The Taste Bud: The mega-pita incident

Dec 10, 2014 at 7:58 pm
The Taste Bud: The mega-pita incident

I was hanging out with my pals Vince, Matt and Zach, the owners of Great Flood Brewing, watching (and pseudo-helping) them brew a batch of beer recently when Matt told me Vince was going to run out and grab some lunch.

“You want in on it?” Matt asked. Sure, I said. I didn’t even know where Vince was headed, but I knew I was hungry. Turns out he was going to grab carry-out from a place I’d never been but always considered: Eat a Pita.

A Highlands mainstay for years (under various names and locations), the Mediterranean restaurant was one of those places in town that I would drive by, think “I need to check out that place,” and then get distracted away from. This day, apparently, was some sort of fate.

Vince informed me that during the week, the carry-out lunch special at Eat a Pita was $2 off gyros. Two bucks off an already affordable $6.99 for a standard gyro? Count me in. And there are a number of options, from the classic beef and lamb blend to chicken to Kufta (Mediterranean meatloaf) and even chicken cordon bleu, Philly cheese and teriyaki, among others. There is also an impressive menu of veggie and vegan pitas, from tofu to falafel to the Jerusalem, which is fried eggplant and baba ghanouj; those start at a more-than-reasonable $5.49.

I also noted that each pita sandwich had a “Hercules” option for $9.99. I figured they were bigger versions of the standard. I knew the basic size of a gyro, so I knew it would be enough for my appetite. Matt, however, is a big guy — like, a really big guy — and he went for the Herculean Philly cheese pita sandwich.

Vince returned pretty quickly with a bag of sandwiches. He walked toward me, reached in nonchalantly, and pulled out a foil-wrapped thing that was every bit as big as a Subway footlong. I figured, “Oops, he accidentally gave me Matt’s Hercules sandwich.” But then I noticed that all the sandwiches he was pulling out of the Eat a Pita bag were roughly the same size and length. The things were the size of my forearm.

So I unrolled my sandwich, and found it was not a pita stuffed with beef and lamb, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and tzatziki sauce. No, it was TWO pitas, one overlapping the other just enough to keep them mostly together stuffed with beef and lamb, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and tzatziki sauce.

I looked at it. It appeared to look back at me expectantly. It was like a mega-pita. If the damn thing had eyes, I thought, it would probably wink at me.

And then Matt said, “The Hercules is the same size but with a lot more meat.” I looked up as he approached and showed me his sandwich. That thing was the size of Vin Diesel’s forearm. Or, well, Matt’s. (He’s a BIG guy.)

I dug into my now-not-so-huge-seeming gyro, not sure what to expect, and what I got was a fresh, tasty sandwich. The meat was tender and seasoned just right. The veggies were fresh and plentiful. The tzatziki – one of the few things I’ll eat that are made from cucumbers – was among the best I’ve had.

Needless to say, I finished about two thirds of it before getting fuller than I ever hoped to be at 1 p.m. on a weekday. I finished up by plucking the last few bits of meat from the sandwich and dabbing them in whatever stray tzatziki I could find. I also nibbled at the edges of the remaining pita before folding it up and tossing the leftovers. I hated wasting the veggies, but I had no room remaining.

Then I went and washed my hands, because that was one messy sandwich.

Eat a Pita also has a lunch buffet for $7.99 and a full menu blending Mediterranean fare and American classics, as evidenced by the Philly cheesesteak on a pita. They even have breakfast pitas for $4.99 (come on, bacon on a pita!). It’s going to be tougher to drive past the little restaurant at 2286 Bardstown Road from now on.