Spitz Mediterranean Street Food (San Diego)
Spitz recently opened a location in the thriving Hillcrest community and we were invited to check it out. This business labels themselves as Mediterranean Street Food so we were curious about what they had to offer.
On a weekday visit, we easily found street parking since it's not in the main Hillcrest area. We drifted into a colorful, art-filled building and plopped ourselves at the bar. The restaurant is counter service so you order at the bar and they bring the food out to you.
The menu is only one page so it didn't take too long to select something. Plus, the most popluar two items were boxed in so we decided to go with the flow that day.
Street Cart Doner ($9 meat, $7.50 vegetarian)
The Doner. A well known item in the Mediterranean world. This, and all other doners, had a choice of beef/lamb mix (our choice), chicken, or falafel. I thought it was pretty cool how the layers of meat were carefully assembled and then filled with the vegetables. It had quite a fresh and clean taste, not too salty plus a nice selection of raw vegetables in the wrap. The tortilla was quite thin and drier than other wraps but held up all the ingredients! Maybe a little less of the sauce would be better but we were very pleased with this entree.
Street Cart Fries ($8.50) / garlic aioli, feta cheese, onion, peppers, tomato, pepperoncini and olives
I totally loved the fries a la cart. They were fried and seasoned a little bit zesty, which I couldn't stop eating. Outside of the fries, the rest of the ingredients were too complex and the flavors clashed instead of working together. Perhaps regular instead of zesty style fries would have worked. The garlic aioli was pretty awesome though. In theory these fries sounded good but was more of a jumble in execution.
I was pretty sure that we'd be golden splitting these two items. I felt stuffed beyond belief after we finished but Dennis said he still could have eaten a little more. Next time, I won't pig out on the fries!
We came back a second time with a friend and explored a little more of the menu. This time, it was happy hour (Monday-Friday from 3-7pm) so we ordered a few items off that menu.
Fried Pita Strips with Hummus ($2.5 hh) / lightly fried, spiced and salted pita bread with hummus
Our friend's order came out first and he was nice enough to share his appetizer. Some of the pita strips were fried throughout while others had that softer tortilla-like feel, which I preferred for dipping. Pita bread is generally plain but these had sea salt and chili powder and syrup and some special sugar to make them awesome. The generous size of 6 pieces actually started filling me up. He also ordered a Street Cart Donor, same as what we got on our first visit. He thought the food to price ratio was respectable!
Our friend also picked up a beer during happy hour for $5. It's the same price to get a huge 22oz mug instead of a pint (16oz) because it is $2 off!
Here's our order, about $30 worth of food...
Berliner Fries ($5.5 hh) / zesty berliner red sauces, tzatziki, cabbage and carrot slaw, tomato, onion, pepperoncihi and olives
Dennis liked these a lot more than the Street Cart Fries. He thought the red sauce binded it really well. I thought it tasted a bit more like tomatoes so I like the other one more. But honestly, a side of regular fries would also have done the trick for me since I enjoyed them on their own!
Doquitos ($3 hh) / lavash bread rolled with Zesty Feta, aioli and onion
These were sort of a mediterranean style taquito! I like the thicker shell which held more food inside! We ordered both the beef & lamb and the chicken flavors, but they looked the exact same from the outside. Can't remember which flavor I liked better though... I was already really full at this point...
Doner Salad ($12 meat, $10.50 vegetarian) / romaine, cabbage, carrot, onion, green pepper, cucumer, olives, feta, pepperoncinis, tomato, tzatziki, fried lavash chips, crispy garbanzo, fried pita and a side of balsamic dressing
The garbanzo beans were on the appetizer menu so I was glad to sneak in a taste with my salad! They were deep fried and just crumbled right away which was a little strange to me. Honestly I could not do more than a bite of the salad while eyeing the rest of the items on the table. I tasted a little bit of the meat and the same pita chips as the appetizer. The salad dressing was pretty awful though, super acidic and almost had a mustard bite to it. I'm not sure if that is normal or if it was a fluke. We were able to split this for lunch the next day.
Cinnamon-Sugar Pita Strips ($4 hh) / brown sugar whipped cream
The guys loved the cinnamon item, which was like a pita churro with abundant sugar dipped into the whipped cream. There was plenty for sharing!
We also noticed that all the ingredients were the same throughout the meal. I'm surprised they don't have a chimichanga style fried doner. Hmm, that doesn't sound so bad...
Left side of the restaurant
Really cool city scape with birds.
Outdoor patio which also has games you can play.
The atmosphere was pretty chill during our mid-week visits and the food came out quickly. If you're super hungry, Spitz is a good place to go. Throw calories out the windows because the portions are huge. Evidently, this is the case as we TOTALLY overordered on our second visit! I'd also caution gluten free people to stay away but there are options for vegetarian and vegan upon request!
Disclaimer: I was provided $40 toward food but all opinions are my own.
Spitz Mediterranean Street Food
3515 5th Ave
San Diego CA 92101