Written by on June 2, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Ballston neighborhood, Arlington, Virginia

How I heard of this place: I first noticed Vapiano when Chris and I moved into our apartment, together. It was just up the road, an easy walk over. We hadn’t ever had the opportunity to pay Vapiano a visit, until Seraj came over and reminded us that we were craving pizza…And there it was, right around the corner!

Type of cuisine: “Fresh casual at the best and highest quality level is our promise to ourselves and our customers. The absolute No-Go words for us are central kitchen convenience food or any other premade food or manipulated ingredients of any kind.” According to their webiste, Vapiano is “Somewhere between the nicest of fast casual and hippest of casual dining restaurants…Defining the future of fresh casual – a new and refreshing niche in the restaurant industry – Vapiano is an innovative European concept serving made-to-order hand tossed pizzas, fresh, house-made pasta and hand tossed gourmet salads…”

Ambiance: “Vapiano puts a new spin on the dining experience with its urban upscale Italian decor and its modern customer service.” Their website boasts, “Vapiano is a fast casual restaurant with a twist – customers use a “chip card” to personally order their food or drinks from the bar or from the individual fresh pizza, pasta or salad stations. With this new innovative technology, Vapiano is going to change the way restaurants do business!

What I ordered: Amazed and excited about freshly made pasta, I was really in the mood for pizza, and the hot spring afternoon was not conducive to a large bowl of comfort food. So, Chris and I decided to share a pizza, half his choice: Chicken Pesto (chicken breast, basil pesto, fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic) and half my choice: Margherita. Of course, Chris’s spin on my choice was the Roasted Tomato & Garlic pizza (roasted garlic, spring herbs and mozzarella). So we went with that, since I was picking the salad: Insalata Mista ($5.95 for the petite) with cherry tomatoes, sliced radishes, mushrooms, arugula, carrots, red and green onions, zucchini, cucumbers, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. One of our dining companions ordered the Margherita ($8.95) with a bottle of Aranciata and the other selected the Crudo ($10.95).

What I loved: The Margherita (tomato sauce, mozzarella) was, by far, my favorite of the pizzas on our table! Secondly, I enjoyed the Crudo (tomato sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto Di Parma, Parmesan cheese), followed by the Salad and then the Chicken Pesto and Roasted Tomato & Garlic pizzas.

Why I loved it: Simple, laid back ordering style with fresh pasta options in a cozy, green-looking, minimalist setting. Love.

Cost: Low to average ($8.95-$11.95 per pizza or pasta entree)

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