Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jerusalem Pita, Brookline

One of the most fascinating parts of food, to me, is how ingredients work together.  How you can trace the origin of a food based upon where it's ingredients stem from, of course this works in reverse as well- the flavor of a certain ingredient in a cultures food might give you some understanding of the origin of that ingredient.  Recently I ate at Jerusalem Pita in Coolidge Corner and found exactly that.   As I munched on my Jerusalem Kebab Pita sandwich, I tasted the flavors of the meat, the flavors of the tart pickles, and the creamy sauce that covered the lettuce which spilled out from the pita holder, and then I tasted one that stood out from the others- the familiar and warming flavor of cinnamon.  

Cinnamon, I later researched, has it's origins in South East Asia, so it makes sense that we would find its use in the meal at Jerusalem Pita.  However, this authenticity was one of the only shining moments of the meal.

The outside of Jerusalem Pita appears casual, and so we were surprised as we entered the restaurant and found it to be a less casual, sit down establishment.  Our waitress was friendly, and the complimentary salad of pickled vegetables was a nice touch.  As mentioned, I selected the Jerusalem Kebab Pita for my entree.  This was a mix of beef and lamb stuffed into a soft pita with the traditional accompaniments, pickles, lettuce and a spicy sauce to round out the sandwich.  While the components for a delicious pita were there, I found myself disappointed on several levels.  

To start, the pita itself was warm and soft, the perfect encasement for the fillings, however it was difficult to enjoy the sandwich aspect as the "salad", or lettuce and yogurt sauce had been stuffed in with such voracity that it would have been nearly impossible enjoy this meal with my hands.  So I dug in with my fork and knife.  My first several bites were purely salad, and the flavor of the yogurt sauce just fell flat.  Thin and slightly watery, it held no punch of flavor.  I began to dig through the lettuce, pushing it away to find the meats below.  My digging was worthwhile, as I found not only the meat component, but the pickles as well.  The pickles were thickly cut, and lacked the vinegar kick I was hoping for, and sadly the meat, while tender, well seasoned (Cinnamon!) and delicious, was served in a very small portion, especially when compared to the excess of both lettuce and pickles. The highlight however was the spicy sauce which I found to be just hot enough to satisfy my tolerance.  

Also on the disappointing side was the pace of the meal.  Once seated, and ordered it took a very long time to receive our meals, and my pita was served far ahead of my friends Laffe.  For similar menu items, the lag between the two was unexplained, and was not addressed by our server.  Over all the meal wasn't terrible, however in the Coolidge Corner area of Brookline, there are simply better options for Glatt Kosher dining.    

1 comment:

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

I am on a huge Mediterranean/pita/hummus kick. I've seen this place and should really stop in!


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