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Dining at Spitz turns into mouth-watering affair

October 4, 2018
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The Street Cart Doner, with lamb and beef meat, fries and myriad Mediterranean toppings.

When you hear that the name of a restaurant is Spitz, you likely were as confused as I was, and probably second-guessed dining somewhere that is so seemingly closely related to salivic discharge.

Let’s get this out the way right now; wrong spit. The spits in this restaurant hold pounds of delicious beef and lamb, which top the restaurant’s signature doner kebabs.

If you read our dining review a few weeks ago, the word doner may seem familiar to you, as that is Rimmel’s primary fare at the Provo restaurant.

Seeing as Spitz is at the Point of the Mountain and Rimmel’s is in the heart of Provo, I feel confident saying Spitz is not in the same dining market as Rimmel’s in Provo and don’t feel guilty for going into a diatribe about another doner place.

When you walk through the doors of this newly opened Mediterranean eatery, it’s a real sensory sensation from beginning to end. Bright purples and blue colors adorn everything from the hardware fixtures to the seating. Old vinyl records line the walls of the bar area, and modern art — think random bighorn sheep plastered on walls — give the eyes as big of a feast as the food does.

We dined at Spitz at about 2 p.m. on a Saturday. I thought that would be well past the rush, but the line was stretching past the door and only one employee was working the cash registers, which resulted in some fairly slow service. If I had to guess, it took us about 15 minutes just to get to the front of the line.

This did give us time to review the menu and see what we wanted to eat. My wife has some newly developed food allergies, so we had to be cognizant of those restrictions. Fortunately, the restaurant was pretty allergen-friendly, and even had a list of what foods had allergens, like gluten and dairy, at the front counter.

I decided upon a street cart doner in a panini, as the menu heralded it as the most popular sandwich option. My wife chose the doner basket, with a mix of sweet potato fries and thin-cut fries as the basket base.

I always try to find unique items on menus, and Spitz’s doquitos caught my eye. The item was called a “Mediterranean taquito.” Why not?

It again took quite a while to get our food, about 20 minutes. Someone must’ve been sick or sluffing, because the restaurant looked short-staffed.

Once I got my sandwich, it was obvious why the street cart doner was so popular. The sandwich (I opted to not have it in a wrap) was literally bursting with toppings, including beef and lamb meat, lettuce, cabbage, tomato, onion, bell pepper, cucumber, tzatziki, aioli and “fried lavash chips,” which are pretty akin to Mediterranean tortilla chips.

The surfeit of trimmings only meant an explosion of flavor. The meat was perfectly tender, the tzatziki was refreshing and cool, and the lavash chips added a unique and unexpected crunch.

The sweet potato and thin-cut fries I ordered on the side were fantastic. I don’t often like sweet potato fries as they have a tendency to be too sweet. But Spitz’s sweet potato fries were perfect; crispy with a subtle sweet that was very well complemented with the house aioli for dipping.

The doner basket was a basket — or rather, loaf pan — of sweet potato and thin-cut fries, topped with grilled chicken, tzatziki, feta, pepperoncinis, crispy chickpeas, falafel olives and hummus.

I love falafel and used to get a falafel sandwich nearly every day from the Halal cart near where I interned in New York in the summer of 2013. I was excited to try a bite of her falafel, but was frankly disappointed. The falafel ball was sweet, and tasted almost as if it had been rolled in brown sugar and cinnamon. It was indescribable, especially since I was expecting flavors of cumin and garam masala.

Once she picked the falafel ball off, the rest of the basket was brilliant. The chicken was very well seasoned and flavors of oregano and thyme blended in perfectly with the rest of the basket. Subtle notes of dill were detected throughout the basket while munching on a fry or picking at a piece of feta. The hummus was smooth and had a slightly spicy kick, which I loved, considering how easy it is to make bland, unimpressive hummus.

I saved the doquito for last, as I was still unsure of what to expect. The fried lavash bread was stuffed with feta, onion and aioli and topped with more feta, more aioli and pepperoncinis, bell peppers, tomato and kalamata olives.

I was shocked at how scrumptious this part of the meal was. To me, it was practically an afterthought, but when I visit here again, I will definitely be ordering a doquito or two again. The crunch of the fried lavash bread was really needed to complement the smooth, melty feta. The cashier recommended I try it, and I’m glad she did.

Spitz also boasted a pretty ample selection of craft beers and wine.

Service didn’t exactly earn the highest marks, but Spitz more than made up for it with the fantastic food, eye-capturing presentation and variety of options.

Next time you’re within spitting distance of Traverse Mountain, treat yourself to a doner wrap, sandwich or basket for a truly transportative meal.

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