Writer: LOUANNA CAMPBELL / Photographer: SARAH A. MILLER / Tyler Morning Telegraph
Fast-casual dining is one of the newest trends in the restaurant business. The concept of offering high quality food without table service is seeing a surge in Tyler.
The newest restaurant in town offering this trendy dining experience is Piada Italian Street Food, at 8942 S. Broadway Ave. in The Village at Cumberland Park shopping center.
- Piada Italian Street Food is open from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Restaurant goers will experience traditional Italian recipes that have been perfected for the fast-casual dining that Piada offers. Diners line up at the ordering line and customize their salad, pasta and protein such as chicken, steak, Italian sausage, calamari, meatballs or salmon.
“The entrees, without meat, are vegan and vegetarian friendly,” Ms. Blossom said. “They can be tailored for gluten-free diets.”
“In the summer, we have a farmers market salad with avocado, strawberries, corn, feta cheese, spiced pecans and mixed greens,” Ms. Blossom said.
Sides of tomato basil soup, lobster bisque, piada sticks and piada garlic dough can be added to any entree order. A desert of cannoli chips, crispy rolled Italian cookies tossed with powdered sugar and served with chocolate chip cream icing, is available to those with a sweet tooth.
“We have Italian teas and sodas that are our own special recipe,” Ms. Blossom said. “We have berry and orange sodas and peach and lemon tea. They’re light and refreshing.”
General Manager Justin Allen is no stranger to the Tyler restaurant scene. The former manager of Jason’s Deli heard about Piada coming to Tyler and was confident of it succeeding. So far, the team of about 30 people has been training together and making fresh salads, pastas and piadas to donate to the Tyler Fire Department, the Red Cross, Texas Spine and Joint Emergency Room and The Gathering.
“We hired a great team to work in an interactive family friendly setting,” Allen said. “This is affordable food that is fresh and made to order. We do not have freezers, only refrigerators. Our food is cooked and served within two days.”
Piada’s soft grand opening Tuesday allowed customers to experience the menu and atmosphere.
“We love all the new restaurants coming to Tyler,” Joel Nichols said. “The new variety we’re getting is great. And they all seem to have a crowd which tells me that people who live and work outside of Tyler are taking advantage of the good food we have here.”
Char Nichols described her Diavolo Piada, a wrap made with romaine lettuce, freshly grated Parmesan, creamy Parmesan, steak and spicy divolo sauce, as not good, but great.
Piada opened in Columbus Ohio in 2010. The franchise expanded through Ohio, Michigan and Indiana before coming to Texas about two years ago when Piada opened restaurants in Houston and Dallas.
“We learned that Tyler has a lot of people who enjoy eating good food throughout the community,” Ms. Blossom said. “This was a good opportunity in a great area to expand in a growing community in East Texas.”