Jim Augustin is a re-pita eater
Who: Jim Augustin, cofounder of the Noisette Project, is charged with transforming the vacated Charleston Naval Base into an “urban-density city center,” integrating residential, commercial, cultural, recreational, and educational uses, a type of vibrant lifestyle that now exists mainly in fond memories.
Favorite Lunch Spot: Doe’s Pita Plus, 5134 North Rhett in N. Charleston just off I-526. This branch of Doe’s is open Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The downtown branch at 334 East Bay has longer and weekend hours. Jim admits to coming to Doe’s two to three times a week since 1993, when he was a base closure administrator “for the healthy food and fresh ingredients.” He mentions that the mayonnaise/plain yogurt mixture that substitutes for pure mayonnaise is but one example of how the food here cuts down on cholesterol and other health destroyers. In addition to the many delicious and healthy menu items, Jim fondly remembers always forming good, even lasting, relationships with the staff. He then goes on to tell me some of the life (and death) stories of former Doe’s employees. Doe, the owner, took us on a tour of her pita bakery housed in a separate building behind the restaurant. Gary, the baker, showed us several machines that he and his wife use to turn out 500 pitas a day. (The torn-off ends of pitas are then baked into pita chips.) And how do two slabs of dough manage to puff up and separate to allow for sandwich stuffing? By heating the bread to 900 degrees Fahrenheit for exactly 45 seconds — and then handling them very carefully.
Favorite Dish: Jim says he was first hooked on hummus and veggies on whole wheat pita. Now he regularly lunches on chicken salad with broccoli, garnished with romaine, onion, and tomato on a whole wheat pita. Similar to Jared of Subway fame, Jim says he has lost a significant amount of weight due to a steady diet of Doe’s Pita sandwiches and salads.