or anything. It just wasn't spiced much, or hammered (cooked) to the level shwarma usually is. It tasted like turkey thighs (and had turkey thigh texture), and although that is what shwarma is....that is not what it is supposed to taste like.
Was it an off day? I seem to remember getting their shwarma several years ago, and that it was decent. What happened?
We already know i don't like their kabobs....so I'm done with the place since the only things there that seem well done are the starches....and I don't want to have meals that are all starch.
Yeah, I think the key is to stay away from the meat. I've seen some of the dishes they serve to people who eat in-house and they look decent, but I'm much more likely to take stuff out from there. So I guess maybe they're only good for falafel and pitas. But damn, the falafel is really great.