Super Pita Bakery & Deli
Shai and Ely Tsaig are brothers and fourth-generation bakers from the ancient port city of Ashkelon in southern Israel. They own Super Pita Bakery & Deli (9806 Hillcroft, 832-576-2692) with Shai's wife Tami, who's also one of the cooks.
Super Pita was originally a bakery, but they've expanded it to include a small restaurant. "I learned to cook from my husband's mother and grandmother," says Tami. "Everything we cook here is good. It's home-style Israeli cooking, like falafel and kebabs, and I love to cook it." Everything here is kosher, and Hebrew is the main language spoken.
Fridays are the busiest. "Everyone is coming by and buying challah and food for Shabbat," says Shai. "After we were successful with the bakery, we wanted to expand into a Mediterranean grill. We cook only slow food. No one else does this any more. They don't have the time. All the food you get in restaurants today is fast food. These are family recipes that might take all day to cook — like our beans, for example. We start them early in the morning and let them cook all day."
Eating here is a cultural experience. You get to watch Houston's Jewish community buying provisions from the deli and small grocery store, then crowding the restaurant and quickly filling up the few tables that also spill out onto the sidewalk in front. The beef kebabs, cooked on the charcoal grill, are some of the best in the city. Served with fooul, a traditional bean dish, hummus and fabulous pita bread, they make for a delectable and filling meal.
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