This May, a new West Coast Mediterranean street-food restaurant — Spitz — opened a Minneapolis branch.
At Spitz, a variety of wraps and sandwiches are served — all of which feature the traditional method of spit-roasting meat called “doner.”
Inspired by a trip that founder Bryce Rademan made to Europe in college, Spitz’s mission is to serve traditional Mediterranean food at a cost-effective price.
“An important element about this business is that it started out for college kids,” Rademan said. “It’s the perfect food to soak up all that alcohol after a long night out.”
Spitz, which has entrees priced around $9 with sides for $4, isn’t the cheapest food establishment around. But considering the amount of food that is served, it’s definitely a fair price — you basically score two meals for the price of one.
I ordered their most popular menu item, the Street Car Doner with a side of thin-cut fries. Each sandwich is made with focaccia bread or a traditional lavash (flatbread) wrap, along with your choice of protein. I chose chicken and a lavash wrap to keep it classic.
The sandwich itself was huge and packed with meat and fillings. It was gooey and easy to eat. The real key to this sandwich is the garlic aioli which is made fresh every morning. It’s just the right level of spicy and savory, and the tzatziki sauce helps cool the whole concoction down.
Meanwhile, the thin-cut fries were about as good as can be. Spitz covers their fries in herbs and spices and cuts them thin so that they’re crisp on the outside while soft and fluffy on the inside.
The Zesty Feta Doner was also well-balanced. I got mine filled with falafel because at a Mediterranean restaurant, falafel is a must. For a side, I ordered fried pita chips and hummus —classic dishes that can either make or break a place like Spitz.
They didn’t disappoint. The falafel was crispy and delicious, and the feta provided savoriness that would normally be absent without meat. The pita chips were a bit large and hard to manage but well seasoned. The hummus wasn’t extraordinary, but it got the job done.
I washed everything down with a spicy mango chelada, a traditional Mexican cocktail. Having never tasted a spicy alcoholic beverage before, I wasn’t exactly impressed. To be fair, though, spicy drinks aren’t my thing.
The walls of Spitz are lined with pictures of pop icons, and album sleeves sit above the bar, displaying a wide variety of musical luminaries. Everything is decorated haphazardly, but Spitz doesn’t look like a suburban garage sale. Each table has a different card game that you can play with your friends or family.
The staff is great, the food is good and the fare is decently priced. All of this adds up to an above-average dining experience — a fancier version of casual Mediterranean food and liquor.
A word of advice: Go during their happy hour — Monday-Friday, 3-7 p.m. — so the price doesn’t sour your appetite.