We all have things in our lives that we are so sure about that they aren’t worth arguing. If someone told you that Britney Spears has a better voice than Adele, there wouldn’t be much to do but shrug your shoulders and move on. For me, the amazingness of Pita Plus is one of those things. Either you love Pita Plus or you’ve never tried it; I simply can’t conjure any other possibility.
If location does in fact matter to a restaurant’s success, Pita Plus is the exception that proves the rule. Their Ft. Lauderdale location is in the type of non-descript strip mall that you could drive by every day for years, but only realize exists if you have to, I don’t know, get something notarized. Their Aventura location is in Concorde Plaza – or, Loehmann’s Plaza for those of you who still refer to Hard Rock Stadium as Joe Robbie – a place where stores seem to come and go with the frequency that gearheads change their oil. Pita Plus has discovered that the product matters more than where you put it.
Going to Pita Plus with a novice reminds me that placing your order can be a bit intimidating, so I’ll take you step-by-step through the process of going vegan there. You may enter Pita Plus thinking their signage is presumptuous (see picture at top of post), but leave unsure if it is wrong.
Find the vegetable station, grab a paper ramekin, and fill it with pickles, peppers, cabbage, and anything else that you think will compliment your meal (it’s free, and you can go up for more later). When you get to the counter you’ll be asked what you’re having, to which, the best answer is “falafel sandwich and side of fries.” This will set off a chain reaction of seemingly chaotic events from which choreography emerges. The person who took your order will call it out, and a second person will drop fresh cut potato into a fryer, form the falafels, and drop those into a fryer. Let the salivating begin.
Depending on the configuration that day, a third person will be waiting with an open-mouthed pita, ready to fill it with all of the hummus, tahina, babagnush, Turkish salad and so-on and so-on that you could want. Folks, let’s get something straight here: This is not Chipotle. The fixings come with the sandwich and they are happy to give you extra on the side. This is important because for all its virtues, pita bread has its limitations, and space is one of them.
You are almost done (and ready to start!). Once the falafels are out of the fryer they’ll be placed in your pita, at which time more tahina will be drizzled in it, if you so desire (and you should!). Slide down to the cashier (don’t forget your fries!), choose a drink, and offer to pay for your friend (you’ll need someone to help you finish those fries!). For not much more than $20 total, the two of you will be treated to a lunch that will keep you satiated until dinner and have you dreaming about falafel.
Saying anything critical about the food at Pita Plus would be like complaining about your daughter’s A-minus when she had nothing else by A’s. But I’ll do it anyway. The one thing that could be improved is the pita bread. They don’t hide the fact that the bread isn’t made there, but options exist for pita bread that is softer and holds together slightly better. There, I said it. Now do yourself a favor and go to Pita Plus, immediately.