What caught our eye about Pita Pit was not its impressive exterior. Next to a similar hole-in-the-wall sized pizza joint aptly named The Joint, both have a bit of a shabby look to them. Neither was it cartoonish wide-eyed cuke, and squeeze-mustard bottle characters painted between the windows, or the fire-alarm red tomato-face stuck up above. No, it was the young woman we viewed through the large plate-glass window, quickly and deftly grilling bite-sized chicken and veggies, then rolling them up in a pita after tearing the bread apart in some nimble-fingered way so that it ended up neatly looking like a wrap.
We might have eaten there right then, were it not for the fact that they don’t accept credit cards, and we hadn’t yet exchanged our U.S. cash into C$’s. We were determined to return another night, however.
In the meantime, we stumbled upon another pita-wrap place a block up from our motel on Gorge Road East. MegaWraps is less quirky, and comes off more professional and streamlined. It’s also a chain, with over 150 locations in Canada and the U.S. As it turned out, we ended up sampling both Pit and Mega pitas, and liking them both. I had falafel wrap-pitas in both places, and not surprisingly, MegaWraps serves the better one. MegaWraps’ roots are Arabic; Pita Pit’s are Greek. Only MegaWraps offers the absolutely essential tahina sauce with falafel; this is an addictive creamy sauce made of sesame seed paste (tahini), lemon juice, garlic, and salt.
On the other hand, "Petey" and his gang at the Pit kinda grew on me after a while. (Petey is a giant stuffed-pita cartoon-character, one of many on the Pit’s walls.) Those walls by the way, are anything but subtle in bright basic primary greens and reds. At the Pit in Victoria, and later in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Bob and I sampled chicken, club, and steak pita-wraps, all tasty and satisfying. Another nice feature of Pita Pit is Greek specialties, such as Souvlaki and Gyros pita-wraps, and tzatziki sauce, a light, tasty yogurt-cucumber sauce.
The theme that predominates in both Pit and Mega establishments, refreshingly, is the same: healthy fast foods. Mega’s motto is: Where health and taste meet without compromise. Their latest promotion is their online WeightBusters Program. Pita Pit’s motto: Fresh thinking, healthy eating. The first Pita Pit started in Kingston, Ontario in 1995. Businessman Andy Odeh started the first MegaWraps 3 years later, in 1998. Both are continuing to expand like gangbusters. This year, 2006, the PitaBago National Tour rolled through five Southern states and Washington, D.C. from March to June, searching for new franchisees.