Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Pita Pit Has Opened

The Pita Pit on South Washington is now open. I took Coffee Kid there yesterday. Well, after I talked him out of the McDonalds next door, that is.

The sandwiches are pretty good, and certainly better than typical fast food options. I went out on a limb and had the chicken souvlaki, and The Kid had a gyro.

The chicken souvlaki was OK, considering this isn't a Middle Eastern restaurant. But, I've had worse in far better places. The gyro meat, although obviously the pre-formed and frozen SYSCO variety, was actually pretty tasty (OK, maybe it's been almost a month since I've had Christos in the Twin Cities and I'm somewhat desperate for Greek food.) No, this is not freshly carved from the rotisserie, but again, it is not repellant. The tzatziki was pretty pasty (not a typo) and was missing that expected ZING! The veggie options are typical Subway fare, with the exception of the hummus and babaghanoush, which are an extra charge. As for the actual pita, it was fresh and had a slight sweetness. Or was that the tzatziki making its presence known? I’ll have to go back and find out for sure.

The price for 2 sandwiches, 2 bags of chips, and a soda to share was just under $15.

On the minus side, none of the counter people seemed to know what they are doing. I was asked my order repeatedly, but I’ll give them a break—and another chance—since they just opened a few days earlier. I’ll also cut them slack since this is obviously the first job for many, if not most, of them, as most everyone employed there appeared to be about 16 years old. I have to admit that I found their youthful confusion somewhat cute, but I probably won’t find it so in a few months.

The sandwich board features a “Local” special, but this place is so new that they don’t even have any ideas for that one yet.

The d├ęcor is nothing special, but the veggie characters on the walls had names that seemed to keep the seven year old Coffee Kid amused for a few minutes.

I didn’t notice the napkins.

Stop in, repeat your order a few times, and give them a few suggestions for The Local. All in all, I find The Pita Pit to be a welcome addition to Grand Forks.

ADDENDUM: For our "Eat In" order, the sandwiches were just handed to us half-unwrapped (ready to eat.) Some sort of plate or tray would be a big help to the customers.


GrandForksGuy said...

Great review. I haven't had a chance to go to the Pita Pit yet, but I'm planning on doing so soon...maybe this weekend. I still wish they would have went into a nice strip mall somewhere and not into that ugly building on Washington that has had about ten different restaurants in it during the past ten years...bad track record and gotta be bad karma.

BTW, you must have switched to Blogger Beta too just like me, huh? cool!

JGS said...

Oh? I didn't realize it had openend already. It still appeared it was still being worked on. Guess I'll have to try it soon.

C. Y. said...

Maybe this isn't the place, but what's the deal about a Google account for the beta??

I would move since I don't have much to move but don't want anything to do with Google other than searching.

Maybe I just need to read farther in the info section.

dale said...

We went there on Sunday after church, and the place was out of control. Huge line, going nowhere. We left (wish we hadn't, where we went ended up being pretty awful :-)

Went back on Monday, and we were one of the first in the joint. Similar experience, in that no one seemed really confident, which is odd. I've been in a McDonalds or Subway around opening, and never found such poorly trained people. At any rate, we got our sandwiches pretty fast, then amused ourselves watching everyone who came in after us suffer.

Our bill, $16, was ridiculous for fast food (well, semi-fast :-) Two sandwiches, one bag of chips, and two drinks. No way that should be $16. The pitas were very good, but I doubt that we'll be back, with those prices. Might as well go to Grand Junction or Quiznos.

Oh, and they suffer from the same problem as Mamma Marias -- very little parking, and what there is is hogged by the employees. When you have eight parking spots, don't park your truck with the "Pita Pit" stickers in one of them... that doesn't send a really great message.

Coffee Guy said...

CY, I don't know why they require a GMail account. Blogger is owned by Google now, which is probably their way of getting customers.

I don't mind since I'm a Googlephile.

Dale, you are 100% correct that these people should know what they are doing. Rather than lumping them in with McDoodoos or BK and the like, I'd place them in the Subway or Qdoba category.

As far as getting a sub instead, I can certainly understand that, but I just like to have this as an option.

I hope that all of our GF blogs and comments serve as a catalyst to restaurants and businesses, and we can effect change the way the "reviews" in the Herald never could.

Anonymous said...

Is there a kiddie menu?

How are the napkins?

Were there any lovely fake plants?

Some reviewer you are ;)

dale said...

Is there a kiddie menu?

No. In fact, it was a little ironic, given the decor (see below,) that there was nothing on the menu that would appeal to picky kids.

How are the napkins?

Tolerable, and at least they don't make you beg for extras like they do at Subway.

Were there any lovely fake plants?

No. Oddly enough, though the place clearly doesn't cater to kids, the ambiance was limited to crude (and moderately frightening) cartoons on the walls, depicting chickens, olives and... I don't know... camels or something.

Anonymous said...

CoffeeGuy, GFG just paraphrased your review (though he did add a link to your post).

Coffee Guy said...

Anonymous said...
CoffeeGuy, GFG just paraphrased your review (though he did add a link to your post).

Tell him to meet me in back of the gym after school. And tell him not to bring his friends this time.

Patrick Streyle said...

Hey guys. My name is Patrick Streyle and I opened The Pita Pit here in GF. I heard about your post from one of my employees and thought I would check it out. I do appreciate the comments and I understand the frustrations with the parking and hope to somewhat alleviate that by opening a drive-thru soon. I would really appreciate any other or even more critical comments so we can make some changes for the better. I just graduated from UND in May and decided to start this restaurant because I loved the food and thought others would too.

Thanks Guys

Jeremy B said...

I think the prices are reasonable (about 6 or 7 bucks per person) but the quality of food is terrible. Very typical BLAND midwesternization of good food. I had the gyro, and not only did I have to instruct the employee on what goes on it (she said, oh, you can get whatever you want on it.... THEN ITS NOT A GYRO, DUMMY.) but there was absolutely no hint of any flavor in it!!

So, main points
- add more FLAVOR. PLEASE.
- instruct employees to create the sandwiches properly with less input from the consumer. its not burger king. if i order a gyro, i want a gyro without needing to tell the employee everything that goes on a gyro. hell, i could have told her to make a mustard sandwich.

Won't go there again.

Anonymous said...

Well, Marilyn Hagerty has finally gotten around to reviewing the Pita Pit. She refrained from commenting on the napkins. She ordered a Philly Steak pita with lettuce, pickles, mustard, Swiss cheese, green peppers, and almost everything else offered. I object.

I object to the loose use of terms relating to a Philly cheesesteak in seemingly every joint in town (I was even offered "Philly cheesteak soup" at the Toasted Frog). I have yet to see the term used correctly to describe grilled flank steak (chopped or not) with either whiz, provolone, or american, with or without onions, and with or without hot or sweet peppers on a long Italian roll. Anything else is not a cheesesteak.

Nonetheless, I've never seen the term correctly applied here. I have seen it applied to sandwiches on all kinds of bread (apparently, even pita), made with various meats (usually roast beef, but even burgers), with all kinds of cheeses, and basically with anything else you or Marilyn want to throw on it. Make whatever sandwich you want, but stop throwing around the term Philly cheesesteak.

Legal Chick

Coffee Guy said...

I knew that Legal Chick would pop up on here after Marilyn's non-review review. :)

I love how the only comment MH makes about the food taste/quality was how the salad was "fresh tasting." WTF is that? What a complete waste of newsprint.

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