High Plains Mediterranean Drifter Garbanzo Tostada | Photo by Madison Rutherford
It’s no secret that local Mediterranean chain Pita Jungle likes to keep things fresh. It hangs its hat on garden-fresh ingredients that cater to vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diners. But even its meat-centric meals are made with wholesome, healthy lean proteins.
So, it’s also no surprise that the kitchen likes to keep things fresh by switching up its menu seasonally. About three or four times a year, Pita Jungle adds nearly a dozen limited-time seasonal items to its lofty menu of perennial faves under the Seasonal Kitchen Crafts moniker.
This summer, it launched the Summertime and the Eating is Healthy menu with light fare fit for our sweltering summer months. Think refreshing Moroccan gazpacho, za’atar-thyme labneh dip and spicy chicken vindaloo served with cooling cabbage, kale and green onions.
We all know that it doesn’t quite feel like summer’s over in Arizona. I’m a sucker for pumpkin spice season, but I’m still ordering my lattes iced. So the fine folks at Pita Jungle decided to extend the Summertime and the Eating is Healthy menu through the end of October.
Levantine Lentils & Greens Stir Fry Salad Bowl with tofu | Photo by Madison Rutherford
I’m celebrating the end of summer with the Levantine Lentils & Greens Stir Fry Salad Bowl with lentils (the same irresistible legumes used in the year-round Lentil Fattoush Salad, my usual Pita Jungle go-to), spinach, Tuscan kale, baby arugula and caramelized onion atop a freshly tossed salad with seasonal mixed greens, tomato, Persian cucumber, bell pepper, radishes, red onions and seasoned with mint, sumac, a squeeze of fresh lemon, red wine vinegar and olive oil. It’s a delightful explosion of colors, textures and flavors that will convince the carnivores in your crew to bypass the beef.
If you insist no meal is complete without meat, try The Amazing [Hummus & Chicken] Pita. It’s made with Mediterranean dark meat chicken asada, but Pita Jungle just can’t help but sneak some superfoods into every glorious bite. It’s also mixed with chipotle-tahini based cabbage-kale super greens, avocado, tomato, Mediterranean pickles and red onions. And if you’re carb-averse, the Amazing Pita can be served as an Amazing Bowl with turmeric brown rice. There’s truly something to please every palate here.
And if that palate includes fun, fusion fare, you have to try the High Plains Mediterranean Drifter Garbanzo Tostada. It’s a light, healthy, Mediterranean-inflected twist on its Mexican counterpart. Instead of being piled high with heavy cheese, refried beans and salsa, Pita Jungle’s version features twice-boiled garbanzo, yogurt-tahini crema, avocado, bell peppers, tomato, Persian cucumber, celery, red onion, jicama and roasted jalapeño (for that necessary kick) on a crispy pita tostada. It’s delightful to look at and delicious to eat. Plus, it’s just a plain fun concept that really displays the constant creativity coming out of Pita Jungle’s kitchen.
Kataïfi Cookie | Photo by Madison Rutherford
You’ve probably caught on by now – Pita Jungle isn’t known for its rich, decadent desserts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t satisfy your sweet tooth here. After all, what kind of summer menu would this be without a sugary finale? If you only try one thing from the Summertime and the Eating is Healthy menu, make it the Kataïfi Cookie. This gooey confection consisting of shredded filo dough and crushed walnuts is reminiscent of deconstructed baklava and looks like a beautiful bird’s nest that’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ordering those babies by the dozen before Summertime and the Eating is Healthy gives way to Pita Jungle’s next Seasonal Kitchen Crafts menu, though I’m sure it will be just as creative and delicious.
Keep things fresh and run don’t walk to one of Pita Jungle’s 23 Valley locations to try the summer menu while you still can.