Pita Shack owners serve up Middle Eastern cuisine in Pflugerville

Ayman Attar Bashi opened Pita Shack in Pflugerville alongside his wife, Raya Thanoon, in December 2018. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Ayman Attar Bashi opened Pita Shack in Pflugerville alongside his wife, Raya Thanoon, in December 2018. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Ayman Attar Bashi opened Pita Shack in Pflugerville alongside his wife, Raya Thanoon, in December 2018. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Pita Shack specializes in Middle Eastern, Arabic and Mediterranean food, featuring dishes such as chicken shawarma, lamb shish-kebabs and falafels. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Pita Shack serves Turkish coffee, a style prepared by boiling ground coffee beans with sugar and cardamom. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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While owners Ayman Attar Bashi and Raya Thanoon said it is difficult to choose Pita Shack's most popular dish, each said their chicken shawarma plate is universally beloved. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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In addition to Pita Shack, Ayman Attar Bashi and Raya Thanoon also run the catering business Baiti Food in Austin. "Baiti" translates to "my home" in Arabic. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
The scents of freshly brewed Turkish coffee percolate inside Pita Shack as owners Ayman Attar Bashi and his wife, Raya Thanoon, begin preparations for the day ahead.

Attar Bashi and Thanoon said they came to Texas on Nov. 3, 2010, as Iraqi refugees, having fled their home country amid heightened violence. Attar Bashi said when he first came to the United States, he craved a sense of familiarity in a world so foreign and new.

“When you go to a new place, the first thing you start looking for is something you knew: your culture, your food, people of the same region,” he said. “We started looking to eat our food—Arabic food, Middle Eastern food, Mediterranean food.”

Attar Bashi said he and Thanoon first opened Baiti Food, a Middle Eastern and Arabic food catering business, in 2014. “Baiti” translates to “my home” in Arabic.

Starting the catering business, Attar Bashi said, was extremely difficult.


“We started with $100, no bank loans,” he said. “Just spreading business cards, inviting people for a free lunch, and then offices started coming to us.”

The couple’s first storefront, Pita Shack, celebrated its first anniversary Dec. 3. Attar Bashi said the local community has embraced his businesses with open arms, with much of its success coming from word-of-mouth recommendations.

Attar Bashi and Thanoon said above all else, they prioritize the quality of the food they serve, adding they want to continue offering five-star-quality food at an affordable price.

“We see your eyes, your smile, the first bite when you taste the food,” Attar Bashi said. “This is our satisfaction.”

Pita Shack

616 FM 685, Pflugerville

512-252-8300

www.pita-shack.com

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.