After Hours: Pita Time does more than sandwiches
SEOUL — Lodged between a screaming mass of Itaewon street vendors, purse shops, tailors and coffee shops, even Pita Time’s brightly colored sign gets a little lost in the clutter.
The second-floor sandwich shop knows its target audience: English teachers and servicemembers who can’t always splurge on the area’s more expensive restaurants but don’t feel like ingesting a fast-food chemical bath.
The chicken Caesar pita sandwich is among the restaurant’s best offerings. The chicken is mixed with bacon and combined with fresh lettuce and a tasty Caesar-like dressing. Feta cheese, available for a small surcharge, also mixes well.
Pita Time — open daily for lunch and dinner — also sells the usual assortment of roast beef, chicken and other sandwiches for 6,200 won, or about $6.60.
The meat is about average, but the assortment of extras pushes the sandwiches past some of their competitors. The sandwich makers don’t measure out each topping in minute quantities like some of the sub sandwich joints. They’ll pile on enough cheese, vegetables and condiments to make sure you don’t go hungry.
Vegetarians have multiple options here, either with sandwiches or with the eatery’s personal pita pizzas. The small pizzas on crispy pita bread make a nice appetizer or light meal.
Pita Time offers the usual assortment of sodas and water, along with “orange juice” that isn’t really orange. It’s something approximating a sugary tangerine juice, adorned with a Jeju Island label. The oddly pleasing drink is about $1.50.
The main drawback to Pita Time is its inflexibility. Would you like romaine lettuce with your sandwich? Sorry, that only comes in the Caesar wrap. Hummus on your falafel? Nope, that’s two separate sandwiches.
Apparently, the customer is not always right in South Korea.
Those gripes aside, Pita Time gives customers what it promises: a fast, healthier alternative in the cheap-to-intermediate price range.
To see previous After Hours reviews, go to: stripes.com/afterhours
See previous After Hours reviews here.
Prices: Most food items are between 6,000 and 7,000 won (about $6.40 and $7.46)
Specialties: Pita sandwiches and pita pizzas.
English menu: Yes.
Dress: Wear something.
Clientele: Mostly your typical Itaewon foreigners.
Directions: From Yongsan Garrison, walk toward the Itaewon main street. It’s not far from the beginning of the street, on the right-hand side. If you reach Outback Steakhouse, you’ve gone too far.
Web site: None.