Spitz Mediterranean Street Food puts international taste on the local map.
Imagine the perfect combination of fresh food found while wandering streets with a best friend on an overseas college adventure. “My brother and his best friend were traveling and kept coming across doner kabab,” says Chris Law, Spitz Mediterranean Street Food co-owner and Woodbury native.
Doner kabab, a traditional Turkish dish, consists of spiced lamb, chicken or beef, cooked on a spit and sliced and served on a pita bread, similar to a gyro. The menu at Spitz is “definitely based in Turkish history, with a lot of [favorite dishes] called Berlin,” Law says, noting the most popular item ordered by guests is the Street Cart Doner, a wrap made with garlic aioli, fired lavash chips, romaine, cabbage, tomato, onion, green pepper, cucumber and tzatziki sauce.
Law’s brother-in-law, Robert Wickland, and his college friend, Bryce Rademan, returned to Los Angeles after traveling to Berlin and across Turkey 15 years ago. Fueled by the flavors found on their adventure, they started Spitz, a restaurant they lovingly refer to as a “Fam-chise”—a name referencing the family members and close friends who’ve franchised Spitz in locations from Arizona, California, Minnesota, Texas and beyond.
Franchising was how Law and his wife, Kaitlen Brennan, ended up owning two Spitz spots, first in northeast Minneapolis and eventually bringing the fresh flavor sensation to his old stomping grounds on the site that once housed Famous Dave’s at Radio Drive and Valley Creek Road. The busy pair opened the Minneapolis location on Hennepin Avenue seven years ago and “certainly didn’t intend to take so long before opening in Woodbury,” but COVID-19 slowed down expansion plans. “My family moved to Woodbury in 1981,” Law says. “It was a goal to bring something a little different, fresh, something less traditional, with a fun atmosphere to Woodbury and that’s how we got from signing our lease on Donegal Drive in July 2022 to where we are now.”
With a dog-friendly patio that seats 30 and an interior designed with a street food flare, Spitz is making an impression in the neighborhood. “We’ve been really touched by how many people have said, ‘Thanks for bringing this to Woodbury,’” Law says. “We’re so happy with how the space turned out, and we’re so happy with the community’s response.”
Though the two Spitz locations are Law’s first swing at restaurant ownership, he credits his work at Oakdale’s Toby’s on the Lake when he was a kid, along with other food-related jobs in college, as his foray into the food world.
Meet the Menu
Law’s personal favorite item on the menu is the Remix Bowl. “With the lemon herb and harissa, I love how these two sauces blend together,” he says. “We do a nontraditional gyro, a unique Spitz approach, with a zesty feta spread and then add Berlin sauce, a complex tomato and pepper combination; then add onions, tomatoes, tzatziki and french fries on top. It’s definitely a favorite!”
The vegan options take this menu up a notch. “We created a vegan menu that’s not taking anything away from a nonvegan item. It’s made vegan intentionally, full of flavor,” Law says. “Rather than just removing dairy or animal products, we start with a homemade falafel, for example, and design a meal around that as a protein with intention. We base a lot of what we do around vegan appetites.” Law says they developed the vegan options from customer feedback, creating their bestselling Vegan Wrap, with lemon herb tahini and a bright, fresh flavor.
Thought of, by foodies, as a Middle Eastern street food and Turkey’s national dish, falafel is a plant-based protein showcased in many of the restaurant’s items; a deep-fried ball or patty-shaped fritter made from broad beans, ground chickpeas or both. Spitz’ menu features falafel in the Berliner Bowl, the Medi Bowl and the Doner Basket, just to name a few items focused on vegan eats.
Fries take the front and center spot on the menu. The Street Cart Fries are a complement to the Street Cart Doner, and the Berliner Fries feature the Berliner red sauce, tzatziki sauce, cabbage, carrot slaw, cucumber, tomato, feta, olives, corn and pepperoncini.
The fast-casual style eatery offers an online app for ordering, with catering and delivery options, as well. “We offer a buffet style for delivery that is deconstructed in different containers, so guests can create their favorite versions of our menu items,” Law says. Party platters and “lunchboxes,” which include a wrap, a side order and a drink, are also catering possibilities and a great way to take elevated lunch or dinner on the run.