I picked up dinner there right before watching the Seahawks season opener (only the Ebola portion of this post is timely*) and ordered a falafel sandwich. The process is pretty straightforward: You get a few balls in a pita, and it’s up to you to fill in the rest at the salad bar.
I think you can figure out where this is going.
What points Pitopia earns for simplicity it gives right back for providing an open salad bar. As I waited in line, I couldn’t help but notice that the old man in front of me had already eaten about half his falafel/pita and was coming back for more with which to stuff it. Perhaps because he’s old, maybe because he’s careless, but apparently adding ingredients to his sandwich necessitated inserting the common serving utensil deep inside of it, then returning the defiled item directly to the salad bar.
I only saw one guy do this, but presumably it happens all day, every day because some people are gross and terrible and can never be trusted. Don’t let them near anyone else’s food. If New Jersey can pay people to fill your tank with gas, New York can pay people to serve your food using gloves and washed hands. A “one bite of the salad bar apple” policy would even be likely to save them money.
As I was leaving, I noticed that the New York Health Department had given Pitopia a sheet that reads “A” to hang in the window right beside the entrance (and visible above). Presumably, because you can’t spell Ebola without an A.
*Though, to be fair, I’ve been at it for a while.
[Editor’s note: Both of the above photos are illustrations I found online, and were not taken during my visit, which occurred at night.]