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Matt Gentry | The Roanoke Times
Mixed kabob, of chicken and beef, with tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions, served with a side of hummus, and basmati rice with fresh baked pita, and side salad. Fifteen bean soup was also offered at Pita Vera 235 North Main Street in Blacksburg. The restaurant’s menu is billed as Healthful Natural Mediterranean Cuisine.
Matt Gentry | The Roanoke Times
Pita Vera 235 North Main Street in Blacksburg, billed as, Healthful Natural Mediterranean Cuisine.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I recently had the pleasure of dining at Pita Vera in downtown Blacksburg. Pita Vera offers Mediterranean cuisine with a strong Lebanese leaning. A healthy sprinkling of deli-style sandwiches and American stand-ins ensure offerings to satisfy nearly any palate.
For my latest visit (I eat fairly often at Pita Vera), I began my meal with one of three soup specials proposed by a friendly and attentive waitress.
The black bean soup featured soft black beans stewed in a chicken stock base with a slight chipotle kick, topped with a dollop of yogurt, a splash of pico de gallo and a few leaves of fragrant cilantro. The robust flavors paired excellently and made the perfect appetizer for lunch on a cold day.
We ordered a small, 10-inch cheese pizza for our daughters. The pie had a light, floury crust, not overly crispy. Quite thoughtfully, our server made sure that the pizza was relatively cool upon arrival so that our girls would not have to wait to dig in.
I altered from my usual ful mudammas fava bean wrap to sample the sujuk wrap. The startlingly pink and slightly salty ground beef of the sujuk wrap is very tasty, and the imported spices are well married to the flavors of the hummus spread. A few slices of tomato coupled with the crunch of some crispy iceberg lettuce round out the texture of the wrap. It is a pleasure to eat.
My wife ordered the suluk calzone, a deviation from her usual order of lahmbageen (a wonderful pomegranate-ground beef flatbread). The suluk is a whole-wheat calzone stuffed with feta, Swiss chard and lemon juice for a light, Mediterranean flavor. This is a clever culinary trick where the lemon juice wilts the chard inside the calzone, making for a tried-and-true flavor combination.
I finished off my meal with baklava and coffee. The baklava was much drier than I expected and much less sweet than usual. It made for a good pairing with the coffee but would feel a bit lacking as a stand-alone dessert. The coffee was much better than I anticipated, and is probably my new favorite coffee in downtown Blacksburg.
As with most foreign cuisine, the road to a good meal is often made through pleasurable experimentation. While I enjoy such experimentation, I have heard raves about the sandwiches and salads at Pita Vera and know many who eat there on a regular basis simply for the deli.
From the crazy ceiling tiles (I have often wondered who gets to decorate these) to the wonderful view through large, Main Street-facing windows, Pita Vera offers a very comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Rarely crowded and with affordable prices, reliable service and dependable quality, Pita Vera is a good standby in downtown Blacksburg.
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