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Pitas, to the extreme

Looking for a healthy, quick eating alternative?

If so, you may be in luck with Extreme Pita.

The first of three Extreme Pita franchises in the F-M market is celebrating their grand opening this week in Time Square West along 13th Ave.

The other two are scheduled to open within the next eight months: one in Osgood and the other on 25th Street.

All locations will feature the same extreme food pitas and fillings.

An owner described the restaurants most distinguishing features as healthy food, a menu for kids, fresh fillings and a great atmosphere.

As the Extreme Pita working partner, Troy Thomson brings 17 years of food service experience to the table.

We want to go that extra step to make it fantastic in here, he said.

Thomson described the restaurants atmosphere as warm and welcoming.

We have warm colors, recessed lighting and speakers, pictures and descriptions of the food. Its professionally done, and we want people to come in and feel good about being here, he said.

He said pitas are nutritionally beneficial over competitive foods, adding that in Extreme Pita friendly staff person behind the counter, photographs of the food and easily accessible nutritional information do a lot to meet and surpass a customers expectations for their dining experience.

Pita bread is strong enough to be packed full with meats, vegetables, cheeses and sauces, allowing customers to enjoy more toppings and less bread, Thomson said.

Pita bread is a thin, round and flat wheat bread and is made with yeast. It is traditional in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines and is believed to have originated in Ancient Greece.

Extreme Pita bread is made and individualized in Canada before getting shipped to Fargo. There are two sizes of pita six and nine inch.

They come in freestyle, flat-baked and special creations and can be ordered alone or as part of a combo, with a drink and chips or cookies. Children can order from the childrens menu, and theyll get goldfish crackers and a juice box along with it.

A customer walks into the restaurant facing the menu, goes forward, into and around a corral to get to the front of the line and then orders on the right side of the counter. Then a customer guides the server down the assembly line of ingredients and pays on the left side. Food may be ordered to stay or go.

This isnt fast food; its quick-service food, Thomson pointed out.

The menu is extensive.

Freestyle pitas include a falafel fanatic with hummus and hot sauce, an extreme club with turkey, ham and bacon strips, a gyro with tzatziki and much more.

Flat-baked pitas hot from the oven include the classic veggie, extreme pepperoni, extreme classic, Hawaiian and grilled chicken.

Salads use fresh Romaine lettuce and include a Traditional Greek, Classic Caesar, Fresh Veggie, Grilled and Chicken Caesar.

Extreme Pita creations include the Greek Chicken Colossus, Ranchero Chicken, Double Philly Cheese Steak and more.

The kids menu includes a chicken pita, ham and cheese pita, pepperoni flat baked pita, cheese flat baked pita and chicken nuggets and dip.

Thomsons favorite pita is a new creation called Big Country, consisting of a chicken and steak combination with lettuce, tomato, sautéed vegetables, pickles, Cheddar, light ranch and Cajun dressing.

Youve got your protein and your vegetables. Its great, he remarked.

The Extreme Pita restaurant in Osgood is scheduled to open in May and will be the largest of the three, with 40 seats.

Extreme Pita is a franchise that began operation in February 1997, and there are now more than 160 locations in the United States and Canada.

For more information on the 13th Avenue location, telephone 277-8100