If it’s one thing Katie and I miss, it’s the falafel from Olive Branch in downtown Naperville. It was a tiny restaurant that could easily be passed up, but if they didn’t make the greatest falafel, falafel sandwiches and stuffed grape leaves I’ve ever had. One day they were gone, replaced by a pizza place, which was then replaced by Olive Branch, only to become a completely empty store front.So, looking for a good falafel sandwich in the suburbs, a friend recommended That Pita Place on Ogden Ave. While not a traditional Middle Eastern restaurant by any stretch of the imagination, they do offer a falafel sandwich, and that’s all I needed to hear.
The restaurant feels more like a sandwich or hot dog joint. You almost expect to see a Vienna Beef sign lit up in the window. The store is small, with maybe only 5 or 6 tables, but with a place like this, are you really looking for a classy sit down joint? Hell no! Pita! Now!
Everything from falafel, to stir-fry to meat kabobs is, like the name says, stuffed into a pita. You’re given your choice of toppings, Subway style, it’s wrapped, and you get to eat. It’s a nice alternative from the typical fast food burgers or sub sandwich fare, which is an even nicer break for me, since I’m tired of having my choice between Subway or Potbelly (I don’t like Quiznos or Jimmy Johns).
But how does the food, and in particular the falafel, stand up? Not bad. The falafel sandwich was good, but not amazing. It felt a little light on the falafel to be honest, and the falafel that were in there were a bit dry. On the plus side, the toppings were fresh, and it was a decently sized meal, leaving me full, but not disgustingly so.
Katie’s chicken kabob sandwich earned approval, but she also felt it was missing something. She said the chicken was good, and prepared properly, but overall she wasn’t wowed.
The most disappointing thing about That Pita Place is that it’s simply okay. It’d be easier to say it just wasn’t good at all, because I wanted to really like it. I would go there in a heart beat if I had to choose between them or a chain sandwich shop, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get there.
It’s a mild recommendation. If you’re in the area looking for a quick bite to eat, and you don’t like the usual fast food grease, give it a shot.
That Pita Place
1603 North Aurora Rd. #113
Naperville, IL 60563