Review: Pita Hut

By Columbus Alive
From the Review: Pita Hut edition

You know how some restaurants make something you like so much that you wind up ordering that same old thing every time? Pita Hut was such a place for me.

Sure, I might pretend to scan the entire menu, but inevitably I'd play it safe and think, hell I'm here, why not pull the trigger on that crave-tastic Pita Hut shawarma? Because I'm guaranteed to be super-satisfied plowing through that kick-ass sandwich.

By the way, it tastes best eaten in the next-door Bob's Bar (hereafter known as Ka-Bob's Bar), chased back with a beer chosen from the bar's remarkable stable of suds.

Recently, based on some friendly advice, I broke out of that old habit and branched out to explore more of the Hut's menu - with excellent results. All of the following are recommended.

Chicken kebab sandwich ($6): It easily rivaled their spit-sliced shawarma and had the added advantage of being completely cooked to order. This resulted in big chunks of seared, tender, juicy chicken scented with cinnamon/allspice. When assembled "with everything," as it should be, it's a dynamite work of dynamic sandwich art with rich and creamy hummus and tahini balanced out by crunchy, pickly and salady veggies.

Lamb Kabab Platter: Tender, salty, juicy and seasoned similarly to the chicken, it's served in a huge portion when ordered platter-style ($8.50 - meaning it comes with hummus or baba plus two salads, a fantastic deal!).

Hummus ($3.50): Garbanzo beany, rich, creamy and terrific

Baba Ghannoug ($3.50): One of the better ones around, its bright, lemony and tart yogurty quality was expertly offset by a perfect whiff of smoke and tahini-derived richness.

Eggplant Salad ($3.50): Eggplant haters who complain about its bitterness and spongy texture should try this delicious preparation. Its irresistible sweetness, richness and unctuousness were partly countered by olives, bell peppers and onions.

Cauliflower Salad ($3.50): Managed to perform the same magic trick as the Eggplant Salad for another oft-maligned vegetable, only the Cauliflower Salad had a chunkier, more toothsome texture.

Kibbeh ($2): Made in-house, a lovely, almost granular golden brown cracked wheat shell gave way to an interior of aromatic ground beef and sauteed onion.

For more local food news and reviews, click to G.A. Benton's blog Under the Table at ColumbusDiningGuide.com