On Sunday afternoon Brandon and I went to Piada. Piada is known for being an Italian fast food restaurant and their slogan is, “Italian street food”. We had waited, nearly a year to go and try their food, simply because people we didn’t want to associate with people who worked there. I would constantly see how their employees behaved on Snapchat, and had zero interest in those people serving me food. However, they all ended up leaving or being fired and thus we decided it might be worth it.
When entering the restaurant, it had a huge hipster vibe. Everything from the paint color on the walls, to the dark granite flooring looked familiar as well. It was as if someone had said, “let’s take Chipotle’s idea, and make it ‘Italian’.” The menus are placed up front next to the trash cans for those to read before walking up to get their food made. Above the cashier their sign just read, “Try our new Mediterranean Power Bowl” with no indication as to how the flow of ordering food was supposed to work. It wasn’t until someone else came in behind us, looked at a menu and then went up to order that we even knew what to do.
Upon ordering our food, I made it clear to the chef (who was named Andy) that it was our first time at the fast food restaurant and we had no idea how everything worked. I went ahead and ordered the “Chef’s Favorite Piada” Which is described as, “a handmade piada filled with spicy diavolo sauce, romaine, mozzarella, sweet & spicy peppers, creamy parmesan.” Andy continued to tell me that I could add whatever choice of meat or other vegetables in it. He recommended the calamari, however did not introduce any other meat options to me, therefore I had it veggie style. When it came time to add more vegetables in, I had told him that I will take whatever he recommends, except for artichokes and onions. He then put cucumbers, sundried tomatoes, and chickpeas. He then proceeded to roll it like a burrito. Which ended up being a mix of flavors that was not enjoyable.
Brandon ordered a “Porchetta Sandwich” which is described as a “slow-roasted pork loin seasoned with Tuscan spices – porcini, rosemary, garlic and peppers. Layered on a rustic Italian roll with basil aioli, pickled red onion and fennel”. Rather, it ended up being a lackluster pile of dry and fatty pork cuts, and a mess of pickled fennel and red onion that came out of a Styrofoam container that was carelessly slopped on top. While the meat of the pork was decently seasoned—it was overwhelmed with the amount of tasteless and chewy fat. On top of that, the Chef had told us that Brandon’s meal came with a side item, he did not disclose that the side item would be at an additional cost. We found that out, only after being over charged for a side we didn’t even have.
I was originally going to back and order one of their ‘street food’ items to see if maybe it was just the dish that was the issue. Then when another customer, who ordered the “Porchetta Sandwich” complained about the fat, the Chef said he would make a new one and bring it to the table. As the unknown customer proceeded back to his table, Brandon witnessed the Chef take out the uneaten parts of the customer’s sandwich and put it back in the pork container. Seeing this cross contamination made me cringe and thus we decided that this place was not for us.
Overall, Piada is an overpriced, below mediocre fast food restaurant. We spent nearly $20 on just two entrees, that were not made well. We will not be going back to Piada and do not feel as though we should recommend it to any of our friends or family. Although it seems clean on the outside, witnessing the cross contamination shows that the staff does indeed cut corners, and the food itself was not made to our liking. In our opinion this place gets zero out of five stars. However, if you find that you want to try it out yourself, click the link.