Pitas - Columbia, SC
A lunch place, Pitas (or is it Pita's, as if the restaurant belonged to a piece a bread?), opened recently on Taylor. I had the opportunity to pop in, thinking a falafel sandwich would be just the thing. Imagine my surprise when I was told that there is no falafel on the menu. What? Why the hell not? Chowhounders, you will not believe the answer I was told. The owner of Pitas is also the owner of the (overrated) Mediterranean Tea Room, and he did not want there to be a falafel sandwich on the menu at Pitas since that would detract from business at the Tea Room. Yes, that is a great reason not to have a falafel sandwich at a pita-themed lunch spot. This must be the strategy that the owners of the successful Miyo's set of restaurants employs, and explains why there is no overlap between the menus at all of the different Miyo's restaurants peppered around town! ;) Or Five Guys, for that matter.
Apparently I was not the first one to complain about the lack of falafel but the owner is strangely adamant about it.
That put a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak. But one can only complain so much about what a restaurant is NOT serving, I suppose. How about the food they do serve?
We ordered a hummus pita, a gyro, and some fries. The fries are straight from the freezer at Sysco -- nothing special. The hummus itself was tasty but there is nothing particularly interesting about hummus, cucumber, and tomato. The gyro meat -- not made there -- was cut into two thick slabs and was fairly unappealing in taste and texture. The good thing here are the pitas themselves, which appear to be baked on site (I don't know if they make the dough themselves). They are on the soft and flabby side of the pita spectrum. They taste a lot better than what you will buy in a supermarket. I neglected to ask whether one could just buy plain pitas by the dozen or so to go.
Overall, while the pitas are good, they are put to use in a fairly mediocre way here, and the result is a restaurant that seems more like a missed opportunity than anything else.
Maybe it is because I have traveled to Israel 3 times and really enjoyed it so much but the Pitas @ Pitas are the best in the U.S. My wife and I have been trying to duplicate the tasty bread since our return from The Land without success. You see it takes the right combination of flours, water, heat and fairy dust to pull off the perfect Pita. Pitas has done just that. So if you want a Pitas as good as in The Land of Israel, you can either fly 5,500 miles and visit or go to Pitas of Columbia, SC. I am planning a trip this Wednesday to resupply.
Oh my goodness. Pitas is a DISASTER. I stopped by back in the fall precisely to get falafel (although I haven't been impressed with the M. Tea Room falafel, I was desperate), and there was none. So I ended up with a hummus pita and fries (for what seemed like an inordinate price) and was thoroughly disappointed. I can make better hummus at home.
FAIL, Pitas. FAIL.
7 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401