I’ve probably never thought that Middle Eastern food is the type of food that needs innovation and modernization. Give me some well-executed schwarma nearly any day of the week and I will be a happy man. Yet, Pita Jungle not only exists in the Phoenix area, but it has multiple locations that demonstrate a pattern of success. Oh, and it just oozes modern Middle Eastern.
Sure, hummus and schwarma are on the menu as old standbys, but it would be kind of silly to order them. Instead, we started out our meal with Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus. It was a beautiful thing to behold, aside from the random diced tomatoes and onions in the middle of the dip. Moreover, it weirdly only came with one piece of pita and any extra was an upcharge.
For my main course, I ordered the Asada Lavash Pizza they were offering as a special that night. Lavash Pizza is always on the menu, which is another one of their modern takes, but the asada aspect was unique to that night. It included the aforementioned asada, crema, avocado, some of that cilantro avocado hummus and a few veggies that I had no interest in. The result looked like a really sexy matzah pizza, and tasted even better than that. There was plenty of beef which tasted like you would expect Mexican beef at a Middle Eastern restaurant to taste (solid, but confusing) and the rest of the ingredients melded together really well.
Pita Jungle is essentially the Middle Eastern food you never asked for, but are glad to have. I’m still on the lookout for the more traditional side of Middle Eastern (which Pita Jungle has, but at a premium), but I have no qualms with what Pita Jungle has been able to do to bring the old into the new.