The American dream's based on hungry immigrants rising up, from Schwarzenegger overcoming Austrian village roots to dominate California, to Balkie overcoming Mypos-shepherd roots to dominate Mark Linn-Baker. Shove rags-to-riches in your own hungry mouth, at Pita Joe
From the chef behind Delectica, Joe's a peppily earth-toned eat-in/take-out whose decor (wood slat ceilings, grass bar dividers, 3D bubbled walls) and culinary foundation (homemade pitas rolled on a custom-made Israeli press) both represent a big step up from smoke-belching street meat. Pitas are packed with falafel, chicken (breadcrumbed cutlet, spiced-up grilled breast), or veg (grilled eggplant/hard-boiled egg/hummus), while salads pile the above ingredients on greens, or variations like tomato salad w/ scallion & jalapeno, and cucumber salad w/ dill and lemon -- "great for digestion", in case you're constantly eating mountains of salad. To wash it down, Joe's pouring Turkish coffee w/ cardamom, plus homemade -ades (lemon, raspberry, even mangoade -- 10¢ of each cup goes to benefit Chris Kattan).
Joe's one location only now, but plans to expand across the city soon, then go nationwide -- an inexorable process ensuring that when it comes to elevated Middle Eastern grub, no American will be a perfect stranger.