Five years ago, a holiday in Rimini, Italy, sparked a delicious idea in the minds of some Ohio-based chefs. Inspired by the city’s food carts and little family-run markets, they created Piada Italian Street Food — a modern, light-filled fast-casual concept that pulls together utterly fresh elements right before your eyes.
Texas is the first expansion outside the Midwest for the chain, which has been hailed as one of this year’s most “buzzed-about brands” by the National Restaurant Association, with two Houston locations, another on Louetta opening soon, and two opening in the Dallas area. The well-edited menu puts a novel American spin on wraps with their namesake piada: a thin flatbread baked to order on a stone grill, then wrapped around sandwich fillings such as calamari fritto misto and steak diavolo ($8). Other temptations include grilled chicken with angel hair pasta, cloaked in house-made parmesan Alfredo and fresh basil pesto, and Tuscan chicken salad with crisp chicken fritte, mixed greens, fried onions and pancetta dressed with spicy pepper dressing (each priced at $7 small, $8.50 large), as well as endless make-your-own piada, pasta bowl and chopped-salad options.
Street sides include warm cheese- or pepperoni-stuffed piada sticks ($2.29) and decadent lobster bisque ($3/$5). And don’t miss the cannoli chips: a break-your-own bag of shells with vanilla-tinged sweet ricotta studded with tiny chocolate chips.
Piada Italian Street Food, 5801 Memorial Dr., 832.834.6415; 1930 Highway 6, Sugar Land, 281.491.0603