Italian Wraps This Good Could Really Catch On
Piada Italian Street Food offers much more than your typical go-to burrito bar or burger place, infusing the casual setting with a subtle fine dining ambience and cheerful service.
Piada’s has locations across the country, primarily in the Midwest and Dallas, Houston, and Austin. This is their first location in East Texas.
Piada in Tyler opened recently and it perpetuates a concept first inspired by CEO Chris Doody’s visit to Rimini, Italy — and his fascination with food carts and corner markets. He wanted to replicate the experience of fresh, modern Italian served with on-the-go speed.
As the name suggests, the restaurant’s signature item is the piada — an Italian-style wrap made with thin crust dough, baked on a stone grill and filled with meat, vegetables and house-made sauces. The Chef’s Favorite -- a la regional chef Jorge Martinez -- is a sizable offering filled with a choice of meat — perhaps calamari, or tender grilled chicken — spicy diavolo sauce, romaine, mozzarella, sweet and spicy peppers, and creamy parmesan. Fresh from the grill, the dough is warm and soft, but a crispy outer layer provides a subtle yet satisfying crunch. Contents are generous and juicy, the cheeses creamy, and the diavolo sauce adds a kick as it complements the sweetness of the red peppers.
Piada also offers fresh salads and pastas, as well as a variety of seasonal specials that change twice a year. The Harvest Grain and Apple Salad, a fall/winter seasonal special, is refreshing while still pulling off a comfort-food vibe. Field greens are mixed with crispy chicken fritte and the restaurant’s harvest grain seasonal side — a flavorful blend of Farro, spiced pecans, dried cranberries, feta, roasted butternut squash, fennel, basil, and a red wine dressing. Crisp slices of Granny Smith apples top it all off along with pepitas and a house-made lemon basil vinaigrette. The squash, feta and fritte flavors mix well with the sweet tang of the fruit, while the nuts add a nice finishing touch.
Along with a kid’s menu, the restaurant offers a variety of sides, including soups. Rolled Italian Cannoli chips served with chocolate chip icing is a light dessert.
Community marketing manager Jordan Blossom says orders are easily customizable and Piada caters as well. Tyler’s location is the chain’s 35th and was a logical choice, Blossom adds, because it is known for its restaurant scene.
“People like to eat out in Tyler,” she says. “Restaurants do well here — people are open to new ones.”
And with its farm-to-table ingredients, healthy options and gourmet flavors served up fast and easy with modest pricing, Piada seems likely to win fans for lunch getaways, quick dinners and repeat visits. The new restaurant is located at 8942 South Broadway Avenue For more information, call 903.266.9120 or visit mypiada.com/vip/tyler.