Daniel talked me into trying the brand new Pita Pit in Kanawha City today for lunch. I really wanted to eat at Aladdin but we think they are closed on Mondays. (Side note: I will get my Aladdin fix sometime this week. We tried to go one day last week and the parking lot was filled almost to capacity. Knowing that it would be a very long lunch with such a big crowd, we passed.) I am not a fan of the wrap and I was worried that these pita sammies would be a lot like a wrap. As you may be guessing, I whined about his choice.
The place has only been open about a week and still has the strange “new furnishings” smell. There are lots of tables inside but the line to order your pita stretched all the way to the door and didn’t let up during the time we were present. As a result, you probably don’t want to sit at the row of tables on the right side of the restaurant past the door. Not unless you want a view of a stranger’s butt while you try to eat. I know what you are thinking: it depends on the stranger.
The menu has a Mediterranean slant: gyro, hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, feta, etc. But there are some good ol’ American choices, too like turkey, ham & swiss and buffalo chicken. I went with the chicken souvlaki – a sort of chicken gyro – since I have had the Aladdin craving so badly lately. I knew it would fall short of the delicious Aladdin gyro but nothing else was appealing to me.
It is pretty loud in there and I had trouble hearing all the questions I had to answer: what is your order? what type of pita? what toppings? now or later? I chose a wheat pita with the chicken cooked on the grilltop with the “secret sauce”, lettuce, spinach, green peppers and tomatoes. By utilizing the nutrition calculator on the Pita Pit website, I determined (after the fact) that my pita contained 377 calories.
I answered the “now or later” question with “now” and won’t do that again. They handed me a pita wrapped in paper with the top part torn off so it was ready for eating, but I didn’t know quite how to juggle it while I was trying to get my fountain drink filled and grab a lid, straw and extra napkins. If you get it for “later”, they put your completely wrapped pita in a plastic bag with a napkin. There are no plates and no utensils. I would have liked something to put my sandwich on so I didn’t have to constantly hold it upright. Something better than a napkin. I felt like I was roughin’ it.
Speaking of the fountain drink, the carbonation was completely absent. One of the employees brought out a 2-liter and filled our drinks at our table, but that’s not the same as a crispy fountain soda. And the situation wasn’t resolved during our visit, so we did not get refills. Shame on you, Pita Pit. I paid $1.49 for a cup of bottled Diet Coke.
Back to the food: whatever the secret is in that sauce, it’s delicious. I just wish they had squirted it on better quality chicken. The texture was all kinds of wrong. It was soft and rather spongy, as if I was eating chicken fat instead of meat. Daniel theorized that it might be dark meat. It reminded me of the first time I went to First Watch years ago and then immediately wrote them off. Same horrible texture on the chicken. People tell me First Watch chicken isn’t like that anymore but I was too tramautized to ever try it again. Plus I am afraid of all the eggs they serve there and worry someone might force me to eat one. Blech.
There is a plethora of toppings to choose from. It’s as if Penn Station and Subway had a baby and they named it Pita Pit. It all looked okay except the romaine lettuce which appeared to be two weeks old. They have about a million different sauces, but since I like to choke things down dry, I’ll let Daniel tell you more about those.
And then there’s the price. I had 6 little chunks of pretend chicken and some unevenly allocated veggies on a very thin wheat pita along with a pretend fountain soda (no refill) for over $8. You’ve got to be kidding me. I never got full. My stomach was growling loud enough to hear it over the phone calls I was trying to make at work by 3:30 that afternoon.
My overall impression: NOT impressed. I can only muster TWO FORKS for this disappointing addition to the Charleston food scene.
Warning chain review ahead…
Actually I don’t really have too much to add to what Susan wrote. We ordered the same thing and she is right on all accounts. I did try the tzatziki sauce and the baba ganoush – both were only fine. I wasn’t nearly as offended by the chicken as she. I suspect it was thigh meat. I just kinda of close my eyes and power through. Susan has this tendency to pick and dissect her meat. Sometimes I wish she would just put it in her mouth and swallow it for crying out loud.
This place is like a Moe’s except you get half as much food. I’ll admit that I probably eat too much at lunch most days, but today I was tore up hungry before I left work. I hit the vending machine on the way out of work at 6P. Then my oldest spawn was at a girl scout meeting so I had a bowl of oatmeal when I got home. Finally at 7:30P I was able to fill the void that Pita Pit left in my gut.
Why can’t I get a plate? Some bean counter in Canada decided that eliminating paper plates would boost the bottom line by 2K a year. That’s right…the Pita Pit is a Canadian Company. Cool eh.. I wonder if it is run by Bob and Doug McKenzie?
There are plenty of options for vegetarians at the Pit, too. So give the Pita Pit a try to break up the normal routine. Pack an afternoon snack because the hunger pains are a P.I.T.A.TWO FORKS Pita Pit 4222 MacCorkle Ave. SE Charleston, WV 25304 304-925-2848