A new place in Addison fills a culinary category we didn't know we lacked: Italian street food. The restaurant is called Arezzo, and it serves pastas, panini and unique wraps called "padeenas."
Padeena is their Americanized version of the word piada or piadina, says manager Michael Royal. "Technically in Italy, it's a piada," Royal says. "It's like a wrap, but it's filled with Italian ingredients."
Arezzo serves padeena sandwiches all day, filled with eggs, cheese, potatoes and meats for breakfast or more lunchy type fillings for lunch and dinner. If a padeena wrap isn't your thing, there are pasta bowls with sauces and toppings such as Italian meatballs, as well as unusual sides such as green beans or Italian mashed potatoes, which have Alfredo sauce and cheddar cheese.
The idea of a restaurant featuring piada sandwiches is not unprecedented; for example, there's a chain in Ohio called Piada Italian Street Food. But owner Tony Mangino devised the idea after visiting in Arezzo, Italy, Royal says. The goal was to create a place that was casual, easy and healthy à la Chipotle, whose build-your-own mode Arezzo follows. In fact, the padeena sandwich slightly resembles a burrito.
They make their padeena bread onsite. Royal compares its thickness to a tortilla you might make at home. "It's like a hybrid of a tortilla and a naan," he says. "It has a chewiness without being doughy."
They make the bread in two sizes: 14-inch and 10-inch. You choose pasta or wild rice, plus one of several proteins, such as chicken, steak, Italian meatballs, sausage, spicy brisket, salmon or shrimp. You can also select grilled vegetables, and sauces include creamy diablo or red pepper pesto.
"Padeenas should feel familiar to people in Texas," Royal says. "They can identify with a burrito."