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Piada Italian Street Food

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  • #397144

    Bear
    Participant

    columbusfoodie wrote >>

    Bear wrote >>
    So… does anyone know whether they have the same commitment to sustainability[/url] that Chipotle does? The only indication I see on the menu is the organic flour used in the piadas.

    Not sure, but I remember that it wasn’t always that way with Chipotle either. When the first one came to town (at Perimeter Loop in Dublin, sometime in 2001 or 2002) we were there by chance at the soft opening and remember that it wasn’t a part of their business model back then.

    That’s definitely true. I just wondered how much of Chipotle’s present business template they were working off of.

    columbusfoodie wrote >>
    I think it’s easier to source sustainable ingredients when you can get that supply as a group of restaurants rather than a single location. Economies of scale and all that…

    I’m not sure I agree. Certainly, once Chipotle got bigger, they could economize a bit on sustainable sourcing, but the same applied to conventional sourcing. They didn’t switch to sustainable sourcing because the price threshold finally dropped below the point at which they could do something they wanted to do—it was purely a business decision. And even large-scale, costing them substantially more, it made sense. From the article I linked to:

    Nine years ago a menu item wasn’t selling so well, so they switched to Niman Ranch naturally raised pork simply to help it sell better. Steve Ells, founder, CEO and head chef, visited some of Niman’s farms and loved what he saw; plus pigs raised well taste better. “When we switched to Niman we had to increase the price by $1, which changed carnitas from the cheapest to most expensive item on the menu at the time… our sales doubled,” Arnold told me. “We learned that people are willing to pay more for better food.”

    #397145

    columbusfoodie
    Participant

    Bear wrote >>

    columbusfoodie wrote >>

    Bear wrote >>
    So… does anyone know whether they have the same commitment to sustainability[/url] that Chipotle does? The only indication I see on the menu is the organic flour used in the piadas.

    Not sure, but I remember that it wasn’t always that way with Chipotle either. When the first one came to town (at Perimeter Loop in Dublin, sometime in 2001 or 2002) we were there by chance at the soft opening and remember that it wasn’t a part of their business model back then.

    That’s definitely true. I just wondered how much of Chipotle’s present business template they were working off of.

    columbusfoodie wrote >>
    I think it’s easier to source sustainable ingredients when you can get that supply as a group of restaurants rather than a single location. Economies of scale and all that…

    I’m not sure I agree. Certainly, once Chipotle got bigger, they could economize a bit on sustainable sourcing, but the same applied to conventional sourcing. They didn’t switch to sustainable sourcing because the price threshold finally dropped below the point at which they could do something they wanted to do—it was purely a business decision. And even large-scale, costing them substantially more, it made sense. From the article I linked to:

    Nine years ago a menu item wasn’t selling so well, so they switched to Niman Ranch naturally raised pork simply to help it sell better. Steve Ells, founder, CEO and head chef, visited some of Niman’s farms and loved what he saw; plus pigs raised well taste better. “When we switched to Niman we had to increase the price by $1, which changed carnitas from the cheapest to most expensive item on the menu at the time… our sales doubled,” Arnold told me. “We learned that people are willing to pay more for better food.”

    My point exactly. Their dedication to sustainability means I pay more at the register. What I used to get 4 or 5 years ago for $6.25 (4 chicken tacos w/ guac), now costs almost $10, because their order went from 4 tacos to 3 tacos. The burrito that cost me $5.25 now costs like $8, because I have to pay for double meat to get the same amount of meat I got 5 years ago. Suddenly Chipotle is no longer a good value or place I visit often, because I can get whatever I want for less money at one of the taco trucks.

    I’ll give another example – a couple of local businesses who source Snowville Milk – Jeni’s, because they buy so much, probably gets a break on the price, while Foodie Cart, who has switched their dairy to just source Snowville, has to pay retail because they only get a few half gallons a day.

    From the article you posted, it didn’t seem like Chipotle switched over simply because of high corporate ideals. It sounds as if the initial change was just a change prompted by a business problem (poor pork sales), and that the switch in overall sourcing to be more sustainable was because they realized that they could make more money because they could market to a whole new demographic.

    Locally, Northstar is a case in point. I love their veggie burger, but I’ll be damned if I shell out >$12 for a burger that doesn’t even have meat in it! Sti

    #397146

    Bear
    Participant

    columbusfoodie wrote >>
    My point exactly. Their dedication to sustainability means I pay more at the register. What I used to get 4 or 5 years ago for $6.25 (4 chicken tacos w/ guac), now costs almost $10, because their order went from 4 tacos to 3 tacos. The burrito that cost me $5.25 now costs like $8, because I have to pay for double meat to get the same amount of meat I got 5 years ago. Suddenly Chipotle is no longer a good value or place I visit often, because I can get whatever I want for less money at one of the taco trucks.
    I’ll give another example – a couple of local businesses who source Snowville Milk – Jeni’s, because they buy so much, probably gets a break on the price, while Foodie Cart, who has switched their dairy to just source Snowville, has to pay retail because they only get a few half gallons a day.
    From the article you posted, it didn’t seem like Chipotle switched over simply because of high corporate ideals. It sounds as if the initial change was just a change prompted by a business problem (poor pork sales), and that the switch in overall sourcing to be more sustainable was because they realized that they could make more money because they could market to a whole new demographic.

    The point of the article was that Chipotle’s decision to source sustainably had absolutely nothing to do with high corporate ideals—and everything to do with plain old supply and demand. Simply put, they found that sustainably-raised food is a better value, despite the higher price, because the taste is so much better.

    As to Snowville, well, you might be surprised at how narrow the gap is between wholesale and retail. Foodie Cart could save on a lot of things if they were buying wholesale; I’m not sure Snowville milk is one of them, though. But they do it for the same reason Jeni does: the extra quality is worth the price. I was there the first morning they made crepes with Snowville milk, and Kenny was focused intently on whether it made a difference in the crepes (Michael said he could taste a difference, I thought the difference came across more in the texture, but the answer in both cases was “yes.”)

    #397147

    columbusfoodie
    Participant

    Bear wrote >>

    columbusfoodie wrote >>
    My point exactly. Their dedication to sustainability means I pay more at the register. What I used to get 4 or 5 years ago for $6.25 (4 chicken tacos w/ guac), now costs almost $10, because their order went from 4 tacos to 3 tacos. The burrito that cost me $5.25 now costs like $8, because I have to pay for double meat to get the same amount of meat I got 5 years ago. Suddenly Chipotle is no longer a good value or place I visit often, because I can get whatever I want for less money at one of the taco trucks.
    I’ll give another example – a couple of local businesses who source Snowville Milk – Jeni’s, because they buy so much, probably gets a break on the price, while Foodie Cart, who has switched their dairy to just source Snowville, has to pay retail because they only get a few half gallons a day.
    From the article you posted, it didn’t seem like Chipotle switched over simply because of high corporate ideals. It sounds as if the initial change was just a change prompted by a business problem (poor pork sales), and that the switch in overall sourcing to be more sustainable was because they realized that they could make more money because they could market to a whole new demographic.

    The point of the article was that Chipotle’s decision to source sustainably had absolutely nothing to do with high corporate ideals—and everything to do with plain old supply and demand. Simply put, they found that sustainably-raised food is a better value, despite the higher price, because the taste is so much better.
    As to Snowville, well, you might be surprised at how narrow the gap is between wholesale and retail. Foodie Cart could save on a lot of things if they were buying wholesale; I’m not sure Snowville milk is one of them, though. But they do it for the same reason Jeni does: the extra quality is worth the price. I was there the first morning they made crepes with Snowville milk, and Kenny was focused intently on whether it made a difference in the crepes (Michael said he could taste a difference, I thought the difference came across more in the texture, but the answer in both cases was “yes.”)

    My post earlier got cut off mid-sentence…I was talking about Northstar Cafe. I was about to say that while I (personally) don’t eat there often because of their high prices, I’m obviously in a small minority, considering they have lines out the door on the weekends, and do fairly brisk business otherwise.

    I think the ideal solution is finding that balance between sustainability and value. I’d like for small farms that use sustainable practices to be able to compete in the larger markets, or for the sustainable practices to be a more common industry standard, so it equalizes prices throughout.

    #397148

    Bear
    Participant

    columbusfoodie wrote >>
    I think the ideal solution is finding that balance between sustainability and value. I’d like for small farms that use sustainable practices to be able to compete in the larger markets, or for the sustainable practices to be a more common industry standard, so it equalizes prices throughout.

    Equal to the price of conventional food, you mean? Why would that ever be the case? I mean, Snowville isn’t more expensive than other milk entirely because of economies of scale; it’s more expensive, in part, because it costs more to do it right, to get it to people quickly while it’s still fresh, and so on. Granted, Snowville becoming more popular and equalizing the economy of scale part would bring the price down a bit and that’d be nice, but I always expect I’m going to pay a bit more for something better… just the way things work.

    And I think we’re talking past each other on value… by value I mean the worth of something compared to the price asked for it — so, approximately, value=quality/price. Which is why I actually see Chipotle as more of a value now than before: a substantial improvement in quality across the board (not just meat but veggies etc.) that outweighs the marginal change in price. Obviously subjective, as tastes differ, YMMV etc. … but point is, they let the market decide what was the better value, not their ideals.

    #397149

    columbusfoodie
    Participant

    Bear wrote >>

    columbusfoodie wrote >>
    I think the ideal solution is finding that balance between sustainability and value. I’d like for small farms that use sustainable practices to be able to compete in the larger markets, or for the sustainable practices to be a more common industry standard, so it equalizes prices throughout.

    Equal to the price of conventional food, you mean? Why would that ever be the case? I mean, Snowville isn’t more expensive than other milk entirely because of economies of scale; it’s more expensive, in part, because it costs more to do it right, to get it to people quickly while it’s still fresh, and so on. Granted, Snowville becoming more popular and equalizing the economy of scale part would bring the price down a bit and that’d be nice, but I always expect I’m going to pay a bit more for something better… just the way things work.
    And I think we’re talking past each other on value… by value I mean the worth of something compared to the price asked for it — so, approximately, value=quality/price. Which is why I actually see Chipotle as more of a value now than before: a substantial improvement in quality across the board (not just meat but veggies etc.) that outweighs the marginal change in price. Obviously subjective, as tastes differ, YMMV etc. … but point is, they let the market decide what was the better value, not their ideals.

    By equalize I mean that enough sustainable standards become commonplace in “conventional” foods that the differential is not as wide. Because that differential keeps 95% of the populace from hopping on board the sustainable train. We’re having enough of a challenge convincing your average American that fresh veggies are more nutritious/taste better/are lower in sodium and preservatives than canned or frozen, and that eating seasonally is a good thing. From there, it’s still a leap to getting them to buy organic/locally. If they can pay $2 for a burger at McDonalds, $5 for a burger at Five Guys, or $12 for a burger at Skillet, which do you think the average person will go for? Especially if they’re trying to feed their family of four on $100 a week? You and I both know the Skillet burger tastes better, know the farmer who is providing the beef, know the care and passion with which the Caskeys approach food, but we’re not your average Columbusites. As a country, we just need higher standards for what we put in our mouths, even at the lowest levels of dining. We need to say that it’s not OK to treat your livestock/poultry cruelly, it’s not OK to have business practices that makes foodborne illnesses and contamination an everyday occurrence, it’s not OK to have school lunches that are basically junk food to fit in with the “standards” for the federal school lunch program.

    You have a vision of the ideal. I have a vision of what’s realistic. All I’m saying is that you’ve got to start somewhere, and sometimes that somewhere is sacrificing “good, clean, and fair” and settling, for the moment, for “better than it is now, cleaner than it is now, fairer than it is now”. Baby steps, y’know?

    BTW, I think we’re both using a different definition of value. Having just got done w/ a nutrition class, I’m defining value in the simplest sense nutritionally – i.e. what kind of energy and nutrient density are you getting for the price? I.e. potato chips cost $2. A pound of ground beef costs $2. Which will give you more of the essential vitamins and minerals and nutrients you need to survive?

    #397150

    Bear
    Participant

    columbusfoodie wrote >>
    As a country, we just need higher standards for what we put in our mouths, even at the lowest levels of dining. We need to say that it’s not OK to treat your livestock/poultry cruelly, it’s not OK to have business practices that makes foodborne illnesses and contamination an everyday occurrence, it’s not OK to have school lunches that are basically junk food to fit in with the “standards” for the federal school lunch program.

    Well said, and I don’t disagree with any of it (clearly). I was just saying that it’s unreasonable to expect the difference between that Skillet burger (which I thought was $9 but I could be misremembering) and a Big Mac (googling… $3.57) ever to drop to zero or $1 or $2. There will always be some difference in price that reflects the difference in quality, just as there will probably always be people arguing that one can’t feed a family of four on servings of the higher-priced food, regardless of the price difference. That’s why it’s important to argue for better standards (as you do, above) or for the importance of quality (as Chipotle does) as a counter to the simple “value=price” equation.

    columbusfoodie wrote >>
    You have a vision of the ideal. I have a vision of what’s realistic. All I’m saying is that you’ve got to start somewhere, and sometimes that somewhere is sacrificing “good, clean, and fair” and settling, for the moment, for “better than it is now, cleaner than it is now, fairer than it is now”. Baby steps, y’know?

    We’re closer than you might think. As others will attest, “Better, cleaner, fairer” is actually a formulation I’ve been using for some time, for exactly that reason—but essential to that dynamic is a mechanism for ensuring that we don’t just become complacent.

    columbusfoodie wrote >>
    BTW, I think we’re both using a different definition of value. Having just got done w/ a nutrition class, I’m defining value in the simplest sense nutritionally – i.e. what kind of energy and nutrient density are you getting for the price? I.e. potato chips cost $2. A pound of ground beef costs $2. Which will give you more of the essential vitamins and minerals and nutrients you need to survive?

    So rather than value=quality/price, more like value=(calories+nutrients)/price? Seems like that formulation would argue for the same diet, day in and day out… but yeah, it gives me more of a sense of how we’re using the word differently.

    #397151

    takeasiesta
    Member

    I had dinner here tonight. I’m on the fence about Piada. It felt way too much like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel. I ordered the steak Piada with angel hair, roasted red peppers, zucchini, roasted red pepper pesto sauce, artichokes, Parmesan and spring mix lettuce. The majority of those components were seasoned separately and when they came together the final dish that I was eating was overseasoned and too salty for me. The flavors got muddled in the piada and I wasn’t sure where the salt content was coming from since everything was mixed together so even if I were to come back I can’t figure out how to modify it for next time. The music in the place was distracting since it didn’t seem to match the concept of the restaurant at all. It was an odd mix of pop music that included Justin Timberlake, Earth Wind and Fire, Celine Dion, MGMT and Pink. The ingredients were really fresh and I give them credit for trying a new concept. I just wish that there were some sure fire great Piada combos that you could order off the menu so I don’t have to make so many decisions. I also wish there was a “healthier” wheat Piada or pasta option since I despise getting salads when trying to stick to a diet. For the price point, it is great fresh food that will fill you up but I just wish that they recycled and tried to cut down on the throw away trash by not using plastic silverware and paper and plastic cups.

    #397152

    columbusfoodie
    Participant

    takeasiesta wrote >>
    I had dinner here tonight. I’m on the fence about Piada. It felt way too much like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel. I ordered the steak Piada with angel hair, roasted red peppers, zucchini, roasted red pepper pesto sauce, artichokes, Parmesan and spring mix lettuce. The majority of those components were seasoned separately and when they came together the final dish that I was eating was overseasoned and too salty for me. The flavors got muddled in the piada and I wasn’t sure where the salt content was coming from since everything was mixed together so even if I were to come back I can’t figure out how to modify it for next time. The music in the place was distracting since it didn’t seem to match the concept of the restaurant at all. It was an odd mix of pop music that included Justin Timberlake, Earth Wind and Fire, Celine Dion, MGMT and Pink. The ingredients were really fresh and I give them credit for trying a new concept. I just wish that there were some sure fire great Piada combos that you could order off the menu so I don’t have to make so many decisions. I also wish there was a “healthier” wheat Piada or pasta option since I despise getting salads when trying to stick to a diet. For the price point, it is great fresh food that will fill you up but I just wish that they recycled and tried to cut down on the throw away trash by not using plastic silverware and paper and plastic cups.

    Nice meeting you tonight, BTW :)

    I totally get your criticism – I was lucky enough to hit on a flavor combination that rocked the first time around, so pretty much get the same thing every time. I’m guessing that most of the salt probably came from the steak and/or red pesto sauce. And cheese.

    And agree upthread with someone who said that the place was REALLY loud. It was half full tonight when I stopped in, and was almost empty when I went Saturday afternoon, but the noise was unreal. I could barely hear to place my order. I think the place needs some sound cushioning – all that minimalist decor means that sound really reverberates in there like crazy without anything to dampen it.

    Sort of agree and at the same time disagree with you on the plastic utensils/cardboard containers – they are handy, because if you don’t finish your stuff there all you need to do is grab a lid and go (at least for the soups/salads/pasta bowls). On the other hand, if they used reusable/washable dishes for those eating in, the only people who would need the cardboard containers/plastic forks are those who don’t finish their stuff.

    Not sure there’s any way to make it extremely healthy, short of getting a chopped salad and lots of veggies. I think most of the calories are in the sauces/dressings. Don’t think this stuff qualifies as diet food, for sure…

    My husband keeps experimenting every time we go, so far his favorite is the chicken. If you do go again, keep fine-tuning it. They’ve got enough options there for there to be a combination for virtually everyone.

    BTW, the combo I get (piada w/ angel hair, sausage, pomodoro, grilled peppers, grilled zucchini, mozzarella, parm cheese, mixed salad greens, tomato, red onion, avocado, arugula & balsamic dressing) really works without being too salty or overpowering, IMHO. Not a combo that’s listed on their menu, but surefire in my experience (assuming you don’t hate any of the individual ingredients in it).

    #397153

    takeasiesta
    Member

    Nice finally meeting you too Becke! I get overzealous in Chipotle/Subway type situations cause I just want to put everything I like on it without thinking of what the result will be. The food was very satisfying and I liked everything, just not necessarily together. The piada itself was very good, it was just a little too carbtastic for me. Having a wheat option is just a suggestion that could help reel in more customers and widen the appeal. I know it’s not diet food but I know I’m more likely to order dessert or wine if I cut back on something in the meal itself. I understand the convenience factor of putting everything in to go bowls. The moral dilemma came with throwing away a glass bottle and plastic silverware when Upper Arlington has free recycling.

    #397154

    tolemac5050
    Participant

    my only gripe is the small protien portion in the piada

    #397155

    berdawn
    Member

    takeasiesta wrote >>
    The moral dilemma came with throwing away a glass bottle and plastic silverware when Upper Arlington has free recycling.

    Do you (or does anyone) know if they offer free recycling to commercial operations?

    #397156

    takeasiesta
    Member

    berdawn wrote >>

    takeasiesta wrote >>
    The moral dilemma came with throwing away a glass bottle and plastic silverware when Upper Arlington has free recycling.

    Do you (or does anyone) know if they offer free recycling to commercial operations?

    I’m not a citizen of UA so I don’t know the exacts but I could sworn that if you drive around to the back of that complex that there were recycling dumpsters. I could also be making that up completely. Either way UA claims to have ”one of the highest recycling rates in the nation,” so I don’t think it would be that hard for a business located in that city to recycle.

    #397157

    HouseWine
    Participant

    takeasiesta wrote >>

    berdawn wrote >>

    takeasiesta wrote >>
    The moral dilemma came with throwing away a glass bottle and plastic silverware when Upper Arlington has free recycling.

    Do you (or does anyone) know if they offer free recycling to commercial operations?

    I’m not a citizen of UA so I don’t know the exacts but I could sworn that if you drive around to the back of that complex that there were recycling dumpsters. I could also be making that up completely. Either way UA claims to have ”one of the highest recycling rates in the nation,” so I don’t think it would be that hard for a business located in that city to recycle.

    Worthington has had “free” residential recycling but never business recycling. After two years of campaigning to get it, we finally got some SWACO bins in Old Worthington. When meeting with Rumpke, they mentioned the difference is that businesses would go through a lot more glass which will tear up the trucks and costs more to reuse. Not sure how much of that’s real, but the point is that there are reasons why commercial recycling might not be in line with residential as far as availability and pricing.

    Look forward to checking out Piada sometime soon.

    #397158

    futureman
    Participant

    Isn’t this in Columbus, not UA? I thought north star was cut off line.

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