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Pita Inn Maiden Voyage

Pita Inn Maiden Voyage
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  • Post #61 - December 4th, 2008, 3:49 pm
    Post #61 - December 4th, 2008, 3:49 pm Post #61 - December 4th, 2008, 3:49 pm
    Twenty years ago, it would have been unheard of to have a messed up order, at least not with this lady working the order counter:

    Cathy2 wrote:At the original Skokie location, there used to be this woman order processor with a fabulous memory. She wrote nothing down, took multiple orders without missing a beat. There were occasions when I came back 30 minutes later to collect my dessert paid earlier. As I was approaching, she would already have my dessert in her hand ready to pass to me with no need to remind her.

    I haven't been to Pita Inn in over a year. I don't miss it, because there are simply other options without the disapointment that began to be a regular feature to a PI visit.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #62 - December 5th, 2008, 5:14 pm
    Post #62 - December 5th, 2008, 5:14 pm Post #62 - December 5th, 2008, 5:14 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote: Maybe I'll relent after some time passes but I'm very upset right now. All I have to compare them to are the dozens of other restaurants from which we regularly order. Pita Inn Skokie has, by far, the worst success rate of any of them.

    =R=


    I didn't check to see if you've posted about them previously, but whenever I have a taste for Middle Eastern food I'll go to Basha. Same general menu, but much more care is exhibited in making the food--- and making sure that your order is correct.

    Basha
    3445 Dempster St
    Skokie, IL 60076
    (847) 329-8855
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #63 - December 5th, 2008, 6:42 pm
    Post #63 - December 5th, 2008, 6:42 pm Post #63 - December 5th, 2008, 6:42 pm
    cito wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote: Maybe I'll relent after some time passes but I'm very upset right now. All I have to compare them to are the dozens of other restaurants from which we regularly order. Pita Inn Skokie has, by far, the worst success rate of any of them.

    =R=


    I didn't check to see if you've posted about them previously, but whenever I have a taste for Middle Eastern food I'll go to Basha. Same general menu, but much more care is exhibited in making the food--- and making sure that your order is correct.

    Basha
    3445 Dempster St
    Skokie, IL 60076
    (847) 329-8855

    Thanks, cito. Basha is definitely going into the queue.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #64 - December 5th, 2008, 7:21 pm
    Post #64 - December 5th, 2008, 7:21 pm Post #64 - December 5th, 2008, 7:21 pm
    Don't mean to rain on the parade - by all means try Basha out for yourself, but the food I had at Basha was rather uninspiring. Dry chicken kabob, iceberg lettuce salad. Nothing extraordinary, at best serviceable Middle Eastern food. In that respect, I thought it was very similar to Pita Inn (serviceable) with the exception that the Pita Inn has much fresher food IMHO.

    While I have experienced some problems with my order (the Dempster Pita Inn is the only place I've been), it has always been remedied - but of course that is eating in, and I have the privilege of being able to bark at the cashier guys in Arabic.

    That said, my go to on Dempster has always been Pita Inn. Haven't tried Larsa's yet, but intrigued........
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #65 - December 5th, 2008, 7:36 pm
    Post #65 - December 5th, 2008, 7:36 pm Post #65 - December 5th, 2008, 7:36 pm
    Habibi wrote:Don't mean to rain on the parade - by all means try Basha out for yourself, but the food I had at Basha was rather uninspiring. Dry chicken kabob, iceberg lettuce salad. Nothing extraordinary, at best serviceable Middle Eastern food. In that respect, I thought it was very similar to Pita Inn (serviceable) with the exception that the Pita Inn has much fresher food IMHO.

    While I have experienced some problems with my order (the Dempster Pita Inn is the only place I've been), it has always been remedied - but of course that is eating in, and I have the privilege of being able to bark at the cashier guys in Arabic.

    That said, my go to on Dempster has always been Pita Inn. Haven't tried Larsa's yet, but intrigued........

    I like Larsa's but the lack of traffic there doesn't always inspire confidence.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #66 - December 5th, 2008, 8:27 pm
    Post #66 - December 5th, 2008, 8:27 pm Post #66 - December 5th, 2008, 8:27 pm
    I've never gotten anything but freshly-made food at Larsa's.

    Basha is quite good as well*. Either is a far better choice than Pita Inn.



    *I've never had chicken there, though. Larsa's chicken kabob (which I get only because it's part of the combo plate) is outstanding.
  • Post #67 - May 1st, 2009, 1:34 pm
    Post #67 - May 1st, 2009, 1:34 pm Post #67 - May 1st, 2009, 1:34 pm
    What am I missing? I drive Dempster every day. I turned into Pita Inn (next to Poochie's) and it was just a middle eastern grocery store. Is there a secret kitchen I didn't know about??? All I wanted was just a good falafel sandwich... :(
  • Post #68 - May 1st, 2009, 1:39 pm
    Post #68 - May 1st, 2009, 1:39 pm Post #68 - May 1st, 2009, 1:39 pm
    einberliner wrote:What am I missing? I drive Dempster every day. I turned into Pita Inn (next to Poochie's) and it was just a middle eastern grocery store. Is there a secret kitchen I didn't know about??? All I wanted was just a good falafel sandwich... :(


    There is a free standing Pita Inn restaurant just to the East of the Grocery Store.

    Pita Inn
    3910 Dempster St
    Skokie, IL 60076
    (847) 677-0211

    Pita Inn Market & Bakery
    3924 Dempster St
    Skokie, IL 60076
    (847) 675-0025
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #69 - May 1st, 2009, 1:41 pm
    Post #69 - May 1st, 2009, 1:41 pm Post #69 - May 1st, 2009, 1:41 pm
    http://www.pita-inn.com/locations.php

    You were a few feet away. There's a grocery/bakery at 3924, and a restaurant at 3910.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #70 - May 1st, 2009, 1:48 pm
    Post #70 - May 1st, 2009, 1:48 pm Post #70 - May 1st, 2009, 1:48 pm
    einberliner wrote:What am I missing? I drive Dempster every day. I turned into Pita Inn (next to Poochie's) and it was just a middle eastern grocery store. Is there a secret kitchen I didn't know about??? All I wanted was just a good falafel sandwich... :(

    Poochies is not next to Pita Inn. Pita Inn is just east of Crawford roughly between a Dunkin Donuts and a Greek take-out place.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #71 - May 1st, 2009, 2:10 pm
    Post #71 - May 1st, 2009, 2:10 pm Post #71 - May 1st, 2009, 2:10 pm
    einberliner wrote:What am I missing? I drive Dempster every day. I turned into Pita Inn (next to Poochie's) and it was just a middle eastern grocery store. Is there a secret kitchen I didn't know about??? All I wanted was just a good falafel sandwich... :(


    I am sorry you didn't ask them in the market. The restaurant is just east. A few feet away from where you were. The Dunkin' Doughnuts is just east of the Pita Inn restaurant. All of my directions apply solely to the Skokie location.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #72 - May 1st, 2009, 7:42 pm
    Post #72 - May 1st, 2009, 7:42 pm Post #72 - May 1st, 2009, 7:42 pm
    Larsa is pretty damn good. Very smoky baba ghannouj.
  • Post #73 - August 31st, 2009, 10:09 pm
    Post #73 - August 31st, 2009, 10:09 pm Post #73 - August 31st, 2009, 10:09 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    eatchicago wrote:FWIW, I've been eating at Pita Inn for nearly 20 years without a single wrong order or other associated mishap.

    Best,
    Michael

    I wish I could say the same, Michael. I want to love these guys but the mishaps I've experienced have been fairly frequent over the past few years. As I described way up thread, we experienced some quality issues a while back (which were resolved) and mistakes on carry-out orders seem to happen to us with regularity (sandwiches instead of entrees, regular pita instead of whole wheat, missing tahina and hot sauces, etc.) :(

    I'd posit that the chances of something going wrong increase with larger orders, but the most recent double-charging experience I described above happened when there were just 3 of us at the table. I just never feel good when the remedy to a problem requires an additional visit to the place where the problem occurred. I'm not really sure why the guy at the register couldn't just give me back my $8 when I took the Chicken Shawarma entree we never ordered back to the counter. There was no dispute about the error, only an apparent inability to remedy it at the time it happened.

    =R=

    The streak is intact. I cannot remember the last time Pita Inn didn't screw up our lunch order and it happened again today, when 2 Jerusalem Salads were completely left off our order. Of course, we were charged for them. They always offer to 'credit' us but since it's in Skokie and our office is in Highland Park, it's not something that can be dealt with until 'next time.' Very annoying (still).

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #74 - September 1st, 2009, 5:03 am
    Post #74 - September 1st, 2009, 5:03 am Post #74 - September 1st, 2009, 5:03 am
    Ronnie, I happen to love Pita Inn. I've never had an order screwed up (but I've never gotten carry out). What surprises me about your story isn't that they continue to screw up your order, but that you get carry out for lunch in Skokie to bring back to HP. I like Pita Inn, but I don't think I'd travel nearly that far for it.
  • Post #75 - September 1st, 2009, 8:52 am
    Post #75 - September 1st, 2009, 8:52 am Post #75 - September 1st, 2009, 8:52 am
    Darren72 wrote:Ronnie, I happen to love Pita Inn. I've never had an order screwed up (but I've never gotten carry out). What surprises me about your story isn't that they continue to screw up your order, but that you get carry out for lunch in Skokie to bring back to HP. I like Pita Inn, but I don't think I'd travel nearly that far for it.

    This generally happens when one person is coming up to the office from the city during the day. That's also why the person who picks up doesn't know what's been ordered and cannot really check the order before leaving the store -- we call it in from HP.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #76 - September 1st, 2009, 9:01 am
    Post #76 - September 1st, 2009, 9:01 am Post #76 - September 1st, 2009, 9:01 am
    It's a little less frenetic at the Wheeling location, so maybe there would be less of a chance of a carry-out screw up. And the quality is every bit as solid as the Skokie store.
  • Post #77 - September 1st, 2009, 2:05 pm
    Post #77 - September 1st, 2009, 2:05 pm Post #77 - September 1st, 2009, 2:05 pm
    I went to Northwestern for Undergrad & Grad School. An old roomie from Evanston was in town from Seattle. Met her, w/ her kids, another old Evanston roomie w/ her kids, another Evanston friend, along w/ my husband for dinner. Great food, no mix ups at the Dempster location. It was dinner & bustling. I rarely order take- out from Pita Inn.

    It's weird b/c despite the apparent bustling & chaotic nature they never get our food orders wrong. Perhaps they just save all of the screw ups for the pick up orders.

    Ronnie- maybe you & your crew just have to go eat in. I know that's not much help. It sucks when you like the food but they keep messing up the order.

    The reason I mention eating in is there was a crew from Chase Bank eating in at the Brown Sack earlier today.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #78 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:24 am
    Post #78 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:24 am Post #78 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:24 am
    Ronnie_: Given the consistency of the screw-ups, the mischievous part of me can't help wondering if your coworker is just picking up whatever he or she wants every time regardless of what you ordered in advance.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #79 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:45 am
    Post #79 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:45 am Post #79 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:45 am
    Mostly off topic, but...

    * The pita inn businessman's special (weekdays until 3 pm) is an incredible deal imo...it's basically a middle eastern combo plate;
    * Also love their lemonade which is the only product of it's kind that's not overly sweetened.

    Back on topic, we carry out from Dempster about once a week and have done so for 10+ years......never had so much as a missing falafel.
  • Post #80 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:52 am
    Post #80 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:52 am Post #80 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:52 am
    We've been loyal customers for 27 or so years. I'm still astonished that their prices have barely changed in all that time. Even when we do unusually large orders they get them right. I'm not suggesting that the people complaining don't have a right to be upset if their order gets messed up, but I can't believe it's widespread. Given the insane volume they do at their peak hours I'm pretty impressed with their organization. And I love the food.
  • Post #81 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:58 am
    Post #81 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:58 am Post #81 - September 2nd, 2009, 11:58 am
    Maybe after we started calling to complain about missing items, they made a note of our phone number and now, whenever they see it come up, they purposely hold a few items back for their own amusement. :D

    I enjoy PI's food but the consistent screw-ups we've experienced make me glad that I have a place to vent about/chronicle them. As most of us know, when the lunch shows up at the office and someone's order is wrong or completely missing, that's a very annoying situation. When it happens consistently, it's hard -- at least for me -- not to get pissed off about it.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #82 - September 2nd, 2009, 12:05 pm
    Post #82 - September 2nd, 2009, 12:05 pm Post #82 - September 2nd, 2009, 12:05 pm
    pairs4life wrote:Ronnie- maybe you & your crew just have to go eat in. I know that's not much help. It sucks when you like the food but they keep messing up the order.

    This isn't really a possibility because unless it's an exceptional situation, we cannot be out of the office that long. Our global dealings don't stop with the local lunch hour. That said, I do enjoy eating at Pita Inn but even then, there can be problems. I mentioned upthread a screw-up (at the Wheeling location) where we received and were charged for an extra entree that we didn't order. The register operator could not figure out how to give us a refund on the spot and instead wrote a note on my receipt, so that I could get the entree on my next visit, at no charge. By the time I returned, the entire thermal paper receipt -- which I'd kept in my wallet -- had faded out to the point where it was entirely unreadable. Oh well.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #83 - September 3rd, 2009, 11:22 am
    Post #83 - September 3rd, 2009, 11:22 am Post #83 - September 3rd, 2009, 11:22 am
    I go back and forth about Pita Inn. On the one hand it is mostly good and it is CHEAP. On the other hand, there is what I believe to be a far superior option much closer to me in Highland Park in Mizrahi Grill. Granted there is some difference in the menu but, i believe these differences favor Mizrahi Grill. Also Mizrahi grill is probable three times as expensive as Pita Inn.

    Side by side I think the schwarma at Mizrahi is far superior to the product at Pita Inn and the fries at Mizrahi are great. I love the Kifta Kabob at Pita Inn but would probably never order it if they had a decent Schwarma--i am always dissapointed with their version which is very dry nine out of ten times. If you haven't been back to Mizrahi Grill in a while I recommend that you check them out again, they have worked a lot of the kinks out and I love the food that they are turning out.
  • Post #84 - September 3rd, 2009, 12:48 pm
    Post #84 - September 3rd, 2009, 12:48 pm Post #84 - September 3rd, 2009, 12:48 pm
    The kosher Taboun opened it's Skokie outlet on Dempster close to 94 a while back. Their prices are significantly higher (kosher - duh) but they do offer a broader menu. Their hummus with a nicely sauced portion of sliced sauteed mushrooms elevates a standard side dish to a new level. Their chicken shawarma is also excellent. There are times when I want Pita Inn but other times only Taboun will suffice.
  • Post #85 - September 6th, 2009, 5:50 am
    Post #85 - September 6th, 2009, 5:50 am Post #85 - September 6th, 2009, 5:50 am
    I'm spending quite a lot of time in Skokie this weekend, with just short breaks for meals. Pita Inn has been fantastic for this purpose, and I'm glad to have been able to try it for the first (and then the second) time. I found the schwarma particularly juicy and flavorful. Actually liked the chicken better than the beef. Falafel were terrific too - second only to Salam in my book (and better than Salam if you don't get Salam's right out of the fryer)..
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #86 - September 6th, 2009, 10:00 am
    Post #86 - September 6th, 2009, 10:00 am Post #86 - September 6th, 2009, 10:00 am
    Kennyz wrote:I'm spending quite a lot of time in Skokie this weekend, with just short breaks for meals. Pita Inn has been fantastic for this purpose, and I'm glad to have been able to try it for the first (and then the second) time. I found the schwarma particularly juicy and flavorful. Actually liked the chicken better than the beef. Falafel were terrific too - second only to Salam in my book (and better than Salam if you don't get Salam's right out of the fryer)..



    I'm glad you like it. You have to ask them for it, but you can also get a small plate of pickled turnips & olives (it isn't on the menu). Try their baba ghanoush. You can also go next door to the shop for tubs of hummus, baba, & pita to go at reasonable prices.

    If you have time, head on over to Evanston at Chicago & Main for Cross Rhodes. This is a Greek American style family restaurant known for large portions of good food. I used to think it served 1 of the best roasted chickens in the world. Try the Greek Villager salad w/ the fries on top.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #87 - September 6th, 2009, 11:36 am
    Post #87 - September 6th, 2009, 11:36 am Post #87 - September 6th, 2009, 11:36 am
    iblock9 wrote:I go back and forth about Pita Inn. On the one hand it is mostly good and it is CHEAP. On the other hand, there is what I believe to be a far superior option much closer to me in Highland Park in Mizrahi Grill. Granted there is some difference in the menu but, i believe these differences favor Mizrahi Grill. Also Mizrahi grill is probable three times as expensive as Pita Inn.

    I'm with you. I used to be a regular at Pita Inn, but haven't been back in years. It's not that it's gotten worse (I don't think so, at least) - it's just that I've discovered other places that pretty much blow it out of the water. Aside from their admittedly excellent chicken shawarma*, I'm hard-pressed to think of anything Pita Inn does that's not easily surpassed at another nearby Middle Eastern joint. Maybe the falafel -- Mizrahi's is far superior, but it's not that nearby. Other than that, the obvious advantage of PI is the insanely low prices. But those other places aren't exactly expensive, either. I've lived in many towns where Pita Inn would be my favorite restaurant, but fortunately this is not one of them.




    *The less said about that gyros-lite crap they pass off as beef "shawarma" the better.
  • Post #88 - September 6th, 2009, 2:33 pm
    Post #88 - September 6th, 2009, 2:33 pm Post #88 - September 6th, 2009, 2:33 pm
    cilantro wrote:Maybe the falafel -- Mizrahi's is far superior, but it's not that nearby.

    Gotta respectfully disagree with you on this. Mizrahi certainly makes a distinctive version but for my palate its somewhat bland and uninteresting. In spite of the repeated service gaffes I've experienced at PI, I still like most of their food.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #89 - September 6th, 2009, 2:37 pm
    Post #89 - September 6th, 2009, 2:37 pm Post #89 - September 6th, 2009, 2:37 pm
    I should have specified falafel sandwich. All the stuff they top it with does it for me -- not to mention the fluffy pita. The falafel itself, I would not necessarily put above Pita Inn's (and will readily admit that you are probably more likely to get a freshly-fried batch at PI).
  • Post #90 - September 6th, 2009, 2:57 pm
    Post #90 - September 6th, 2009, 2:57 pm Post #90 - September 6th, 2009, 2:57 pm
    cilantro wrote:I should have specified falafel sandwich. All the stuff they top it with does it for me -- not to mention the fluffy pita. The falafel itself, I would not necessarily put above Pita Inn's (and will readily admit that you are probably more likely to get a freshly-fried batch at PI).

    Yes, Mizrahi's Israeli-style topping array -- which includes french fries -- is wonderful and I do enjoy their fluffy pita, too. I also like their shawarma (lamb and turkey) more than PI's beef shawarma but less than PI's chicken shawarma, mentioned above by Kenny.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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