By Whitney Kenerly
This is the singsong greeting that meets a customer’s ears whenever they walk into Pita Delite, the fast-casual Lebanese restaurant that has been a local favorite since it opened on Battleground Avenue in 1987.
For me, Pita Delite is the ultimate comfort food. It’s the first place I would want to go whenever I would come home from college. It is where I bring anyone who is visiting me in Greensboro for the first time, and it’s where those visitors always want to go again when they come back.
The Battleground and Friendly locations are larger, but Pita Delite Cornwallis is my favorite spot. Before I became a vegetarian at age 15, I considered the Chicken Fajita Pita to be my absolute favorite food in the world. The memory of it still makes my mouth water. Thankfully I’m still able to eat the star element of the dish – the fajita sauce.
While at Page High School my friends and I would try to race to Pita Delite and back during our brief 35 minute lunch period. My junior year of high school I had journalism right after lunch, and if I knew I would be running late I would make sure to get a grilled cheese delite for my beloved teacher, coach Zack Osborne. It’s a simple sandwich of layers of provolone cheese with lettuce, tomato mayonnaise and house dressing on a pita, but unbelievably good, and was very effective at getting me off the hook.
That’s the key to Pita Delite – the food is simple, but just extremely fresh and satisfying. The house dressing and fajita sauce are both made up of fewer than five ingredients, but they pack a ton of flavor. There is a nice variety to the menu, but most regulars don’t stray far from their favorites.
My go-to is the Tammy’s Veggie Platter, a creation of Pita Delite Cornwallis owner Kamal Dergham. Basically it is a warm pile of all of my favorite Mediterranean foods cooked to flavorful perfection over a crisp bed of cool shredded lettuce and served with freshly grilled pita bread. The falafel and mushrooms are tossed in my beloved lemony and nutty fajita sauce. Sometimes I shamelessly ask to add provolone.
Since moving back to Greensboro I go to Pita Delite at least once a week. I never get tired of it. The large and bright patterns on the wall haven’t changed in years, and that is just fine by me.
When I first left for college, I compared every other Mediterranean deli to Pita Delite, and they all came up short. No one else had the perfect chewy consistency in their pita bread. No one else had the right balance of textures in their sandwiches and platters. While I have enjoyed many other Mediterranean and Lebanese restaurants, they all seem a little too fussy in comparison. Pita Delite just feels like home to me.
I was recently walking into Pita Delite Cornwallis just as four high school boys were leaving. The tallest boy held the door open for me (chivalry isn’t dead) and I heard the familiar ring of the door chime while I returned the friendly “Hello!” of the young woman at the cash registrar. The guys were chatting about teen stuff and I wondered if they were in a rush to get back to class. I got so nostalgic that I texted a picture of my meal to my high school friends who most often were my lunch companions. They live all over the country now, but immediately responded that they would give anything for a Pita Delite platter.
Whenever we are all back home, I have no doubt that it will be the first place we’ll go.
Pita Delite has locations on Battleground, Friendly and Cornwallis in Greensboro, and on Sedgebrook in High Point. Pita Delite Cornwallis is located on 500 E. Cornwallis Dr. and is open Monday through Friday from 10:30am to 9 pm, and on Saturdays from 10:30am to 8pm.