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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Inviting taste without the calories

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Downtown is home to a quick, affordable and “fresh-thinking” lunch option – The Pita Pit. Located at 1 N. Pennsylvania St., this restaurant is setting a new bar in the quick customer service industry.

It all starts with a pita. Customers pick from several Mediterranean- or American-themed options and then can customize their meal by adding a variety of veggie and sauce options. The finished product is stuffed into a white or wheat pita, hot and ready to eat, no silverware required.

Everything is prepared with an eye on keeping it healthy. Only lean meats and veggies are offered, and the low-carb nature of pita bread keeps whatever is ordered low on fat and high on nutrition. For those with extra diet concerns, anything can be served as a salad instead of a pita. Nutritional information also is provided.

But it is definitely still tasty. “We’re a healthy eating restaurant,” says owner Travis Sealls, “but we don’t have to sacrifice flavor to do that.” This is because the restaurant has the luxury of being able to make a strong investment on ingredients. Much of the cost of food at other healthy fast restaurants goes toward bread. Since pita is relatively inexpensive, Pita Pit can put more into the rest. Veggies are prepped in-store and no corners are cut in seasoning, making everything fresh, crisp and tasty.

Menu favorites include the gyro, Philly steak and baba ganoush. I tried the chicken souvlaki, which in Greek means anything marinated and then grilled. Pita Pit’s version is flavored with black pepper, oregano and garlic. The cook prepared the chicken on a flat top grill, and then asked me what I wanted on the pita. I chose lettuce, bean sprouts, parmesan and tzatziki (the cucumber sauce that is commonly paired with gyros). The finished product was delicious, and left me feeling full and happy with the knowledge that it is not clogging my arteries.

I was not the only one happy with the food. Regular customer Crystal Williams loves it. “I could eat here everyday,” said the Herron art school student. “It’s like eating salad without a fork.”

Pita Pit offers much beyond just pitas. Everyday a tasty soup is availabe, including red Thai curry with chicken, chili and potato chowder. Specialty smoothies are made with whole fruits, juice and fat free yogurt. And, lest I forget, fresh baked cookies are offered for dessert. Several vegan and veggie options are available for the non-carnivorous, and some breakfast foods are served all day long.

The price tag is also healthy – for your wallet. Entrees range from $4.99 to $6.99 and between the hours of 3 p.m.-5 p.m., Pita Pit puts on happy hour, when all items are $4.99.

Perhaps the most refreshing thing about this restaurant is its responsibility. It has earned the Green Restaurant Association’s 2-star certified-green restaurant designation, making it the first and only certified-green restaurant in Indiana. A strong commitment to energy efficiency, recycling, and water conservation earned this award, and Sealls is proud of it: “Being green is a smart way to do business. At the end of the day, we use fewer resources, waste fewer products, and our customers love that we are making these changes on our own.”

For more information on how Pita Pit can tantalize your taste buds, call (317) 829-7482 or visit pitapitusa.com.

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