Restaurants & Bars

Pennsylvania Middle Eastern

Middle Eastern in the Northeast--Illiano's

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Middle Eastern in the Northeast--Illiano's

Rich Pawlak | Oct 11, 2002 02:55 PM

Stopped into this tiny pizza place, ILLIANO'S, at the corner of Byberry Rd and Philmont Ave (on Byberry) and was surprised to see felafel, hummus, baba ganouj, kefta, kebabs and other item on the menu board. What the heck, I gave a few items a try.

OUTSTANDING!

This tiny, rundown place, served me a nice plate of garlicky hummus, garnished with a pile of cucumber slices and marinated beets with a plate of thin,chewy, airy flatbread, the best I've had in years. Next came a small bowl of tabbouleh, verdant and sweet with parsley and ripe tomato (and some spices the owner would not reveal--the sweetness made me think honey--but no! I think it could be sweet paprika or a really sweet extra virgin olive oil); the sweetness was a terrific surprise. Next I woldfed down a felafel sandwich made with that great flatbread, topped with red onion and tomato and tzatiki sauce, as good a version as Ive ever had. I'm a felafel fanatic and this was good felafel.

Prices are low, the pizza crusts look thin and crackly crisp. Something to try on another day.

What a cool find.

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