In the Lougheed area, there are a ton of Korean restaurants, a few Chinese and Japanese places, and even a couple of Greek places, but there is only one Lebanese restaurant, and luckily for us, it's a pretty good place to eat. The restaurant is called Golden Pita Restaurant, located near Red Robin and the recently departed Liquor store. It's a little bit hard to find. It's a tiny spot, with seats for only about 15 people, but it's a local favorite and run by a Lebanese family.
We arrived around 6pm and the restaurant was full of eat-in diners, and people who were getting takeout.
The interior is very basic, with menus and pictures of the food on the walls. You order at the counter and wait until they bring the food to your table. The menu has the usual Mediterranean items, like donairs, falafels, hummous and meat plates. An interesting thing is that they have specials everyday. They also do catering, and the prices are pretty reasonable.
After we ordered, we sat ourselves down at the window seat, right below the TV showing the 6 o'clock news. The wait was a little long for the food--but then they were pretty busy. One bad thing is that they brought out Shane's plate first, while I had to wait for a long while for my plate to arrive.
Shane ordered the Friday special, Lebanese Beef plate ($10). This was strips of beef, with a salad, rice, tomato, tzatziki, pita, and a creamy onion salad. He really enjoyed this. Bits of the beef was a bit tough, but the seasoning was amazing. It was nicely spiced, with notes of cinnamon, and you could tell that the beef had been marinated a long while. We were also surpised by the quality of the sides. I normally don't like Mediterranean style rice, but this was was extremely flavorful. Each rice kernel was plump and had a good firm texture (while still being fully cooked), and it was seasoned to perfection. There were also little noodle-y things in the rice, which I'd never seen before. The salad was fresh, and the dressing was a delicious homemade concoction that tasted a little like Italian dressing. Even the onion salad was great--the creaminess of the sauce quietened the rawness of the onions. Everything was delicious.
I was stealing food from Shane's plate because I was waiting so long, but finally my Veggie plate ($9) arrived. This was a sampler, and it included: 2 falafels, a spinach pie, a veggie pocket, dolmates, tabbouleh, and hummous. The spinach pie was unusual and delicious--it just had spinach inside, unlike the Greek spanakopita, and it was really good, having a slight tangy flavour. The veggie pocket was similar in taste to a potato samosa, and it was good as well. The stuffed grape leaf was really flavourful, tender and with a bright zing. The hummous could have used more lemon, in my opinion, but you could taste the tahini and the chickpeas really well. Tabbouleh is one of my favorite salads, and this one was good--it looked like it had been sitting around a while (the parsley were a little wilted, and there was a lot of liquid), but the the sourness of the salad just brightened up the whole plate.
Finally, the falafels! This was what look so long, because unlike a lot of other places, they were made and fried to order. We ordered the side of falafels ($6), and these plump, large brown rounds arrived with a side of Lebanese pickles and a tahini sauce. They were crisp, crunchy and had a great coarse/crumbly texture. They weren't as well seasoned as those at Nuba, but they were still tasty and fun to eat.
Golden Pita is a great place to visit, especailly if you like falafels. We will definitely come back to try other menu items, especially the daily specials. It's a very modest little place, but in care and love in the food, this place is huge.