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Pita!

As part of my commitment to do something different around here, I no longer will be posting pictures of food without telling a story.  So, girls and boys, ladies and gents, sit yourself down.  It’s story time…

Downtown Sacramento has this dilemma.  It’s where all the state workers are.  It’s where all sorts of other 8-5 workers are.  8-5 means they all leave at that magic hour and return to their suburban homes.  For the most part, by 6:00, most of downtown Sacramento becomes a ghost town.  There have been efforts to “revitalize” the area, but, well, there’s a dilemma.  If you build it, will they come.  Or, do they need to come before you build it.  Over the last few years a number of restaurants have tried to establish themselves in anticipation of the much planned revitalization, which has taken fooooorrrreeeeeevvvveeeerrrrr.

One of the restaurants struggling to make it is Trio.  It’s been there a while.  Maybe a year?  It’s this odd combination of a buffet, a sit down restaurant, and a market — offering breads, dips, and ingredients for making your own dishes.  Their menu is Mediterranean.

After walking by the place off and on over the months and wondering what the place was like, I read a review of the place in the Sac Bee that spoke glowingly of the place.  This week, I lunch there with a couple of colleagues.

You ever have a meal you never expected.  It began and ended with the pita and dip they served when we sat down.  The dip, rather than being the traditional garbanzo bean based hummus, was pinto beans (I think) and a range of vegetables pureed into this incredibly flavorful dip.  But, the star of the show was the pita bread.  Clearly, it was not store bought, mass-produced, easily split and turned into a sandwich pita.

Much like homemade tortillas, it’s impossible to explain just what the difference is between the mass-produced stuff and the tortilla or pita bread that is real and fresh and “home made.”  The pita at Trio was the latter, not the former.  The three of us would have been happy with nothing more than the pita and the dip they served with it.

This, of course, compelled me to “try it at home.”  I’ve made pita bread before.  Once.  Here’s the second time.

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It’s thicker than what you get at the store. But, it’s absolutely incredible.  Warm, right off the griddle.  An avocado dip (grilled red onion, garlic, jalapeno and avocado, add lime juice and cilantro and puree).

While I was making the pita, outside on the grill, a butterflied leg of lamb and some chicken were soaking up the heat.  both marinaded in olive oil, honey, soy sauce, garlic and a mix of herbs from the garden (oregano, basil, rosemary).    Which, of course, led to this …

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Pita with romaine, a mix of chicken and lamb, and homemade caesar dressing.  I’m pretty convinced this is the way to go.

Dinner.

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