Mediterranean breakfast in Brookline

Written by Bob Batz Jr. on


Saturday morning, after hitting opening day at the Mt. Lebanon Uptown Farmers Market, I made it to the newly renovated Pitaland in Brookline and its brand-new cafe for breakfast.

The place looks beautiful, painted to match the warmth of the family that runs the place.

While our order was being prepared, and after a big tour group finished up, patriarch Joe Chahine gave my family a quick tour of the pita-making machine, which sends ovals of dough into an oven so hot that they puff up like orange balloons (bottom photo) before popping out the other end to settle and be bagged.

That pita came with all three of our meals: the foul, described on the menu as "the national breakfast dish of Lebanon" -- chickpeas and fava beans simmered in garlic and lemon, finished with parsley, lemon, olive oil and tomatoes ($6). That's the foul in the foreground of the photo above.

In the basket to the left is Shankleesh & Eggs ($6), scrambled eggs with Mediterranean cheese and herbs with assorted olives on the side.

The basket in the back is "The Lebanese Breakfast Table," described as "The way we eat at home. A delicious mix of everything & anything" ($8). Mine came with scrambled eggs, Parma-made veal sausage, olives, a cup of herby yogurt sauce and cucumber spears.

The place, which opened last week, still was waiting for its tables to come in, and our 5-year-old is too short to reach the dining counters, so Joe kindly let us eat at the table in his renovated office, where some of his grandchildren were holding mock job interviews and playing on the computer.

The kitchen sent in an order of Zaatar, hot mana'eesh or flatbread topped with thyme, sumac, salt, toasted sesame seeds and olive oil ($1.75).

It was one of those being-on-vacation-in-your-own-city mornings.

We gobbled up just about every delicious crumb, then cleaned up the few that had escaped, so the kids could eat their lunch.

We can't wait to go back to try lunch and other specialties on the menus.

The cafe is open Monday through Saturday. Breakfast is served 8 to 11 a.m.; lunch and dinner are served 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Bob Batz Jr. photos


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