Just a stone’s throw away from the recently opened Das Bevo, another new restaurant makes its debut in the Bevo Mill neighborhood. J’s Pitaria opened on May 27, featuring its namesake savory and sweet filled pastries, doner kebabs and more. The concept comes from husband-and-wife duo Zamir and Josi Jahic.
“The business is my husband’s baby. He owned a coffee shop and nightclub a while back but has been talking about doing this for a long time,” says Josi. “Pita is a very traditional Mediterranean dish we grew up eating. My mom makes it to this day. We wanted to take this dish, fill it with fresh quality ingredients and make it our own brand.”
The 1,400-square-foot space features a casual service counter and 35 seats. The dining area features a modern theme with a Mediterranean twist complete with exposed brick, a mural of the Arch and cozy window seating topped with decorative pillows.
Behind the counter, pita dough is prepared fresh on a regular basis, hand rolled and stretched into paper-thin phyllo pastry. The delicate wrappers come filled with cheese, meat, vegetables or fruit and are rolled and baked daily. The meat for the doner kebab is also prepared and grilled on site.
Pita is available by the pound in savory or sweet varieties. For the former, choose from the following filings: cheese, meat (beef), spinach and cheese and potato. For dessert, choose from pita filled with freshly cut apples or one of the Jahics’ creations that isn’t quite as traditional as the others: Nutella.
“You wouldn’t find Nutella pita in a Mediterranean or Bosnian household,” Josi says. “It’s something we wanted to try out.”
In addition to doner kebabs with all the fixins, J’s Pitaria also offers a grilled chicken panini with spinach, tomatoes, red onions, provolone and kajmak – a housemade buttery cheese spread. Sides include fresh cut fries and ustipci, or housemade fried dough balls with your choice of Nutella, kajmak or ajvar – a smoky spread made up of roasted red peppers and eggplant.
To pair with the pita, Jahic recommends aryan – a common drink found in the Mediterranean with a yogurt base. According to Jahic, the housemade refreshment serves as an excellent natural probiotic and has a smooth and creamy flavor likened to plain kefir. Additional drink options include housemade lemonade, soft drinks, espressos, lattes, cappuccinos and tea.
“We really take pride in our product and want to ensure that we are delivering the best quality that we can,” Josi says. “I want everyone to come and try it. I don’t think they’re going to be disappointed.”
J's Pitaria is currently open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
J's Pitaria, 5003 Gravois Ave., Bevo Mill, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.339.5319, facebook.com/JsPitaria