Between the intoxicating smells and the out-the-door line of patient devotees, I had a good feeling about Pita Inn from the get-go, excitedly planning my next visit before my first bite. The original Skokie outpost has been going strong since 1982 and, having lived in the North 'burbs my entire life, I'm embarrassed (and really sad) to say that, until last week, I had never been here. I started making up for lost time with a much-need Mediterranean feast of lentil soup, chicken shawarma, fattoush salad and some of the best hummus I've had in quite a while, served with the eatery's famous namesake: fresh baked pita bread, prepared on site daily.
Good luck finding more bang for your buck anywhere else, as even fast food often doesn't come this cheap. Aside from unbelievably low prices, Pita Inn is adored for its freshness, cleanliness and, most importantly, to-die-for lunch and dinner.
The vegetarian combination plate, one of the pricier items on the menu at $6.95, comes with (brace yourself) three falafel, three stuffed grape leaves, hummus, baba ghannoug, Jerusalem salad and tabouleh salad (pita too, of course). For the meat eaters, there's shish kabob, lamb kabob and beef or chicken shawarma. And you can't go wrong with one of the ever-popular pita pocket sandwiches (say that five times fast), which range from $2.75-$3.95. Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., you can get the business lunch special: a combination of shish kabob, kifta kabob, shawarma and falafel served with rice pilaf, salad and pita for an astounding $3.95. Seriously.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Natalie Goldstein