2. Piada

Differing from the conventional restaurants, this post will be about Italian street food, Piada.

Piada was the center of attention for a while and you would have had to wait in a long line. However, the buzz has died but it still has great food in a convenient location. Located closer to campus, Piada is also a cheaper option for dining and grabbing a light meal before class.

To comment on the interior of the fast-casual restaurant, I would say it’s ambient when you avoid lunch times. The lighting is soft, and the wooden paneling is gentle to the eye.

20170404_175909Also the layout of the restaurant allows many single-eaters to grab a meal alone. While walking by, I see many people working inside the restaurant, so I would assume that it also has a ‘cafe’ atmosphere to it. The mirrors are another plus for the long lines (we’re all a little narcissistic).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides the interior, you will see a large menu against the wall, just before ordering your meal. The options are pretty simple: piada, salad or pasta. There are small delicacies like bread sticks and garlic dough, but I generally don’t get them. I tried the piada sticks and canoli chips. Personally, I prefer the piada sticks which resemble cheese bread sticks, but the canoli chips…not so much. I wouldn’t say they are bad, but then again I wouldn’t pay extra.

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I usually get the Chef’s favourite piada, but for a change I tried the fall steak avocado piada. Unforunately they were out of butternet squash, which is a big part of the flavor (according to the cook), but I still wanted to try it.

When you order a piada, the first thing they do is heat a flat, thin dough. Honestly, it was fascinating at first because I had never seen this before. Similar to a piada would be a burrito at Chipotle, but the way they heat the dough is slightly different.

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Other than the heating of the dough, and the ingredients, I would say the burrito and the piada isn’t starkly different.

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After your dough is heated, you move along to choose the ingredients or to see the ingredients being placed on the dough. Along the way, you can request for more vegetables or any other ingredient.

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And my piada was done! Within 5 minutes, I finished my order, and paid for my food.

I currently use the samsung galaxy S7 edge, and the samsung pay within the phone can be used in pretty much any transaction due to some technology. So even on old machines, the samsung pay allows me to use my phone as my card (which is great in emergencies like leaving my wallet at home).

I’ve been using my phone to pay in Piada for a while, but once in a while the employees change and they don’t know that samsung pay works on the machine. The same response I get when I try to pay with my phone would be, “Uhm..apple pay…so I’m not sure we have the technology yet…”. However, I persist and place my phone against the card swiper, and voila! Then comes the same response of amazement and shock. Yes, this happens every time. The employees would all look at the card swiper with amazement and say, “I didn’t know apple pay was so advanced!”

So to everyone who has samsung pay, and has been denied with claims such as “oh our technology won’t work”, “we don’t have apple pay” etc., just smile politely and ask if you can try.

Almost forgot. I would rate this piada a 7/10. But the chef’s favorite would be a 7.5/10!

 

Thank you for reading my post!

 

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1. Aventura

Michigan – Ann Arbor

Aventura is a contemporary Spanish restaurant with a stylish interior and delicious food.

Personally, I prefer the pintxos and cocas (flat bread) to the paella.

My favourite appetizer to start my dinner or meal is the ALMENDRAS Y PIÑA (pintxos). Although it’s small and overpriced ($4/piece), I just cannot stop myself from getting it. I don’t particularly like pineapples on food, but the holistic taste is great. It’s quite sweet, juicy and sour. So you can taste various flavors while enjoying the texture.

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Then onto the flat bread. I generally like to mix up my choice of flat bread. This day I chose COCHINILLO. I would rate this 8.5/10 (btw, I’m a harsh grader). Retrospectively, the flat bread was delicious. I realized that Aventura does a great job in combining ingredients to create various flavors in one food.

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The slaw, pickled onion and radish add flavor to the bread and pulled pork.

Finally to the paella. We chose an unconventional paella that came with vermicelli noodles instead of rice (not the best choice). I would give this a 6.5/10. I thought the paella was bland, especially in comparison to the other dishes in Aventura, the paella doesn’t give many flavors and it’s honestly quite plain.

However, it looks amazing.

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The seafood is also quite fresh and juicy. However, the general taste of the paella is…plain.

To comment on the atmosphere of the restaurant, I wouldn’t recommend dinners on Fridays and the weekends as it can be very loud. It’s quite difficult to have a conversation and when you get home you’re exhausted from all the noise. The interior is trendy and stylish, so it would be a great location to take instagram photos.

Conclusion: Great food (not sure about the paella), great interior, but can be very noisy.