Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Green Olives

992 N 2nd St
Philadelphia PA 19123
(215) 923-3979

Want to know how "Mom-and-Pop" Green Olives is? They don't have a website! They don't even have a menu online. It's actually quite interesting. How are they resisting the black hole of real-life social interaction that is the internet?

But I digress... I have been riding by the place frequently in the recent weeks and have been wanting to stop for lunch, but I have also been weary. Who opens a place across from the Piazza, and doesn't have a website? (digression?) Putting my questionable logic aside, I was lured in by the siren's call of grilled chicken wraps.

They also offer smoothies, platters, and a whole plethora of other things for which I didn't realize there was a market, especially in this neighborhood.

There is a bar full of various Mediterranean salads, pre-made falafels, roasted peppers, and spreads.

An olive bar.

A table full of pita bread.

A wall full of dried goods, and snacks, such as blueberry yogurt covered pretzels (among other yogurt flavors), various nuts and healthy items like wasabi (at least that's what I consider healthy).

One of the most interesting finds was the presence of three kinds of popcorn kernels. I don't make much popcorn, but these had me wanting to fire up the stove and celebrate America with a red, white and blue kettle corn blowout.

So anyway, you order from the overhead menu, and the nice older lady takes it down. I found a bit of a language barrier, but when she asked if I wanted hot peppers, I was reassured.

My wrap was done in (approximately) the quoted five minute time period, and came, surprisingly, with a cucumber, tomato and mint salad on the side. According to the menu, the sandwiches are served with a Mediterranean salad and tahini, which I figured went ON the sandwich. Also, the tahini was nowhere to be found.

The sandwich was a decent sized portion, and at $6 and change with a side salad, was a pretty good deal. The salad was decent, doused in red wine vinegar with the punch of fresh mint and dried oregano.

When I looked at the sandwich, however, there was something interesting going on. Instead of just the chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion, tzatiki and hot peppers I had expected, there was something else going on. A purplish culprit that I usually find quite off putting. Beets. More specifically, I noticed the unmistakable juice on the front of the pita. I figured it must have been some cross contamination from another item they were preparing. So I dug in.

Lo and behold, it was no isolated incident. There were indeed beets throughout the sandwich. There were not, to my dismay, any hot peppers. The sandwich was tightly wrapped, which led to no spillage, and the ingredients were fresh, but what the hell were these beets doing in my Mediterranean grilled chicken wrap? Unfortunately, they were saving it. This cylinder was borderline dry, save for the moisturizing power of . . . beets. I usually don't like them, but I must admit, they actually added to this sandwich. Probably because the chicken was dry and had been cooked some time ago. That and the fact that there was nary a hot pepper to be found aside, it wasn't the worst attempt I have seen. Would I order it again? Probably not. But I will more than likely find myself rolling back to see what some of the other items are all about. Oh, and some Nationalistic popcorn.

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