By Jill Rothwell – Collegiate Staff
As the freshmen on the block, brothers Adam Kadar, 26, and Ramzy Kader, 23, re-opened Gita Pita in July at 2 Jefferson Avenue SE.
The move from from 28th Street in Cascade was prompted by a desire for a longer lease. A fortuitous move that Ramzy said has doubled their sales.
“It comes from a love of food, care and appreciation of our customers,” Ramzy said. Born and raised in Chicago, the brothers originally learned the cuisine techniques in Jerusalem. Adam put his own special spin on the recipes learned at home, in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother, as well as abroad.
Ramzy said moving to Grand Rapids was a decision made as a family of entrepreneurs, investing their life savings almost three years ago, after considering the market research and the local competition.
Orders are assembled in a Chipotle-style line where customers can choose from a number of fresh ingredients. Everything is made from scratch and meats are grilled per order as well.
Fresh parsley, garlic, onions, garbanzo beans and other spices are blended to make the Shawarma, used to marinate the chicken and steak overnight for the bowl recipes. The falafel, a mixture of sauteed chickpeas are blended with mediterranean spices into a creamy mixture. Spoonfuls of the blend are gently patted into balls then dropped into hot oil to cook for a crispy outer crust. Completely vegetarian and vegan, 100% gluten free.
A specialty of the house is the pita bread cooked on inverted cast iron bowls, known as saj style. Heated from fire beneath the bowls, the bread is buttered not to stick then flipped quickly to cook.
Window bar seating is available in the main room or on the side where you can catch up on the news or sporting events on flat-screen TVs.
You can get in and out, back to school within an hour, just don’t expect this to be a super fast food option as it is very popular with the community, but definitely worth the wait.
Walking: Six minutes from the Main Building at GRCC.
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through through Saturday, 12 p.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday.
Price: Between $6 and $10.50.