Pita Place open for business

Thursday, January 30th, Pita Falafel opened in the food court for the third week this month. From the long line that stretched almost into hall students wait  almost thirty minutes to get a Falafel. Moriah Gates/Sun Star

Thursday, January 30th, Pita Falafel opened in the food court for the third week this month. From the long line that stretched almost into hall students wait almost thirty minutes to get a Falafel. Moriah Gates/Sun Star

Shae Bowman/ Sun Star Reporter

Feb. 4, 2014

Pita Place is open for business in the Wood Center.

The owners, Nadav Weiss and Teri Goss, have been in  business in Fairbanks for seven years now. Last summer, they started selling felafels, a Middle-Eastern food, at a stand on College Road. Their new stand in the Wood Center is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday every week of the semester.

Weiss is excited about the possibility to move the business on campus because he already knew Pita Place was a hit with UAF staff and faculty in the summer. “It was actually the UAF customers that helped me get started at UAF,” Weiss said.

The deal between Dining Services and the Pita Place owners was arranged because students requested more variety and more authentic food on campus according to Pamm Zierfuss-Hubbard, the UAF Dining services Contracts Manager. The arrangement is perfect because it doesn’t conflict with his summer schedule at the stand on College road, Weiss said. The Pita Place contract is for three days a week for this semester and Fall 2014. Depending on how things go, Weiss said he would be open to adding another day.

Felafel is a deep-fried ball made from chickpeas, served in pita bread with various vegetables and sauces. “Felafel stands are very common in Israel,” Weiss said. “They are on almost very corner.”

The couple decided to start their business in Fairbanks when they moved here from Israel and needed work. The idea had been in the works for awhile before moving. Weiss said that they spent about a year coming up with the perfect recipe for their felafels.

“There was a lot of trial and error,” Weiss said.

The falafels sold at Pita Place are made from scratch, and the pita bread is made fresh every day, Weiss said.  The couple even had a special pita oven shipped to Fairbanks from Israel.

Already, the Pita Place seems to be very popular with UAF students and staff. “I am very satisfied that the Pita Place has moved into the Wood Center,” said Josh Campell, a senior at UAF. “When I first tried them this summer, I was disappointed they wouldn’t be open in the winter. The food is always fresh, it’s made by a very friendly motivated staff and the prices are awesome for the broke college student. I would highly recommend Pita Place to my friends.”

“I am very thankful for the support and warm welcome we have received at UAF and I am very happy with the arrangement,” Weiss said.

This is the first time Dining Services has partnered with a local business, but they may try it with others, Zierfuss-Hubbard said. If students have suggestions they should email uaf-dining@alaska.edu.

 

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