Within their modestly-sized food truck, Amier and Christine Ayoub are cooking up scrumptious dishes so you can savor authentic flavors of Palestine right here in Olympia. Spices from the other side of the globe make their way into classic dishes at OlymPITA. Don’t hesitate to visit because you are unsure of the way to pronounce shawarma or are unable to recall the ingredients for falafel. Neither of those matters. What you want to do is get your hands around a sumptuous pita and get your fork tucked into a fresh nugget of falafel. That’s what is important.
With decades of combined experience in the culinary field, Amier and Christine moved from the other Washington (DC) to Olympia with the dream of launching their own eatery. Initially both worked in local restaurants and spent time checking out possible locations for their own business. Then the pandemic arrived. The Ayoubs were energized by the robust entrepreneurial endeavors within the community. They also were encouraged by Olympia’s growing appreciation for food trucks, and people’s willingness to eat foods more commonly known in other parts of the world. The best choice was to own their own food truck. That business model makes a restaurant doable for a hardworking team of two.
“We want to make our own choices,” says Christine, both about menu options and the ways they conduct business. “Everything is made from scratch and handmade,” she adds. The menu has a focus on popular street food including shawarma, falafel and a’rousa. The family recipes, many from Amier’s grandmother, have been passed from generation to generation.
Shawama is a kind of sandwich. Meat is roasted on a spit, sliced thinly, and put inside a pita pocket. Sauces like tahini, creamy garlic or amba can be added along with cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers or pickled vegetables. Chicken is available on Tuesdays through Thursdays and beef Friday through Sunday. Both will be available as volume increases, but in the meantime, you are ensured the meat is moist and fresh. You won’t find factory farmed meat at OlymPITA. “To me, that’s really important,” explains Christine who said they are happy to get their meat from Stewart’s Meats.
Falafel is made from chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans. You can say falafel is gluten free and vegan, and it is, but it has been that way for ages. Warming spices make falafel tasty morsels for sandwiches, salads or appetizers. For me, falafel is a long-time favorite. I don’t usually make it at home, and when I do, it’s from a mix. Fresh definitely tastes better. OlymPITA’s falafel was moist inside and lightly crispy on the outside, not hard or fried to death. My lunch bowl was lined with a generous amount of the creamiest hummus I have ever had the joy to eat.
Usually, I shy away from the pita part of a falafel meal, because I don’t want to waste my carb calories on a bread that is dry and tasteless. OlymPITA’s pita comes from a special shop in Portland. It’s light with a layer of moist chewiness. It’s good to eat alone but slather it with hummus and a patty of falafel. I ate the whole piece.
The a’rousa is another sandwich with seasoned ground beef. You can order the impossible version if you want to eat a plant-based alternative. With recipes that have been passed from generation to generation, Amier and Christine feel like they are feeding family. Keep your eyes out for the addition of a dessert like baklava, layers of micro thin filo dough soaked in honey and layered with nuts.
Life is full for OlymPITA and the Ayoub family, who are expecting their second child in early September. They are already running to keep up with their 19-month-old son, Anthony. They are delighted to call Olympia home.
You will find OlymPITA on Pacific Ave located next to Northwest Beerwerks. Amier and Christine are grateful for the customers that they have served so far and for the support that has rallied around them as they have embarked on their new business. If you call ahead, they will deliver your order to Beerwerks. If you want delivery to your home or office, you can use Doordash.
Give yourself the taste that reminds Amier of life in Palestine. There are picnic tables outside or you can take your lunch to a nearby park.
To learn more about OlymPITA’s menu or location, visit the OlymPITA Food Truck Facebook page.
OlymPITA Food Truck
2504 Pacific Avenue SE, Olympia