Pita Souvli

Pita Souvli
1940 S. Alma School
Chandler, AZ 85248
(480) 907-5893

We were sitting at home unpacking one night when some friends called. They wanted to know if we would join them at Pita Souvli. Being somewhat hungry and always up for a new restaurant we said “sure, why not?” We found the restaurant almost by accident. It’s near the Mountainside Fitness right next to the Cactus Bike shop. This is a store front that has almost no exposure to the main parking lot. It’s not easy to find! Insiders tip: there is rarely used parking directly in front of the door on the very south side of the shopping center.

Pita Souvli is done up in a very modern, but not overly modern motif. It has nice bright colors and a cool stone bar. There are high top and regular tables through out the restaurant giving everybody a chance to sit as they wish. It’s a smallish intimate restaurant perfect for a date or just to meet friends.

The menu includes standard Mediterranean fare including humus, tzatziki and many types of souvlaki. Appetizers start at less than $4 while meals go up to $13. This is a pretty inexpensive place to have a nice lunch or dinner.

I like humus, tzatziki, gyros and all manner of Mediterranean food. I will state up front that under no conditions will I eat dolmades (stuffed grape leaves). Unfortunately eating Dolmades gives me the feeling that I’m eating a cigar butt. This isn’t a reflection on any particular restaurant, just one of my personal peccadilloes.

The humus was very good. I prefer mine with a bit of tahini added, but it was very good. The tzatziki was a little thin but also very good. Both appetizers were served with hot fresh pita bread sliced into wedges and sprinkled with herbs. Not bad, now to see about dinner.

We ordered the chicken breast souvlaki platter. The platters are served with roasted potatoes, a Greek salad, a side of tzatziki and pita bread. In too many restaurants the Greek salad is a weak side of wilted lettuce designed to take up space. Here, we were in for a surprise! The very friendly and personable waitress brought out several large, delicious looking platters of souvlaki heaped with food. The chopped roasted potatoes seemed odd at first on a souvlaki platter, but they were excellent. The heavily seasoned chicken was flavorful and tender. The Greek salad was fresh and delicious.

We didn’t have room to try the obligatory baklava, but perhaps another day.

I would rate this restaurant with four stars. I would recommend trying it.

Cornish Pasty Co.

Cornish Pasty Co.
http://www.cornishpastyco.com
1941 W. Guadalupe Rd #101
Mesa, AZ 85202
(480) 838-3586

Legend has it Cornish miners carried pasty’s (pronounced pahs tee) for lunch. Some claim the recipes date from the 12th century which is possible, but the earliest recorded recipe is from the mid 18th century. Miner’s wives would bake meat and vegetables into pastry dough. The food would stay hot and fresh contained in the dough until lunch time. Supposedly they could stay hot for eight hours if properly wrapped.

I can honestly say I’ve never worked a tin mine, I am however glad that others did, as we are the beneficiaries of their culinary heritage. The Cornish pasty Co. is a nice restaurant on the south east corner of the intersection. As you walk up you’ll see a brick storefront with an outdoor patio in front. Upon entering you are greeted with three long tables, a bar and a few small tables for two. It’s an unusual arrangement but seems to work. The juke box in the back plays a variety of songs all of them contemporary American.

The bar overlooks the kitchen where the pasty’s are prepared. You can see the cooks working with good basic ingredients to prepare the meals. You won’t actually see them prepare your meal as they take 45 minutes just to cook. The pasty’s are prepared ahead of time and finished for you when you order. The good news is that you can get a variety of delicious pastys in a reasonable amount of time. The disadvantage to this is that the pastys cannot be changed or customized. If you want an ingredient removed, it’s not possible.

The menu covers pasty from the more traditional dishes such as beef, shepherd’s pie and pork to the more modern such as Chicken Alfredo. The pasty’s are served hot and fresh. They are properly seasoned, not too spicy and very flavorful. The crust alone deserves a trip to check it out. The crusts are all homemade, delicious and flaky.

I had the pork pasty with the red wine sauce. The pasty and the source were both excellent. The roasted potatoes were delicious, though swimming in butter. You should be aware the pastys are made with a substantial amount of butter and all of the dishes are fairly high in fat. Delicious for me, problematic if you can’t eat fat.

The only negative is that the service is somewhat indifferent. I would rate them as 4 stars and I would go back.