The Pita Pit

Hooray, another option for lunch downtown! Unfortunately it's another chain restaurant with a very annoying website. Before you click on the link to the Pita Pit USA website I should warn you to turn down your computer speakers or at least have your hand at the ready to turn them down. Here is the link. To turn it off, on the site look for a little green man in the bottom right corner of the web page. Click on the tiny green dot with the white square inside. At best, I was hoping that this place was going to be a small chain, but one look around inside you can tell that this place has an expensive corporate design. The walls are decked out with colorful artwork and soft modern rock music plays in the background. Located on State Street across from the Marion County Courthouse, The Pita Pit's slogan is "Fresh Thinking, Healthy Eating." For some reason when I think of eating pitas, I think of tuna fish salad and alfalfa sprouts, they have that and more. Pita's range in price from $4.25 for the Garden, which is a choice of vegetables, to $6.25 for a Philly Steak or a Chicken Caesar. I ordered the Roast Beef. One thing that I hate nowadays when you order a sandwich is you have to explain to them how you want them to make it. I just want a basic sandwich, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo, mustard. They should ask if I have specific instructions, of course, but if I don't, they should know how to make a basic sandwich. So after the ordering ordeal, they wrap the pita up to look like a large burrito. With all the ingredients stuffed inside and folded, my first bite was all lettuce. When I looked inside the pita I could see the other ingredients uneaten. I quickly learned if you want a bite with lettuce and roast beef, you have to sort of zig zag your chewing across the sandwich.(Does that make any sense?) I wasn't very impressed by my pita, especially since it cost almost $6. For two dollars more, I got the combo meal which comes with a ridiculously large 22oz bottomless soda and a bag of chips. There's no half pita or children's portions on their menu, not even a pbj pita. I do believe that competition from the Pita Pit will cause other downtown restaurants to offer healthier options for lunch and that might be good for everyone.

17 comments:

jeff said...

I was a traditionalist - I went with the Gyro option the first time and the Chicken Souvlaki the next. Enjoyed them both. The large drinks are a bit ridiculous - I think they are 32oz, not 22oz though.

Personally I like the "Subway" style of sandwich manufacturing - which is basically what we've got here. I agree that it's a touch spendy, but there is really quite a bit of food there.

Jennifer said...

I personally didnt care for the PITA PIT, it was over priced, and like you said you have to zig zag around to find your roast beef

stephanie said...

I've been eating at Pita Pit a lot since they've opened- I already got a free one with my punch card! I'm not thrilled with the $7 sandwiches, but they're so big that I don't need chips and I'm filled all day. My favorite is the Chicken Souvlaki and the Falafel. I know it's a chain, but I'm happy it's here!

D. Lamkid said...

I personally don't want to spend that much on a sandwich. I would rather spend that type of money on Chinese Food, Mexican Food, or even a hot hamburger, (not a fast food one).

And after hearing about the way you have to attack these things, why bother? I don't think I will even try this place.

Anonymous said...

Our office had lunch there on Friday and everyone enjoyed it. I had the Chiken Souvlaki and thought it was fantastic. I didn't experience the "zig-zag" like the previous posters. But come on, if you stuff so much in there, you're not going to have every ingredient in every bite since they roll it up like a burrito. I give it a solid A and will go back again.

142 said...

This place was a favorite of mine when I lived in Corvallis. It brings back many fond yet slightly hazey memories of late night pita runs. I'm glad to finally see this place in Salem!

Anonymous said...

I am addicted to Pita Pit. I wish I would have eaten at the one in Eugene when I lived there. I've eaten there at least 4 times since they opened and tried 4 different pitas and all were yummy!

Pamela said...

love, love, LOVE Pita Pit!

I always order the Falafel pita with hummus...definitely one of the best I've ever had!

Has anyone noticed that the hours are interesting? Open until midnight every night but Thursday - when they're open until THREE AM! Why is that? Weird.

They deliver downtown until 6 and then will deliver out south to Madrona. Yay!

Anonymous said...

I happen to work at the Pita Pit in Portland. Now, what I have learned in my 3 years working there that EVERYONE'S idea of what a "normal" sandwich is, is DIFFERENT. Some people hate onion and want extra pineapple. You never know what a person's image of "traditional" is either. If anything, the fact that you GET to custom make it, is a good thing. Just SAYING that you "have" to pick your toppings is ridiculous. This way you know for sure it's what you want. Now as far as the whole "zig zagging" to eat it thing goes, that's a bit absurd. If you want to avoid that just get a smaller amount of all the toppings you want. It'll still be HUGE, but not only will you actually be able to finish an entire pita but your bites won't be all of one ingredient. It's lazy America that wants their decisions made for them. Having to stand up for 4 minutes while your meal is made to order is far too much physical, as well as mental, activity. And one more thing. Pita Pit is a franchise but each one is individualy and locally owned. Each location just abides by the franchise rules and runs the rest as they see best fit. I think you may be comparing it to something more like a McDonals chain. It's not quite like that. "Pita Pit" doesn't pick a location and cookie cut a new one. A person, most likely in your own community, paid the fees, found a spot and made it happen. Working really hard the first few years to pay off investors and what not.

Anonymous said...

what exactly makes up the Pita Bread? I got a severe head ache after eating half of my Pita. It was HUGE. I don't get headaches from meals unless there is MSG in the bread. Do they have MSG in the bread? On the Pita webdite bread is not broken down in ingredients.

dsperin said...

I was SO excited when Pita Pit came to Salem. I LOVE it. Unfortunately, haven't been there since I discovered that it is much cheaper for me to make my own falafel and tatziki and create my own pitas at home. My whole family loves the place though!

Anonymous said...

I Love Pita Pit, and I have loads of friends who do as well. I'm just glad I don't have to travel to Portland to get one anymore. Pita Pit isn't a standard ass sandwich place, each location I've been to has it's own eccentric vibe. So, yes they have weird hours, and yes, their Pita's are GIANT! If your annoyed that you have to actually look around the menu to find what you want, then go to McDonalds, seriously. They may be expensive but you certainly get all that you pay for.
The Pitas are big and hard to attack, but where's the fun in eating if you can't get a little messy from time to time.
Pita Pit is a place of tasty fantasticness, don't knock it till you try it! :)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the Pita Pit. The staff that works there is always super friendly and willing to give suggestions if your not sure what to order. I eat at the Pita Pit several times and month, and they deliver downtown during lunch, so convenient!

Anonymous said...

I very much enjoy the Pita Pit. However, on every occasion, the music has been too loud and, on every occasion, I have asked them to turn it down while I am there. They always do with no complaint or attitude. Since I get to witness the making if my sandwich (Falaffal is the best) I need not worry about retaliation. Excellent place!

Chuck Bradley said...

I tried this place as a second choice today. (La Perlita is still locked up tight! ??) The first thing that struck me when I looked it over was it's a Subway Shop with pita bread in place of sandwich rolls. (Not a criticism) This proved to be much the case. The walls and ceilings were painted avocado green and black and were festooned with garish cartoon renditions of vegetables. I'm not sure quite what they were going for here (targeting the pre-adolescent pita-fancier market perhaps?), but it all seemed pretty stark to me. There was a female person working the counter, who had more ink than a Sunday edition of the New York Times and a fellow crafting the pitas. Neither could be termed enthusiastic. After running the hot water spigot in the Men's room for about three minutes, I gave up and washed with cold water. I selected the Chicken Caesar (Grilled Chicken Breast and Bacon) I asked the young man to load my whole wheat pita with veggies. As he transferred the meat from the grill to the prep table on a stainless steel spatula, I noticed two good sized bites tumble to the floor. He didn't miss a beat and stuffed what remained (which, mercifully, was plenty) into my pita. In stark contrast to my lunch experience yesterday (at the Brick), this was a big, good and satisfying lunch. The food is this place's saving grace. I'd eat here again.

(Note to the webmeister: Looks like we have two treads for the same place here. Any chance they could be combined? Just a thought.)

Anonymous said...

I can't get enough of the Pita Pit! I go in for lunch several times and week and I am always greeted by a cheerful staff with helpful service. If I'm ever looking to try something new on the menu they are always more then willing to give me suggestions so I can get the best possible Pita! I recommend the Pita Pit to all my friends and I hope this is one lunch place that's here to stay!

Anonymous said...

sorry I think they re very delicious nd they do have a childrens menu