By Veronica Sandate Craker
The newest restaurant opening in Kennewick will offer a healthier alternative to traditional fast food lunches those on the run often turn to.
Extreme Pita and Purblendz will open at 1360 N. Louisiana St. in Kennewick in January.
The Kennewick restaurant is the fourth location for the franchise in the state.
The restaurant may serve up quick dishes in a fast-food style, but owner Mike Noftle said the menu is filled with healthy options from pita wraps to flatbreads.
Noftle came across the franchise a year ago while traveling around Western Washington. He chose it specifically for its health conscious flavor.
“I was in the process of undergoing a pretty significant lifestyle change,” Noftle said. “I lost 100 pounds and began realizing you couldn’t bring your lunch with you and eat at home all the time.”
Noftle said the restaurant sets itself apart by grilling everything in water instead of oil. There are also separate cooking spaces for vegetarian meals.
“We have a whole range from traditional like Euros and falafels all the way to buffalo chicken and Philly cheesesteak,” Noftle said. “We have flat-baked pitas, which is like a pita pizza and then a range of salads.”
The quick-service restaurant guarantees that its meats and cheeses are not processed and lists its nutritional information on the menu.
“It’s something we are proud of and we’ve been doing it before it was trendy,” Noftle said.
Extreme Pita, which is based out of Toronto, Canada, has listed its ingredients and nutritional facts since its inception in 1997.
The restaurant makes its own pita chips, which come in a variety of flavors including plain, garlic, jalapeno-cheddar, chili-lime, and cinnamon.
In addition to the restaurant, the location will feature a smoothie bar named Purblendz.
“So we’ll have pure fruit smoothies, green smoothies and what we call elixir smoothies with supplemental additives,” Noftle said.
Noftle said Purblendz will be located within Extreme Pita, but have its own space and its own menu.
Terra Griffin, a self-proclaimed health nut, has been hired as the restaurant’s general manager. Griffin said jumped at the chance to be a part of the restaurant after she learned about the smoothie option.
“I’m a green smoothie girl,” she said. “You can get ice-creamy, yogurt smoothies anywhere. You can’t get a kale, berry, mango, or algae smoothie — and it still doesn’t taste like a medicinal type of thing.”
The Purblendz smoothies are made of all natural ingredients and are free of gluten, dairy and additives.
“You can go all the way and be as healthy as you want or you can get the Big Berry Bang, and it’s just fruit and juice — more of a dessert smoothie — but it’s still healthy,” Griffin said.
The range in health varieties transfers over to the Extreme Pita menu as well, which has a wide variety of salads and pitas. Noftle said the small grilled chicken pita has less than 300 calories. Those with larger appetites will can satiate their hunger with more substantial choices, like the cheesesteak pita, he added.
Noftle said the store will employ 10 to 12 workers.
The business will be open from 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday. For more information on Extreme Pita visit www.extremepita.com.