I had never been to Piada—not sure why, maybe because it’s a chain, but when a friend suggested it for lunch, I agreed. It’s one of those places where you can kind of walk down the line and build your own pasta bowl or sandwich. I went with one of their combinations (I find I really don’t want to build my own anything, I really prefer an expert do that work. I mean, I can do that at home). So I chose the farm club tasca ($7.99), which is sort of like a thinner tortilla stuffed with boneless fried chicken breast, fresh avocado, spicy balsamic aioli, tomatoes, arugula, lemon basil dressing and pancetta. It is also supposed to come with bread and butter pickles, but as much as I love pickles, this just didn’t sound good with everything else to me so I had them leave them off.
I also got a cheesy breadstick just because they looked good when I walked in. My friend had a build your own pasta bowl. The tasca was actually quite tasty—I have to say my expectations were somewhat low, but I was surprised. The chicken had nice flavor and was very tender—and put avocado on anything and I am happy. It’s a little tough to eat the way it’s wrapped—even though in the picture it looks like two pieces, it’s actually wrapped up and is one big sandwich. I also really like the aioli and the dressing on there as well to brighten it up—and that is what makes a sandwich good to me. The other ingredients were nice and fresh—the arugula and the avocado.
I was not a fan of the breadstick though—it had a little bit of a funky taste. Maybe the cheese taste burnt or something? Not sure. Also, my friend had the build your own pasta, which I wasn’t a huge fan of either or it may have just been the choice of things on it. A little too much for me—a very heavy Alfredo type sauce.
All in all, it wasn’t as terrible as I sort of had in my head it might be. It was kind of like Panera with an Italian bent. Ingredients were fresh and the food tasted pretty good. It wasn’t mind blowing, but better than a lot of fast casual chains and certainly with fresher, more interesting ingredients.
8601 River Crossing Blvd (but multiple locations)