Monday through Friday, hundreds of people commute to just a few square miles of city known as Addison for work. And when Friday comes, everyone returns to their home like New Yorkers to the Hamptons in the summer.
For this reason, dozens of restaurants continue to pop up to give people more options for a convenient lunch or maybe even a business meeting.
I learned about Arezzo Italian Street Food while doing my daily search on Groupon for good deals. The Groupon was $15 for $30 which seemed like the perfect amount for me and my two companions to enjoy a nice meal. The fast-casual eatery provides quick and modern options for people on the go.
Arezzo offers patrons four options of Italian street food: PaDeene, a wrap-like option, Chopped Salad Bowl, Pasta Bowl or Panini Sandwich. (Now, I’ve never been to Italy to actually confirm if there are vendors serving pasta and lettuce out of a street car to know if this is an accurate culinary resemblance. They get an A for effort though.) All of them can be customized with your choice of wood-fired grilled proteins, chef-inspired sauces, dressings and a host of veggies.
Like many other eateries in Addison, a reasonably-priced lunch pair is available for those, like me, who are a little indecisive, a Half & Half Combo. I decided to go with the small pasta with a side salad. As we made our way through the line, my associates enjoyed the opportunity to top their PaDeene with an assortment of options. They even said “oh, it’s like Chipotle.” *face palm* The fact that it resembles a tortilla didn’t help this statement either.
I visited Arezzo during my vegetarian month and was pleasantly surprised to see they had options for those who preferred to be meat-free. These options did not include a soy protein, but I had already learned to enjoy the crisp, fresh taste veggies and carefully-chosen-sauces bring to food.
Despite the fact that we spent what felt like 15 minutes ordering our food, the line moves fairly quickly and is a good option for those who are looking for a fast meal. It may be a good idea to take a look at the menu first because the options may overwhelm you on your first visit.
After all of that personalization, my small pasta and side salad were basic and not very flavorful. I reiterate the importance of sauce in my vegetarian entrees. Maybe it’s because I abstained from meat, but both of my dishes required additional seasoning. Also, I wish they would have tossed the pasta in the same manner they mixed the salad because it was somewhat difficult to mix the pasta in the small bowl they provide. That’s probably a first-world problem. Ironically, my guests could not stop raving about their DaPeene, and were still discussing how much it resembled the previously mentioned restaurant, but “with a kick.”
To finish our meal, we shared an apple strudel, a lukewarm dessert that kind of reminds you a chimichanga. How many times have Tex-Mex like references been made in this post? My point exactly. The crust was not flaky and the apple filling tasted like it came out of a can. Nothing too exciting there.
After talking to one of the managers, I learned the owner of Arezzo is actually a franchise owner of Dickey’s BBQ, which explained why the restaurant décor reminded you of a barbeque joint. The most Italian-like item in the whole establishment was a Vespa parked on the sidewalk outside. Of course. The owner thought Italian Street Food was a neat concept. After only four month of business, many people seem to agree because the line was always long during the 45 minutes I was there. Perhaps, he should just stick to smoking meats.
*Dallas Food Nerd and contributors were not offered any food in exchange for this review. Thoughts and opinions are strictly those are Dallas Food Nerd.*