Brooklyn’s Olympic Pita–celebrated for shwarma, falafel, and stellar fresh-baked flatbreads–has branched out in Manhattan. Sprightly vegetable salads, served as sides or generously stuffed into sandwiches, are another highlight. Despite the restaurant’s name, many fans prefer the thicker laffa bread to the pita.
The scramble system of ordering has flummoxed many newcomers since the place opened in November. “It is a bit chaotic. People had no idea where to go,” reports Miss Needle. So here’s the deal: Go to the cashier in the back on the right. Place your order and pay. Then return to the front and give your receipt to one of the counter guys.
In another welcome expansion, Midtown’s Taksim has opened a second restaurant in the East Village. A highly promising report from Pan raves about lentil balls, rice-and-herb-stuffed cabbage leaves, and hearty, slow-cooked lamb shank and eggplant in tomato sauce, among other things. “Go now,” he urges. “In a few months, the place will be hopping.”
On the Upper West Side, Vinnie’s is no more. It was just a neighborhood pizza joint, but it grabbed hound attention for a time with unexpected offerings like crustless, quiche-like zucchini pies.
Olympic Pita [Garment District]
58 W. 38th St., between 5th and 6th Aves., Manhattan
Olympic Pita [Midwood]
1419 Coney Island Ave., between Aves. J and K, Brooklyn
Taksim [East Village]
99 2nd Ave., between E. 6th and 5th Sts., Manhattan
Taksim [Midtown East]
1030 2nd Ave., near E. 54th St., Manhattan
Vinnie’s Pizza [Upper West Side]
285 Amsterdam Ave., between W. 73rd and 74th Sts., Manhattan