One of 2015’s most “buzzed about brands” according to the National Restaurant Association andRestaurant Business magazine, will debut its first location outside of the Midwest at the gateway to Memorial Park on October 2. The 2,400-square-foot fast casual restaurant will occupy a prime spot on the endcap of the new Park Place Memorial development at 5801 Memorial Drive, just east of Wescott Street. A second Texas site will open on October 23 in Sugar Land, followed by restaurants in Dallas and Houston’s Vintage Park.
The Memorial Park space will feature light filled interiors and modern, European-inspired décor with design elements including warm-stained concrete floors, crisp LED lighting and handmade white oak furniture, plus Carrara marble, brushed aluminum, painted brick and subway tile accents. Central to downtown and Uptown, guests will be in close proximity to River Oaks, Camp Logan and the Washington Corridor and steps from the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens Visitors Center.
According to Piada founder Chris Doody. “Houston has earned national acclaim for its excellent Italian offerings, and the Piada concept, which focuses on quality and authenticity, will speak to the city’s sophisticated palate while offering a distinctive and delicious option for quick and casual dining. We’re thrilled to make our introduction with a restaurant that is central to a myriad of neighborhoods and top business and leisure destinations.”
Much like Chipotle, diners can build their own personalized wraps, pastas or salads from an array of grilled items such as calamari, chicken, steak, sausage, salmon or veggies. Customers can then choose from a variety of toppings and sauces that are placed inside a flatbread Piada or a salad. The main attraction begins at “The Stone,” where an exhibition-style hot stone is used to heat up their signature “Piada” – or flatbread – which looks similar to a tortilla. Piada actually refers to a whole wheat Italian flatbread, or a sandwich made out of this bread.
Sauce choices include pomodoro, red or green pesto, spicy diavolo, or creamy parmesan, and all sauces are meatless. Veggies and other toppings include mozzarella, parmesan and feta cheese, angel hair pasta, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, arugula, mixed greens, mushrooms, sprouts, avocados, black olives and roasted red peppers.
Salads can be an entree or a side salad can be built to order at the front counter. The same grilled items, veggie and cheese options are available for the salad. Dressings include Italian and balsamic vinaigrette and a chef-style crew member mixes your choices of toppings and dressing to your liking while you watch.
All pasta dishes are prepared with angel hair, and they come with a choice of grilled item, sauces, cheese and grilled vegetables. Other items on the menu include spinach and artichoke dip, tomato basil soup, Piada sticks and cannoli chips. Piada also serves a limited menu of beer and inexpensive wine. Prices at Piada are very fair as an entree and side with a drink cost about $10.
New to the brand are Tascas, small Italian sandwiches utilizing thin crust Piada dough. Three varieties include Chicken Salad, Italian Trio and The Farm Club with crunchy buttermilk fried chicken, pepper jack cheese, smashed avocado, arugula, sliced Roma tomatoes and crispy pancetta. Each are served with a seasonal side, which at opening, encompass a Tuscan Kale Salad, Quinoa and Orzo Crunch.
Service will be provided continuously from 10:45 am until 10 pm seven days a week, and catering will also be available. For more information and to sign up for a chance to attend the Houston VIP opening previews, visit mypiada.com. Like Piada on Facebook @piadaitalianstreetfood and follow on Twitter @mypiada and Instagram @piadaitalianstreetfood.