Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Restaurant Review: Piada (fast casual Italian) + GIVEAWAY!

My fashionista coworker Whitney is always dropping knowledge on me (go check out her new blog - you can get some of her knowledge dropped on you!). A few weeks back she told me about a place in Hyde Park - Piada. It's like Chipotle for Italian food. 

And thanks to Whitney - you guys get a giveaway! The folks at Piada sent me free lunch cards - so I have 3 pair of cards to giveaway to you! Each card is good for a free bowl, salad or Piada. 

Piada started in Columbus, OH and now has locations across Ohio and they're branching out to Indiana and Michigan! The location in Cincinnati is in Hyde Park Plaza (former TGIFridays spot) and they're opening soon in Mason.

When you walk up to the counter - you see these giant sticks ($1.95) - they come in pepperoni, parmigiano reggiano and artichoke. They're about a foot long and filled with the individual ingredient and are served with a parmesan dipping sauce.

Then it's the Chipotle-ish line where you order and move down the line getting your toppings. You have the choice of ordering a pasta bowl, salad or piada. The piada is their version of a burrito - but the shell is lighter than a tortilla - almost the consistency of naan.

For the protein - you can choose from vegetarian, calamari, italian sausage, chicken, crispy chicken, steak or salmon. I really like the wide variety of choices on the protein - it's very unique.

After that you choose your sauce - they have hot & cold (in terms of temperature - not spiciness). The hot are pomodoro, diavolo (spiciest), alfredo and the cold are red pepper, pesto, basil pesto and creamy parmesan. They also have a few different salad dressings.

Next up are toppings - toppings - toppings! Artichokes, black olives, bruschetta tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, mixed greens, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, pancetta, parmesan reggiano, peppadew
peppers, red onions, spinach, sundried tomatoes and white beans.

They look delicious! It's really great to see so many veggies! I could definitely just have veggies and be thrilled!

It's a terrible picture - but it's meant to show how BIG the large bowl is! That's a lotta pasta!!!!

They have some Chef's Suggestions on the board and one was the calamari - so Lauren tried that. She was happy with it. It's definitely full of ingredients!

We also split a pepperoni stick among the crew - it was okay. We heard rave reviews about the sticks but ours had been out there a while and was pretty dried out. At $1.95 each - this could easily be a really cheap lunch on it's own!

I really wanted a pasta bowl but I felt like - for you - I had to at least try the signature piada. As I mentioned earlier - the shell is lighter than a tortilla. It's also HUGE! I was a little intimidated by this one.

I went for the chef's suggestion of spaghetti & meatballs IN MY PIADA! Yes - you can get pasta in your burrito!!! I chose the pomodoro sauce and added mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, olives and artichokes.

I liked it! It was really filling and I could have easily stopped after eating half - but I nibbled a little more. I wasn't sure how pasta in a burrito would taste - but it was good. The meatballs were tasty and I liked the pomodoro sauce.

There was one major point of sadness in my meal - I ordered a cannoli. I thought it was a cannoli. Now I realized I ordered cannoli chips - but they are supposed to come with a side of chocolate chip cream and mine didn't. So this bag went uneaten. I tried one but they're really dry on their own and not really tasty. Blergh.

Why Should You Go? I think for the most part - everybody's reaction was "Meh - it was okay - I'll probably go back and try it again." Nobody loved it or hated it. I'm glad I tried the piada - but I think when I go back - my regular would be a pasta bowl loaded with veggies. I have a feeling if I'd had that- I would have loved it. I'd also love to see them add goat cheese to their offerings. :-)

Piada Italian Street Food on Urbanspoon

And now you can try it for free! I have 3 pair of gift cards to give away - each card is good for one free Piada, bowl, or salad. Enjoy!

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