Finally, I have a few moments to sit down and write about this amazing little spot that we discovered quite by accident the other day. I was craving hummus, and was actually on my way to Cafe Express, only I couldn’t find a parking lot near the darn place to save my life! So after looping around the parking lot, I found one a few doors down – and right in front of Mama Pita Mediterranean Grill. What? Hey! This place is new – I’ve never seen it before! It looked very inviting, modern, and clean; and it wasn’t overly crowded since it was at the tail-end of the lunch hours. AND….they were sure to have hummus! So I was in, and in I went.
The menu was fairly easy to navigate, even for those who aren’t familiar with Mediterranean cuisine. You start off with choosing your “mama”: pita wrap, platter, or salad. Step 2 is to decide what you will put in, or on, it: dips, salads, and sauces. Step 3 is to decide if you want meat(s) in, or on, it….or a vegetarian choice. Pretty simple…one would think. But it’s the CHOOSING that was difficult – it all looked so good! So my wife and I started perusing the choices, and after about ten minutes were on our way to a very enjoyable lunch.
I chose a platter – not knowing just how much food would be piled on it! I had not realized that we got to choose THREE dips. I went with: hummus (of course), tzatziki, and baba ghannouj. The hummus was not lumpy at all, but rather creamy and not overpowering at all, like some hummus can be. The tzatziki (which is made of strained Greek yogurt, diced cucumber, garlic, olive oil, and dill seasoning) was stronger than most might expect. Upon looking at it, one might be deceived into thinking that it is some kind of sour cream dip, and then be shocked upon tasting the unsweetened flavor of the Greek yogurt. By itself, the tzatziki is probably a bit strong for my taste; but when combined with pita bread or meat, it is a perfect compliment. It is actually a very light dip, which I can appreciate when eating Greek or other Mediterranean food. The baba ghannouj was definitely a new taste and experience for me. When I saw the description read that it was made primarily from eggplant, I thought, “Well, I’ll try this – I LOVE eggplant!” But oh, I was incorrect. It doesn’t taste like eggplant parmigiana, which is my recipe of choice for the particular veggie. Baba ghannouj is an Arab dish that is made from baked or broiled eggplant that has been mashed and mixed with other seasonings. Yeah, that didn’t do much for me. It seemed a bit bitter, and I didn’t detect much in the way of seasonings; so perhaps if it were seasoned more (with, for example, garlic or cumin), then my experience of it would be different. This is not to say that I wouldn’t try it again. Some of the other choices for dips are: carrot hummus, red beet hummus, and garlic aioli.
So after choosing my dips, I had to choose salad(s), if I wanted. I picked a simple salad of greens & tomatoes, topped with a little feta cheese and olive oil. There were plenty of choices, I was just concerned with having way too much food. Some of the other choices in the salad category were: fattouch, tabbouleh, orzo, mediterranean seasoned beans, mediterranean pickles, mama’s potatoes, pickled eggplant, and rice & lentils.
There were three sauces available, if desired: cilantro basil (I got this one – omg WOW! SO good!), red hot chili, and tahini sauce.
For the last of my choices, I had to pick a meat/veggie for my platter. I was torn between chicken and steak at first, but then they gave me a sample of their kafta – lamb & beef combination that is ground with herbs & spices and then grilled. When I tasted the kafta, I was pleased to discover that it wasn’t strong lamb-y taste that you might find on a gyro; the combination with the beef made for a very pleasant, rich meaty flavor. So I got the kafta for my platter, and was soon dipping it in everything: the hummus, the tzatziki, etc. The other choices for meat/veggie are steak, falafel (which is what my wife got and LOVED – to me, it tasted like a Greek hush puppy. I was told it is like a vegetarian hush puppy…LOL), veggie, or “just salads.”
Right before reaching the register (you go through the line, make your choices, and then pay at the end), they had some dessert choices (which I declined). There were cookies, and what looked to be fresh, homemade baklava – goodness it looked amazing. They offer sodas, iced tea, bottled drinks, mint lemonade, beer and wine. There were also kid’s meals available, and I noticed signs for free Wi-Fi as well. The staff were all also very friendly, attentive, and happy to answer any questions or give samples of anything that we wanted to try. Just before we left, one of the managers came to our table and asked how we liked everything and if it was our first time in. He gave us each a business card which also serves as a coupon for free chips & dips to use in the future – score! All in all it was a very enjoyable lunch, and quite the unexpected pleasant surprise. The pricing is moderate, and I think that it cost about $18 for two of us to each have a platter (overflowing with so much food that we both took leftovers home) and drink. I would definitely recommend Mama Pita’s to anyone who wants something outside the everyday burger or taco…check it out!
Mama Pita Mediterranean Grill (The Shops at Legacy)
5800 Legacy Drive, Suite #C6 / Plano, Texas – between the Dallas North Tollway & Bishop Rd.
Phone: 972.403.1609 or 972.403.1215