Sunrise Pita & Grill
Name: Karen Friedman
Occupation: Urban Planner
Lives in: Pompano Beach
Restaurant Pick: Sunrise Pita & Grill
Restaurant Reviewed: Sunrise Pita and Grill
An authentic Israeli restaurant, I would recommend Sunrise Pita to anyone who wants to try traditional food including falafel, shawarma, schnitzel, and a variety of Israeli salads. The décor is simple, the food is fresh, and the service is fast. It is a great spot for meat eaters, vegetarians and families.
I dined at Sunrise Pita with my partner and our 8-month old daughter. We went there at 4:30 p.m. on a Tuesday. Sunrise Pita is located in a busy, non-descript shopping center in central Broward. There is not much curb appeal and there is limited signage. But, despite the outer appearance, during our entire dining experience there were other patrons at the restaurant. The gentleman behind the counter greeted us upon arrival. I told him my partner had never had Israeli food before and he told her she would enjoy it. We placed our order at the counter. Rather than make us wait, since we had a baby, he told us to find a seat and he would call us when our food was ready. We ordered a falafel appetizer and a shawarma pita plate. The food was ready very quickly, and we could tell it was very fresh and made to order. While deep-fried, the falafel was not greasy at all. And, like traditional Israeli falafel, they were tasty, but not spicy. The shawarma meat is served on its own and accompanied by a variety of salads including hummus, tahini, eggplant, babganoush. The pita was warm and very fresh. The portions were generous, but not expansive. Because we ordered a “plate” dish, we made our own sandwiches. We also had access to the salad/garnish bar with a variety of pickles and cabbages. This is a very casual, simple, kosher restaurant. The food is served on plastic plates with plastic forks and knives. The drinks offered are canned soda and juices. Since the tables are movable, we rearranged the tables to accommodate our large stroller. We could tell this was a very family-friendly restaurant, as no one blinked an eye when my daughter started to cry. Several customers around us, as well as the staff, spoke Hebrew and there are posters and flyers in Hebrew. Our total bill was $30.00 (which included the appetizer, plate, and two sodas). While this may be a little higher than a typical fast-food restaurant, it is in-line with other counter service restaurants. And all of the food is kosher and homemade. I have dined at this restaurant before with vegetarians, as there are a lot of vegetarian and vegan offerings.
I lived in Israel for one year, when I was 18 years old. Whenever I want to re-experience the great food I had in Israel, I make the trip Sunrise to eat at Sunrise Pita. My partner is a very picky eater, and this was her first time eating authentic Israeli food (which she found out is not matzo ball soup and brisket). She really enjoyed the food and was impressed with how friendly the staff was to us.
Name: Stephen Scott
Occupation: Building Director
Lives in: Fort Lauderdale
Restaurant Pick: Valentino’s
Restaurant Reviewed: Sunrise Pita and Grill on 1/30/12
Sunrise Pita and Grill can be found deep in the heart of Broward County suburbia in a cramped strip mall. The location is uninspiring, but probably centrally located for Broward County viewers.
I had the Falafel Plate: A very large plate that included five falafel, 2 fresh pita warmed on the grill, and several different sides that included hummus, tahini, cabbage salad, cucumber and tomato salad and pickled eggplant. In addition, every dinner includes unlimited “salad bar”, which is more like a “pickle bar”, in that everything on it is pickled in one form or another and include vinegar in the preparation, such as pickled carrots, half sours, sour pickles, slaw and onions. The falafel is among the best I have ever had. They could not have been any fresher and the sides they were served with (you choose which ones you want) were perfect stuffed in the pita, or eaten on their own. I could have done without the eggplant, which was too heavy on the dill. But otherwise, it was very enjoyable. My favorite thing about Sunrise Pita was the “salad bar”, particularly the half sours, which are my favorite and are hard to come by, and the sweet pickled carrots. I could have made a meal just on those two things alone. Everyone should note that this place is Glatt Kosher. They serve kosher meat and NO DAIRY of any kind. For this reason, most of the sides and salads are vinegar based. Anyone with a problem with vinegar may not be happy here.
It’s actually quite unique. It’s run by orthodox Jews who speak Hebrew to each other and English to customers. Although I am Jewish (not kosher, not orthodox), I don’t remember the last time I ate at a Glatt kosher restaurant. Other customers ran the gamut, but they did include some Chasidic customers. It was nice to see and nice to know there are kosher options out there for people. Sunrise Pita needs to tout itself as a great option for vegetarians. Even a meat-eater like myself likes to go veggie once in a while, and this is one place you can do it and not feel deprived.
This is a great place if you live in Broward and are looking for healthy and tasty Middle Eastern food. While falafel is king here, there are many other grilled options. Sunrise Pita is a great, super casual, and unusual option for those looking for something different.
Name: Roxana Cocina
Occupation: Art Teacher
Lives in: Miami
Restaurant Pick: Madroño
Restaurant Reviewed: Sunrise Pita and Grill on 1/22/12 at 4:00 pm
On a bright and sunny South Florida Sunday afternoon, I arrived at an archetypical 80’s strip mall accompanied by my friend and fellow foodie. Our mission was to review the home of “The Best Pita sandwich in the USA”, Sunrise Pita and Grill, located at 2680 North University Drive. On the store front windows bright neon signs welcomed us both in English and in Hebrew along with images of staple American dishes such hamburgers, hotdogs and fries. Inside an unassuming décor with a sea of twelve small tables and on the walls faded images of the Fiddler on the roof. As my friend and I walked through the door two young men behind the faux brick service station greeted us and immediately asked us what we were having. Not knowing, one of the young men patiently answered all of our questions about the menu that was displayed above us. Both very hungry, my friend and I decided to skip ‘The Best Pita sandwich in the USA” and ordered from the “PLATES” section of the menu. My friend ordered the Falafel plate and I ordered the Jerusalem Mix a spicy dish made with turkey, onions and red pepper and flavorful spices. The “Plate” is served with a variety of homemade salads; I paired mine with Hummus, Tahina, Eggplant Salad, Red Cabbage Salad and finely diced tomatoes and cucumbers known as an Israeli Salad, and both Plates include a side of pita bread. Additionally, I ordered the soy filled Moroccan cigars and grape leaves to go. The meal also included limitless amounts of what seemed as an Israeli crudités of pickled veggies from a self-service bar. To drink I had an imported Israeli lemonade and for dessert of course baklava!
When my friend and I first arrived, only a few people were sitting and eating, but after a few minutes the restaurant became very busy. A mixture of Orthodox families along with a diversity of people young and old filled the space all enjoying a traditional Glatt Kosher meal. At the end of the meal the young man remembered everything we had ordered and provided me with take out containers along with additional items I had purchased to take home for lunch the next day. Personally, I thought it was wonderful to have had the opportunity to explore Israeli and Kosher dishes and culture so close to home.
Location: 2680 N. University Drive, Sunrise, FL
Type of Cuisine: Israeli/Mediterranean/health food
Meals Served: Lunch and Dinner
Accommodations for Children: Yes