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Pita Kabab [Lincoln/California]

Pita Kabab [Lincoln/California]
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  • Pita Kabab [Lincoln/California]

    Post #1 - February 12th, 2009, 9:20 am
    Post #1 - February 12th, 2009, 9:20 am Post #1 - February 12th, 2009, 9:20 am
    LTHForum,

    No claims Pita Kabab is the best Middle Eastern in Chicagoland, simply that it's a solid representation in a convenient, at least to me, location that has housed a series of bad to worse hot dog joints.

    Veg combo for starters, Hummus, Baba Ghanouj, Falafel, Dolma, Tabbouleh. All tasty, Baba slightly tart, maybe a little light on 'roasty' flavor, falafel crisp moist, domas moist flavorful, but the vegetarian version does not rock my world, tabbouleh heavy on the parsley Lebanese style and smooth somewhat neutral, but still satisfying hummus. Off to a solid, if not rocking start.

    Top
    Flat Pita, Fatoush Salad
    Bottom
    Hummus, Baba Ghanouj, Falafel, Dolma, Tabbouleh

    Image

    Thin pita a pliable warm scoop for dips and a tasty version of Fatoush with crisp mix of veg with generous scattering of pita chips and light vinaigrette.

    Upon request we were brought two hot sauces, one seemed standard sambal olek, fine for straight up heat, the other a tangy house made mix of jalapeno and yogurt.

    Sambal Olek, House made Jalapeno/Yogurt

    Image

    Foul, warm, elemental, satisfying, Pita Kabab's is a solid version enhanced by drizzle of olive oil and topknot of tomato and parsley.

    Foul

    Image

    3-Way Combo, bit of grill char, a good thing in my book, on the Kefta Kabab moist, if not quite juicy, interior, of the two shawarma I surprisingly preferred chicken, light saffron color, moist with the faintest hint of curry, Steve Z thought turmeric accented for both color and subtle curry flavor. Liberal use of sumac enhanced both flavor and appearance.

    3-Way Combo, Kefta Kabab, Chicken Shawarma, Beef Shawarma.

    Image

    Pita Kabab is not going to replace Salam or Al-Khaymeih in my Middle Eastern rotation, but its a solid option, well priced, our lunch for three was just over $30, with the benefit of a parking lot and well spaced seating, and will certainly see the occasional lunch or pickup.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Pita Kabab
    5701 N California Ave
    Chicago, IL 60659
    773-271-2771
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - February 12th, 2009, 9:51 am
    Post #2 - February 12th, 2009, 9:51 am Post #2 - February 12th, 2009, 9:51 am
    Is this the new Georges Kabab outpost at the intersection of Cali and Lincoln??? Big yellow awning???
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #3 - February 12th, 2009, 10:01 am
    Post #3 - February 12th, 2009, 10:01 am Post #3 - February 12th, 2009, 10:01 am
    Habibi wrote:Is this the new Georges Kabab outpost at the intersection of Cali and Lincoln??? Big yellow awning???


    It's on the southeast corner. It looks like it used to be a gas station (because it was, back in the day).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - February 12th, 2009, 10:32 am
    Post #4 - February 12th, 2009, 10:32 am Post #4 - February 12th, 2009, 10:32 am
    One wonders if this is the place referenced in this thread.
  • Post #5 - February 12th, 2009, 11:29 am
    Post #5 - February 12th, 2009, 11:29 am Post #5 - February 12th, 2009, 11:29 am
    Habibi wrote:Is this the new Georges Kabab outpost at the intersection of Cali and Lincoln??? Big yellow awning???

    That's the place. They opened as George's Pita Kabob for maybe a month give or take, then were closed for a week or two and opened back up as just Pita Kabab. I'm curious to know exactly what the health department issue was and why the name change.

    I went once while they were still George's Pita Kabob. I agree with Gary that it was pretty solid, if not mind-blowing Middle Eastern food. I did really like the jalepeno yogurt sauce. I haven't seen a sauce like this anywhere else; is it common?

    Our waitress mentioned they have delivery, but when I called once to get delivery, they said it's wasn't available. It was unclear if they meant just that night or if they don't have delivery at all. (This was all before the name change.)
  • Post #6 - February 12th, 2009, 11:48 am
    Post #6 - February 12th, 2009, 11:48 am Post #6 - February 12th, 2009, 11:48 am
    eli wrote:
    Habibi wrote:Our waitress mentioned they have delivery, but when I called once to get delivery, they said it's wasn't available. It was unclear if they meant just that night or if they don't have delivery at all. (This was all before the name change.)


    It says "We Deliver" on the sign, but there were no carryout menus available when we were there the other day. When asked, we got the standard, "They're at the printer" reply that you get at so many of these types of places.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #7 - February 13th, 2009, 10:01 am
    Post #7 - February 13th, 2009, 10:01 am Post #7 - February 13th, 2009, 10:01 am
    We tried take-out from Pita Kabab last night. I agree with Gary and Steve that the food is solid but not spectacular.

    We had the soups available: lentil and white bean. The lentil was good but a bit bland, with vermicelli and a few vegetables, including peas, in it. The white bean was happily eaten by my son, but it reminded me of canned pork and beans with a kind of sweet tomato sauce/broth (without the pork, of course—the place serves Zabiha Halal meat only). The “Vege Combo” pictured above-thread was good. The baba was pleasantly garlicky (the menu board at the counter described it as eggplant and “choppy” garlic) and the dolma tangy with a touch of mint. We also had the chicken shawarma, lamb shish kebab, and chicken shish kebab. The shawarma was tasty and tender. Son scarfed all the chicken kebab, so I can’t speak to that. The lamb was disappointing. It had a nice strong lamby flavor, but the meat was a bit over-cooked and tough. The lamb shish kebab at Hashalom is cheaper and better, always medium rare and tender. Huge mounds of quite good, if plain, basmati rice and surprisingly decent side salad (undressed) came along with the entrees. We were given little containers of tahini sauce and the yogurt-jalapeno sauce, which was hot and good. For three entrees and the veg combo, we paid $39.

    Staff was friendly, and service was pretty quick. Several people came in for orders, and the phone was ringing around 6 pm. The space was rather too brightly lit—they might replace some of those fluorescent ceiling bulbs. A big TV was tuned to a satellite Arabic channel. We enjoyed the ad for a California establishment called “Cabaret Tehran,” two words we haven’t linked together in years.

    BTW, take-out menus are now available. Per the menu, delivery is available for $2.50, but we did not inquire into the area covered. Parking and location for us are good, so we will be adding Pita Kabab to our take-out rotation.
  • Post #8 - April 30th, 2009, 11:55 am
    Post #8 - April 30th, 2009, 11:55 am Post #8 - April 30th, 2009, 11:55 am
    OK - slightly confused. Drove past there this afternoon and it was open. No time to stop in.

    Ate lunch at George's across the street earlier this week. He said Pita Kabob was closed.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #9 - May 7th, 2009, 1:57 pm
    Post #9 - May 7th, 2009, 1:57 pm Post #9 - May 7th, 2009, 1:57 pm
    Dave148 wrote:Ate lunch at George's across the street earlier this week. He said Pita Kabob was closed.

    Pita Kabab is OPEN, I even drove into the parking lot for a better look into the restaurant. Half full of diners, cars in the lot, Open I say, open. :)

    Pita Kabab
    5701 N California Ave
    Chicago, IL 60659
    773-271-2771
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #10 - May 8th, 2009, 9:24 am
    Post #10 - May 8th, 2009, 9:24 am Post #10 - May 8th, 2009, 9:24 am
    I have stopped here twice now thanks to LTH and both times the food was good but the service mixed. I had high hopes after stopping for lunch a couple of weeks ago with some co-workers. The service was quick and they brought an overflowing basket of bread to the table for the four of us (which we were unable to finish). When I stopped in earlier this week the service was pretty poor. We had to ask for silverware and plates after our appetizers were delivered and I had to ask for my soup after the entrees arrived. No extra bread without asking other than what was brought for the baba. But the food was good, the chicken shawarma had the right amount of char and it was very tender and juicy. I will be back since it is on the way between my two offices and a better choice than most of the places we go for lunch (with the exception of Patty's, Elephant and LP Express).
  • Post #11 - June 29th, 2009, 3:20 pm
    Post #11 - June 29th, 2009, 3:20 pm Post #11 - June 29th, 2009, 3:20 pm
    In terms of delivery, I have had Pita Kabab delivered to my home in the Peterson/ Cicero area. Perhaps that will give a few an Idea of distances they are willing to travel. Of course, calling them might help also. :wink:

    I can think of other M/E places to go to also,but I have yet to be disappointed in Pita Kabab. Stopping to pick some up in a few minutes.
  • Post #12 - August 15th, 2010, 10:33 pm
    Post #12 - August 15th, 2010, 10:33 pm Post #12 - August 15th, 2010, 10:33 pm
    Prepping for a family bike ride along the Chicago River, we stopped at Pita Kabab for a quick lunch - their combo meal platter was an excellent deal (hubby and I split one, had food left over) and I preferred the schwerma there to the Chicken Schwerma sandwich, which soggied up the nice crispy edges on the chicken. I was curious about the rice accompanying our dish - had an interesting flavor, almost like horchata; not a throwaway side here. Falafel was pretty ordinary, the red meat was good but not outstanding - the schwerma is where it's at.

    I also loved the sambal olek, which is apparently house-made - mine was a good bit thinner and oilier than what Gary pictured.
  • Post #13 - January 26th, 2011, 4:58 pm
    Post #13 - January 26th, 2011, 4:58 pm Post #13 - January 26th, 2011, 4:58 pm
    8-item lunch special, falafel mismanaged, but the rest was tasty. Nice char on the tender chicken and lamb pieces, kefta kabab juicy with good grill char, tasty turmeric toned rice, top tier chicken shawarma and pita. That's only 7, I must be forgetting something, either way for $5.99 Pita Kabab's lunch special is a solid arrow to have in the lunch quiver.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - January 27th, 2011, 1:16 am
    Post #14 - January 27th, 2011, 1:16 am Post #14 - January 27th, 2011, 1:16 am
    Pita Kabob has been a staple of my lunchtime since it is between my two offices. The falafel has been an underwhealming item since they opened and has not improved. Everything else on the menu is really good and the owner is a super nice guy who greets me with a big smile everytime I go there. I have been disappointed with the Chicken Shawarma over the past couple of months (and most recently on Monday), it is not as good as it was in the past. It is underseasoned compared to what it used to be (or maybe it was overseasoned before) though I can't pinpoint what that seasoning would be.

    I do like the new price points on the menu with taking the soup out of the "dinner" so most of them are $6.99 for one meat choice, rice, pita and salad.
  • Post #15 - January 28th, 2011, 6:40 pm
    Post #15 - January 28th, 2011, 6:40 pm Post #15 - January 28th, 2011, 6:40 pm
    Ronna and I had lunch at Pita Kabab today, and it was just just a half click north of godawful. We each ordered an 8-Way lunch special, but were only able to count 7 items on the plate. Perhaps the napkin counts as the 8th. (I would rather have eaten the napkin than some of the things on my plate.)

    A huge portion of boring, but otherwise unobjectionable rice, decent chicken schwarma, and it went downhill fast from there. As noted above, the falafel was a room temperature, dense, and unpalatable blob. Chunks of chicken breast were painfully dry, chunks of lamb were overcooked and chewy, and kefta fragment was mushy and bland. Salad of shredded lettuce and mealy tomato came undressed, but with oil and vinegar on the table. We thought about using the tahini sauce, but it was awful too. (Raw tahini diluted with water does not a tahini sauce make.)

    Sure, the lunch special is $5.99, but I wouldn't call it a bargain at half price. I left most of it on my plate, called an audible, and enjoyed a Nhu Lan bahn mi for 2nd lunch.

    With all of the great Middle Eastern food available in nearby Albany Park, this place isn't worth the virtual ink I just wasted on it. Bleurgh.

    --Rich
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #16 - January 28th, 2011, 7:16 pm
    Post #16 - January 28th, 2011, 7:16 pm Post #16 - January 28th, 2011, 7:16 pm
    I have always enjoyed their chicken schwarma plate with the rice and lentil soup. Their chicken usually has just the right amount of char. Good stuff.
  • Post #17 - January 28th, 2011, 11:56 pm
    Post #17 - January 28th, 2011, 11:56 pm Post #17 - January 28th, 2011, 11:56 pm
    RAB wrote:Chunks of chicken breast were painfully dry, chunks of lamb were overcooked and chewy, and kefta fragment was mushy and bland.
    Reason I posted about my recent lunch is I was a little surprised how good everything was, with the exception of the falafel. Juicy well cooked meats with spots of grill char, chicken shawarma particularly tasty, the opposite of your dessicated disaster.

    Nice Kuhdo on Nhu Lan though.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #18 - January 29th, 2011, 2:42 am
    Post #18 - January 29th, 2011, 2:42 am Post #18 - January 29th, 2011, 2:42 am
    Sometimes you eat the kabab, and other times the kabab eats you.
    --Rich
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #19 - August 9th, 2011, 8:42 pm
    Post #19 - August 9th, 2011, 8:42 pm Post #19 - August 9th, 2011, 8:42 pm
    We had lunch there today. The place looks a lot better, the menu has expanded, and the food is really good. We had the chicken and beef shwarma sandwiches and a salad. All were great.
  • Post #20 - March 4th, 2013, 10:57 am
    Post #20 - March 4th, 2013, 10:57 am Post #20 - March 4th, 2013, 10:57 am
    Had a long overdue dinner at PK last night with my wife. I had the three way combo. Wife had the lamb shank along with lentil soup. All in - a good meal. Moist, tender, seasoned well.

    Wife had leftover lamb shank for today's lunch. I was in the Clean Plate Club - except for some rice.

    Gotta remember to add this spot into the lunch rotation.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #21 - March 4th, 2013, 7:00 pm
    Post #21 - March 4th, 2013, 7:00 pm Post #21 - March 4th, 2013, 7:00 pm
    Dave148 wrote:Had a long overdue dinner at PK last night with my wife. I had the three way combo. Wife had the lamb shank along with lentil soup. All in - a good meal. Moist, tender, seasoned well.

    Wife had leftover lamb shank for today's lunch. I was in the Clean Plate Club - except for some rice.

    Gotta remember to add this spot into the lunch rotation.


    We now live in a world where Subway wants $6, $7 up to $8.50 for a sub, and where Wendy's and its ilk try to disguise harsh price increases with very clever marketing scams [right size, right price, double stack, double price!]. Pita Kabob merely wants to sell you a nice lunch special with a variety of items for $6. I find their quality on par with Salaam at a lower price point for lunch. For $7 they had an all day fish special that was quite ample and quite good. Pita Kabob is on the way up when a lot of other places are either decontenting quality or really raising prices {I am looking at you, $8+ thai noodle specials}.
  • Post #22 - February 6th, 2014, 8:37 am
    Post #22 - February 6th, 2014, 8:37 am Post #22 - February 6th, 2014, 8:37 am
    Cold, blustery wind put me in the mood for hummus and Fatoush salad. Right, doesn't really make much sense, but that's what I wanted on the way home from work last night.

    I've been happy enough with Shawarma Inn for my late(ish) night Middle Eastern needs, but remembered a reference to Central Asian at Pita Kabab on LTH and decided to check it out. Happy I did, beet borscht hearty with chunks of meat made a satisfying companion to tasty fatoush and hummus.

    I shared the borscht with my bride, which she pronounced Delicious.

    Pita Kabab, Central Asian menu

    Image

    Pita Kabab
    5701 N California Ave
    Chicago, IL 60659
    773-271-2771
    11am - 6am

    Shawarma Inn
    5523 N Lincoln Ave
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-271-7777
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #23 - February 8th, 2014, 9:30 am
    Post #23 - February 8th, 2014, 9:30 am Post #23 - February 8th, 2014, 9:30 am
    I have to say, I am loving the fact that there is Central Asian food popping up all over the place these days! I love me some manty, but they are a pain in the neck to make. I once had an audience-participation dumpling party for a friend's birthday (3 kinds: manty, Chinese pork and shrimp, and an invented mushroom and ginger kind for the vegans). I was finding flour in the unlikeliest places for ages.
  • Post #24 - February 2nd, 2015, 7:48 pm
    Post #24 - February 2nd, 2015, 7:48 pm Post #24 - February 2nd, 2015, 7:48 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Reason I posted about my recent lunch is I was a little surprised how good everything was, with the exception of the falafel.

    Today's Pita Kabab lunch special was on the opposite end of the spectrum, rice ok, chicken shawarma edible, the rest, in particular desiccated chunks of grey/brown mystery meat, dismal.

    Pita Kabab Lunch Special 2.2.15
    Image

    I neglected to take a picture of the Cental Asian whiteboard menu, but there were a few additions to the one I posted up-thread and its my feeling that's the way to go.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #25 - January 10th, 2018, 3:22 pm
    Post #25 - January 10th, 2018, 3:22 pm Post #25 - January 10th, 2018, 3:22 pm
    Sad to report that Pita Kabob is no more. Confirmed by my drive by earlier today. For Rent sign in the window along with one of those big lime stickers plastered on the front door.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny

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