Lynn Dirk, The GLOB's Content Editor, and the GLOB Master were on Archer Rd. when we decided it was time for a meatless lunch. My first thought was the Pita's Republic sitting on the edge of what I call the Archer Rd. Triangle. This was the first trip to the PR for Lynn. I was pleased to see the friendly, smiling face of Lamia behind the counter, and she was quick to suggest some meatless lunch ideas. "The Pita Republic menu is very vegetarian friendly and I am in here early in the morning getting all the lunch ingredients fresh and ready for my customers," Lamia said. Lynn ordered the Hummus-n-Falafel Pita -- freshly fried, crunchy falafel patties combined with green pepper, Greek olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and a generous dollop of cucumber yogurt sauce all wrapped in a sun-dried tomato wrap. Captain Dirk also asked for some Asian Sriracha sauce to pump up the spicy heat on her mashed garbanzo bean mixture in the falafel and fresh vegetables. I stayed closer to America cuisine with my wrap and ordered the Two Cheese+Veggies. I selected mozzarella and feta cheese to combine with "all the veggies available." There is a menu available at the restaurant link below. My wrap was good but the star was the cucumber yogurt sauce. Much later in the day Lynn realized she made a mistake by ordering a tortilla wrap instead of a pita. She loved her sandwich but thinks the pita would have added a little more bread to absorb that wonderful sauce. Either way, Pita's Republic makes a very good lunch. Our lunch was topped off by sharing the Eastern sweet treat called baklava suggested by Lamia. She and her team are excellent, friendly staffers quick to be of assistance. Now if I could just figure the Archer Rd. Triangle traffic maze.
Cucumber-yogurt sauce would make old shoes tasty
By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor
A lot of things go into creating a nice lunch outing. Good food, stimulating conversation, and a friendly, professional restaurant staff.
Lamia El Achabi (left, in photo at right) and Hind Mentak at the Mediterranean lunch spot,
Pita's Republic (PR),located on the corner of Archer Rd. and SW 34th St. treated me like I was a special customer from the moment I walked into this -- on the small side -- lunch spot. I could tell right away this was going to be a nice experience.
This tiny lunch spot is an off shoot of a group of PR restaurants started in the Tampa bay area. Looking on their locator map there looks like there could be more Pita Republic flat bread shops than Publix groceries in some areas of Tampa.
I'm getting into these flat bread, alternative sandwich substitutes. My Avocado-n-Chicken sandw . . . er, Republic Pita really hit my lunch time hot button.
While Lamia was making my pita, she let me know the PR can get busy at lunch. Maybe that's because they never scrimp and only use fresh ingredients. "We start with fresh produce and other ingredients here. Nothing ever comes from the freezer truck," Lamia said, looking me in the eye and making a serious point as she gesticulated with her knife.
I believe Lamia. The Avocado-n-Chicken pita was very good. And it was BIG. I should have eaten only half and saved the other half to share with a friend or eat later. However, since this was a business lunch, I decided to eat the whole thing.
I could have just said, "eat the whole pita," but "eat the whole thing," is so much more descriptive.
This was a GIANT sandw . . . er, pita . . . uh, lunch entree.
The Chicken-n-Avocado Republic Pita has zesty avocado spread, jack-cheddar cheese, and cucumber yogurt sauce. I added lettuce, tomato, and purple onions for an additional charge.
The GLOB Master is telling you that Pita's Republic cucumber yogurt sauce would make a tripe taco very special eating.
There were many extra-large pieces of seasoned, white chicken breast chunks in my pita surrounded by chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and onions blended together in that incredible cucumber yogurt sauce.
I should have ended this feature with that big wow.
Pita's Republic also has pitas with fish, "deli cuts pitas," or just veggies, and you can make your pita into a combo or platter package for an additional charge. They also have salads and kids meals.
You can view the Pita's Republic menu, and locator map at their website (link below).
Pita's Republic also serves up six different kinds of smoothies. It wasn't on the menu but, I wonder if they can make a cucumber-yogurt smoothie?
The Pluses and Minuses of Pita's Republic:
Pita's Republic (+) indicators: Fresh, delicious, giant pita sandwiches!
Pita's Republic (-) indicators: The Pita Republic is located in the Archer Rd. restaurant triangle. Good luck getting in and out of the parking area!
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