published Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

University Pizza on Vine Street has international flavor

THE ORDER

The restaurant: University Pizza, 422 Vine St.

The dish: Palestinian Platter

The cost: $10.51, tax included

This was my fourth visit to University Pizza on Vine Street and my third time opting for the Palestinian Platter. Not only do you get to nosh on hummus and warm pita bread, you get to say baba ghannoush, falafel and tabouleh during your meal.

University Pizza's menu is what you might hope a place located near a college campus would be. You can get a pizza pie, a burger, wings, gyros, a chicken sandwich or something as unusual as the Palestinian Platter, the Jerusalem Platter or the Baba Ghannoush Plate.

The Palestinian Platter is a good choice when a sandwich or a burger just won't do. Using the pita bread as a big scoop, you can load it up with hummus or some of the baba ghannoush and a little of the tabouleh and revel in the garlic, olive oil and tahini flavors. The hummus is made from chickpeas, and the baba ghannoush has an eggplant base. Both are delicious.

The chickpea-based falafels (two) are crunchy and provide a nice complement to the main dishes.

I've had tabouleh many times and many ways. In most of them, the bulgur, a wheat-based cereal, is the dominant ingredient with tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion and olive oil providing added flavor. At University Pizza, the parsley is the dominant ingredient, and you get two big scoops of it.

While a little on your hummus or baba ghannoush is good, the parsley flavor is pretty overwhelming and you get way too much for my taste.

Still, if you are looking to try something new, give the Palestinian Platter the old college try.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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