V.I. Pita

Owner and chef Shaun Soleman with Artichoke’s “Get It All” plate.

Owner and chef Shaun Soleman with Artichoke’s “Get It All” plate.

Photo By Allison Young

I convinced my friends Tim and Brett to check out Artichoke’s Pizza ’n’ Pita by offering to take them to the pupusa place next door if didn’t work out. Neither one seemed that interested in having Greek food. Aw, yes, bribery, the foundation of every solid friendship. Artichoke turned their opinions around because no one had any interest in going anywhere else after we finished stuffing ourselves there.

In addition to Greek food, Artichoke offers a variety of pizzas, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, salads and soups. We decided to go with the V.I.P. plate ($15.99), for a couple of reasons. First, this is probably the only time I’m going to have V.I.P. Anything, and second, the plate had a bit of everything including gyro meat, Greek salad, dolmas, pitas, cherry peppers and baklava for dessert. The sign indicated it was “great for sharing,” but I could see things getting ugly if there wasn’t enough food so we added on two jumbo slices of pizza (2 for $7). One topping is included on each so we went with pepperoni on one and mushrooms on the other. We also ordered a round of Icky’s (on tap, $3).

Artichoke is set up into two areas, with a bar area on the left and the restaurant area on the right, although you order from a counter by the bar. I wanted to sit at the bar, but the TV was down and a daily specials sign was covering some of the stools, so we moved into the restaurant side. The place looks a little sparse, and there isn’t much ambiance, but hopefully more decoration will come in time as they have only been open about six months.

The owner brought out the first round of our V.I.P. plate which consisted of pita bread, dolmas, cherry peppers and a huge serving of humus. The humus was rich and creamy, the pita was soft and warm, and the peppers burned my mouth with their spicy tang. The warm dolmas were covered in a rich tzatziki sauce, but I didn’t like the minty flavor of the herbs inside.

The next plate had lamb, salad and falafel with more tzatziki sauce. The Greek salad had huge chunks of feta cheese and a light tangy dressing. The lamb was tasty and not over cooked. I made tiny gyro sandwiches with the pita, salad and meat topped with the tzatziki. The falafel was amazing. Each bite was an explosion of herbs and light spice. The falafel was soft and moist without being mushy. When I told the owner how much I liked the falafel, he beamed and proudly told me, “Homemade!”

I was so full, I nearly forgot about the pizza, which was brought out last. I liked the thin, crispy crust, but the pizza was a bit greasy and needed a bit more sauce and cheese. I managed to find even more room when the baklava was brought out. The baklava was flaky and light without being over sweet and the ground nuts throughout was a nice touch.

Overall, I would definitely come back, but I would stick with the Greek food as this is where Artichoke shines. To be fair, I might have to give the cheese steak a try. Don’t be in a huge rush, as this is a small operation, but the time spent on homemade items is well worth it.