- chowser Sep 8, 2008 02:54 PM
Has anyone heard of this? I was at a mall the other day and from the outside, it looked like any generic chain mall restaurant. But, there were people making fresh pasta and pizza dough, the old fashioned way--by hand, starting with the well. It wasn't near meal time or I would have stopped. I looked it up online and it's an international chain (interestingly enough a couple of the execs have McDonald's backgrounds). Freshly made pasta? Can you go wrong? Prices seemed reasonable, too.
I tried it when I was out in the Reston area, and was pleasantly surprised.
The ingredients were fresh, the pasta was cooked al dente.
When I first came across it I thought it was going to be similar to Pastagina http://www.pastagina.com/index.htm which is prevalent in Southern California.
But after trying Vapiano's out, they are clearly a notch or two better than a typical fast-food pasta/Italian joint, which is what Pastagina is.
Worth checking out if one is nearby, but not something to go out of the way for.
My favorite pasta at their Arlington, VA location is the pasta with butter, mint and lime. It is one of the least expensive and very light and fresh-tasting.
I'm unimpressed by all salads. They don't seem to use the freshest produce.
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LOVE Vapiano. Its a really nice in-between option for when you don't want to sit down at a real restaurant, but you really don't want to hit the deli sandwich line... again. They have several of them in the DC area and they are a hit with the foodie, but still has a ton of work to do and needs something good but fast, crowd.
Went to one in DC this weekend. Concept is interesting. You get a card and can go to any of the stations to order you meal which is then put added to you card balance and then you pay at the hostess table on the way out.
I had the Strawberry Basil sangria which was initially good but the second one I had was too much vodka for my taste. I split a brie appetizer (which i though was a pizza from the confusing Specials signs) and a chicken pesto pizza. The pizza was ok. I saw a bunch of the pasta dishes but reallly noghting on the menu jumped out at me. Portions were large and I think it they restaurant is more about the atmosphere and the gimmick rather than the food. Very loud at night, would have preffered slightly quieter music. Tasted teh tiramisu dessert which was alright too. I probably wouldn't go back of my own accord. Way more interesting things to eat in this world.