UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | February 27, 2024

Mad Pita Express offers unique food, atmosphere

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Mad Pita Express, a local and family-owned Greek and Lebanese restaurant thrives off its fresh and unique food and family-centric atmosphere.

When you first step inside, you can’t miss the strong scent of mixed spices, and immediately long for the Mediterranean food. Noel Graham, restaurant manager and daughter in-law of the owner, credits the food that is cooked from scratch each day as one of the many successes of the restaurant.

When asked what has helped to have a successful business, Noel Graham said, “The recipes, the food is good, we have great quality products, and we keep a consistency.”

He said customers continue to revisit because it’s not a burger joint.

“They can’t get this food anywhere else in town,” Noel Graham said.

A quick glance at the menu and you would have no choice but to agree. Mad Pita Express offers a variety of Mediterranean dishes from Gyros, which is a mixture of beef and lamb meat topped with a cucumber tzatziki sauce along with tomato, parsley and onion, to a Greek salad and side dishes such as Pita bread.

A favorite dish recommended by customers and employees is the Spicy Chicken Pita. Employee Maddisen White said the spicy taste gives the chicken a kick of flavor without the spice being too overwhelming.

Justin Shettel, a frequent customer, deems the food as one of his favorite cuisines in St. George.

“I came here with my family a couple years ago, and it has become one of my favorite spots to eat. The food always tastes good and they’re quick to get it out to you, which is nice,” said Shettel.

One of the distinct qualities about Mad Pita Express is the close-knit family dynamic it exudes. Ever since husband and wife duo Basila and John Graham opened the doors of the restaurant, it has been run by members of their extended family. The Grahams opening of their restaurant was influenced by the cuisine of their respective nationalities. Basila Graham was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, while John Graham is Greek and grew up in the Mediterranean.

“John [Graham] himself decorated the walls with pictures of the family and mementos,” Noel Graham said. “We want customers to feel welcome and feel like family.”

Feeling a part of the Graham family goes for both customers and employees.

“I love everything about working with this family,” White said. “They have so much love for each other, and together they put a lot of effort into making this restaurant do everything it can to continue to be successful.”

The family has thought about expanding the business to northern Utah, Lehi specifically, where they have more family members to take part in running the restaurant.

You can find Mad Pita Express next to the Pineview Megaplex theater at 2376 Red Cliffs Drive #316.