Pick a Pita is as Close to Temple As I’ll Get This Week

As if you couldn’t tell from this, this, or this, I’m a terrible Jew.  But on Friday, with Rosh Hashanah looming, something deep inside my subconscious lured me into Pick a Pita (on 8th Ave. btw. 39+40th).  It’s been awhile since I’ve stepped into this Kosher falafel and shawarma joint, but it’s been fairly well covered on Midtown Lunch. From my first french fry stuffed visit in 2007, to its move from 38th Street to 8th Ave. last year.  In fact, the new Pick a Pita reopened one year ago this week- if you go by the Jewish calendar.  Their reopening was the day before Yom Kippur (which is this coming Monday.)

I don’t know if it was divine intervention, or what, but on Friday I stopped in for a little Pick-a-Pita redux.


I went with the spicy shawarma in a pita, with everything + french fries stuffed in the pita (naturally) for an extra 50 cents.  I’m guessing they forgot to add hot sauce, because it wasn’t that spicy… and considering I had ordered the “spicy shawarma” you would think it would pack a good punch.  The layering was not great- leaving me with mostly meat at the bottom, but the pita was good and it had everything you’d want in a good Israeli sandwich (hummus, Israeli salad, pickles).  I’ll begrudgingly admit that the french fries didn’t add anything- but I wasn’t *not* going to get them. $8 for a pita sandwich is expensive for the size, but it’s on par with the rest of the Kosher spots in Midtown.  It won’t replace Baraca (aka Olympic Pita) as my go to Kosher pita spot, and I doubt God sees it as a replacement for going to temple on the High Holidays… but it was still a tasty pre-Rosh Hashanah lunch.

Pick a Pita, 601 8th Ave (btw. 39+40th), 212-730-7482

Pick-a-Pita’s New Digs Seem to Be Working Out
Pick a Pita (aka My Quest for the French Fry Stuffed Shwarma)


  • Gut feel— God will forgive you for not going to temple. He will, however, not forgive you the use of a double negative, ie: “wasn’t *not* going”. That is a sin against language.

  • my apologies in advance for this long comment, but couldn’t resist!

    I had a horrible experience here a few months back. I ordered a falafel platter and asked for a little extra tomato (because it looked so good). The guy serving me looked over to a guy who i guess must have been the owner (the only bald white guy in the place).

    The owner told me that he would have to charge me for an additional platter if I wanted more tomato because giving me a little extra “would cost him money”. Apparently no one had ever asked for a little more of anything as he completely shocked at my request.

    I explained that I would happily pay a dollar for a little plastic cup of tomato. So he instructed his employee to give me a dollar’s worth of tomatoes. The employee got really nervous and scooped about a tablespoon full into the cup and then looked at the boss for approval. I laughed a little and said “that’s definitely not a dollar’s worth” to which he aggressively replied “take it or leave it”. Needless to say I left it and made a bit of a scene. I could tell his staff were nervous but also smirking a bit that their boss just got told off.

  • Man, if the owner is that cheap, I bet ya he doesn’t use kosher meat in his restaurant.

  • Actually, the cost of keeping kosher is so high that perhaps this is the reason he’s so cheap.

    Seems like rational thought escaped him in that scenario. Really? An entire platter cost for just some extra tomato? At that rate, how much would more felafel/lettuce/tomato/garnishes (aka “an extra platter”) cost if only “extra tomato” is charged at the rate of an “extra platter”?

  • OK, I get the whole pork/bacon obsession, but Zach, you really don’t go to synagogue on the high holidays?

  • I am not jewish but i had to go thanks to my mother in law who bought me $190 ticket. O_O
    every year, i vow to myself, never again..but I still find myself going..at least i had bacon and egg breakfast that morning.

  • the owner, fyi, isnt a bald guy.

  • @klaus ok: I havent been to the new location, but when they were in the loading dock -they would always give out free falafel balls, give me the other toppings on the side becuase they would not fit in my sandwhich, etc. However, the one time I did order the platter, I felt really ripped off. It was not in my mind worth paying so much more just for the rice and they limited it to me not getting everything I would normally shove into the sandwhich. From that point on I stuck to just the sandwhich.

    I have not gone back to them since i found out about Little Morroco cart who makes a pretty tasty facsimilie.

    Also, they used to run out of alot of the salads early in the day, so maybe they were just trying to stretch the supply so everyone could get a full meal versus one person having extra tomato. Most of these places make tha major part of the revenue for the day between 11:45 and 1:45 so they probably have it down to a science of what to prepare and not put food to waste.

  • ok, maybe he wasn’t the owner, but he was definitely the one with the authority that day.

    just want to add that the food was all fresh and delicious, no complaints at all. I would love to go back since the place is steps from my office but i just can’t do it after that experience.

    Instead I get my falafel from the truck on 40th btw 6th and 7th or on 9th across from 2 bros pizza. not kosher, but not an issue for me.

  • At least you weren’t celebrating by eating a bacon cheddar cheese burger.

  • i will pass the criticism on! thanks friends…

  • needs more pickles

  • more pickles…check

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Hey, Rosh Hashanah isn’t this weekend–it was last! This weekend is Yom Kippur. And I’m not even Jewish!

    The real question is where can you get the best hummus in Midtown. Taam Tov is the best I know, but I’ve kind of od’d on the place. If there only was a place like Mimi’s Hummus in Brooklyn….

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.