PITA Mediterranean Eatery in Collegetown is a simply named restaurant at 1400 Mount Hope Avenue – the heart of the University of Rochester’s Collegetown. It is a Mediterranean-eatery with Lebanon being the country of the core cuisine offerings, with a few traditional American items.

Mediterranean Cuisine

Mediterranean food is frequently categorized into three regions: North African, covering Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia; Eastern Mediterranean (where PITA lands) that includes Egypt, Greece, Israel, Palestine, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey; and Southern European that also may encompass Greece as well as Italy, France, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, and Portugal.

Mediterranean cuisine has been popular in the US for a long time, but it has reached new heights in recent years with its variety, rich flavors, and heart-healthy offerings. You’ll find a wide range of Mediterranean food information here, including a bit of its history, popular recipes, and cooking techniques. The specific ‘Mediterranean Diet’ that people have been utilizing in recent years is examined, but it also highlights the differences between this diet-trend versus the idea that Mediterranean eating is really more of a holistic approach and cultural lifestyle.

Where?

PITA restaurant is in the former Bruegger’s Bagels location on Mount Hope. It has ample sitting room for its brisk lunch crowd. It has a very spacious main room with individual tables mainly for four. The restaurant seems to be able to accommodate 65 to 75 diners with a side room available for another 15 to 20. There are also outside tables for good weather dining, so seating should never be too much of a worry.

The Menu

The menu includes Appetizers and Salads – most appetizers are vegetarian but chicken wings are also included. Wings are six for $4.49 or a dozen for $8.49 with sauce choices being Mild Mediterranean, Honey BBQ, or American-style Red Hot. Hummus is $5.49, while Baba Ghannouj or a 6-piece Falafel are both $6.49. Greek, Fattoush, Tabouli, and Spinach Salads are each $6.49, while the Artichoke Salad is $7.49 and Stuffed Grape leaves (stuffed with Greek Salad or meat if preferred) are $9.99.

Plates are served with freshly baked pita bread – hence the restaurant’s name! – and include various Basmati Rice Plates (with beans, meat, or shrimp $7.99, $8.99, $9.99 respectively – or just $3.99 for a plain Basmati Rice Plate.) Other plates include the delicious Chicken Shawarma, Mashawi, and Vegetarian plates — $12.99, $14.99, and $11.99. Various Pita Pockets are available from $5.49 to $6.99. So there are ample choices for reasonable prices.

The ovens for the Manakeesh (Lebanese Pizza) were not yet ready when I visited (I was assured that the ovens have to be just right to make excellent Manakeesh), so I look forward to it on a return visit. The American items include Burgers and Fries for $5.99, Lentil Soup for $3.99, and Chicken Soup (big enough to make a meal by itself) for $4.99. The dessert menu includes just one item and it is the only one needed: truly delicious Baklava for $2.99.

PITA is a fine addition to Mount Hope and Elmwood’s Collegetown. It really is starting to thrive down there, so make sure you visit soon if you haven’t. If you have, I’m quite certain you’ll be back! Check here for information about Collegtown dining, shopping, leasing, and events. Some upcoming events include an Outdoor Movie Night in July, and some August offerings. See you in Collegetown!

If you’d like more information on other cool Rochester hot spots including neighborhoods that offer options , contact me today!

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