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Pita Pit in Jax Beach, a healthy alternative

Imagine Subway without the breads full of carbohydrates and replace those with healthy pitas. Boom! Pita Pit.

Jacksonville Beach welcomed its first Pita Pit franchise in June and the owner is none other than 2005 UNF alumna Christy Whitkop. Sadly, Whitkop wouldn’t respond to the multiple attempts I made to get in touch with her. I tried the joint anyway.

Only a street away from the pier, Pita Pit is a local attraction to beachgoers and people looking for healthy, cheap food. Their menu consists of different kinds of breakfast, lunch or dinner pitas. Basic soups and salads are also served.

I tried two pitas, one filled with breakfast egg and sausage and the other called Chicken Souvlaki with Greek seasoned chicken. The servers behind the counter give you two choices of white or wheat pita. They cook meat, eggs or whichever ingredients you’d like grilled on a big griddle behind the counter. Then come the endless array of toppings.

Hummus? They’ve got it. Garlic pesto? That, too. Tomatoes, sweet onions, peppers, olives, cheese, condiments and more. The servers will make sure they fill your pita to the brim once you reach the end of the line. You can get away with a pita for $5 to $8.

The place is fairly small with minimal indoor and outdoor seating. Parking can get a bit crammed, but the food for the price may be worth it. The atmosphere was casual, welcoming people of every age. I decided to take my pitas to the pier and enjoy them there. Well, until the seagulls chased after me.

The joint is open from 10:30 a.m. until midnight Monday-Wednesday and all the way until 3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. It closes at 9 p.m. Sundays. Its late-night hours give locals a place to chow when everything else is closed — not counting the greasy shuns of McDonald’s.

I do have one complaint, though. Its website said its staff is friendly and cooperative. Friendly, yes. Cooperative, perhaps not so much. I called multiple times to speak with Whitkop, left my phone number at the desk and emailed her, too. Her lack of corporation left a downer in my mood, and I would now think twice before visiting again.

And one day, I did think twice. When I wanted a Pita Pit special, I stayed home and tried to mimic the pitas they served. It was easier than making grilled cheese.
Henna’s DIY Pita Pit pita:
-One wheat pita
-Two large eggs
-1/2 medium onion
-Tomato pesto
-Stone ground mustard
-Cheese of choice

Slice your pita open and spread the pesto and layer with cheese. Scramble eggs with butter, sauté onions, if desired. Pack all the ingredients in pita and roll it close. Add additional ingredients of your own — sausage, bacon, hummus, whatever you need to clear out of your refrigerator. Get creative with your pitas with different types of condiments and sauces. Boom and done.

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