Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pita Jungle

From about the first week that we moved to Arizona, I heard so much about one particular restaurant: Pita Jungle, that my mom and I had had to try it out as soon as possible! When we lived in South Dakota, we hadn't ever tried a Mediterranean restaurant, and quite frankly, I can't even recall if one exited there ... =/ Anyways, ever since I had my first bite of hummus and pita (more about that soon), this restaurant has been one off my favorites!

So, first, a little bit about Pita Jungle! This Mediterranean restaurant opened its first location in Tempe, AZ in 1994 and continues to feature a menu that promises a healthy variety of food made from the freshest ingredients. Thus, this menu encompasses salads, pitas, healthy burgers, wood-fired pizza's, and more! Currently, there are locations in both the state of Arizona as well as in California, but the growing popularity of this restaurant will hopefully mean that it will continue to expand across the country! 

So, let me now tell you a little bit more about their food. In this review, I have decided to feature three of my favorite dishes from the restaurant!

Dish number one: their cilantro jalapeno hummus, as seen below! This dish is on their "Starters" menu and comes with an option of two sizes: the small and the large. What is shown below is a small plate, which, as you can see, is fairly large! ... especially as an appetizer, which is why we order it with the meal. It is served with one pita and, of course, you can choose to order more pitas, as desired. I absolutely LOVE this hummus. It is by far my favorite hummus from here AND basically anywhere. I haven't yet found a good recipe to go use to replicate it, but it is definitely a treat. You can taste the mild hint of cilantro and get a small kick from the jalapeno peppers in it, and when combined with the tomato "salsa" on top, which is so fresh and delicious, it's sure to be a hit at any table! The other two hummus offerings that Pita Jungle has include a plain hummus and a roasted red pepper hummus. I have tried both, but as stated previously, I typically choose to order the cilantro jalapeno! Also, keep in mind that if you go to the restaurant while they're having happy hour, you can get a sample of each of the hummus types in a small hummus trio, which is served with a few pieces of pita bread as well!

Next, my favorite pita from Pita Jungle is the Mediterranean Roasted Chicken (Shawarma) pita. This pita has in it, pieces of marinated grilled chicken with onions, mixed greens, tomatoes, pickles, and garlic sauce, and tahini, as seen below. I accidentally made the mistake, when I went this time, of ordering an extra side of tahini, because it's not really needed, but I have to say that I really enjoy this pita every time I choose to get it! The grilled chicken is marinated perfectly and let me tell you: you will savor every. last. bite! This pita is packed with a punch: flavor from the chicken, crunchy-ness from the mixed greens, a little bit of sour-ness from the pickles, a little bite from the onions, and a hint of garlic and tahini to bring it all together. Need I say more?

Lastly, this, below, is the Spicy chicken wrap ... HIGHLY recommended if you enjoy spicy food! It contains marinated chicken, brown rice, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, yellow squash, cauliflower, broccoli, and herbs. I'm definitely partial to the chicken shawarma pita, as previously described, but I have to give credit where credit is deserved and this wrap DEFINITELY deserves credit. The wrap is full of flavor from the marinated chicken, slightly tangy from the tomatoes, and is VERY filling with the rice and vegetables! This is my mom's favorite dish from there, and she pretty much gets it at the restaurant, every time.

As you can see in all of the above pictures, the quantity of food that is served is quite large and we pretty much always have leftovers after we're done eating! The only downside is that Pita Jungle does not offer a special lunch menu, so the quantities are the same, regardless of whether you go for lunch or for dinner. Some of the other dishes that I've tried and enjoyed from this restaurant include: Philly Chicken Pita, Pesto Pizza, Chicken Combination Platter, andddd also, Baklawa ... because, I mean, who could forget dessert?

To take a look at Pita Jungle's complete menu, which includes pictures and descriptions of all their menu items, visit: http://www.pitajungle.com/menu/

Pita Jungle offer Happy Hour specials on Tapas and Drinks, which vary by location, so if you're in the mood for small plates and drinks, take a look at their offerings here: http://www.pitajungle.com/happy-hour/

Additionally, Pita Jungle can cater your next party! To find out more information about that, please visit here: http://www.pitajungle.com/catering/

Have you been to Pita Jungle? What are some of your favorites from there? 

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