Roaming and eating our way through Columbus and beyond.

Tasting the Autumn Menu at Piada

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{by alexis} A few weeks ago, we were invited to come out to the Crimson Cup Innovation Lab to sample the new autumn menu at Piada. As a bonus, we got a guided tour of the innovation lab, and a crash course on coffee tasting. As soon as we walked in, we were treated to a sampling of Platform beer and Piada’s new harvest grain bowl. We took it into our first action station, which featured all the excellent work that Crimson Cup does around the world. We were actually was a little distracted because the grain bowl was so delicious Alicia and I just kept yelling to each other over the video.

After finishing our snacks, we went on to learn about the various countries that Crimson Cup conducts business in (naturally, I aced the flag quiz!), and onto the Application Lab for a coffee taste test!

If you ever need a taster, call Alicia; she was on the nose naming all the tasting notes as we tried the different roasts and beans. After she wowed us all with her excellent sensory skills, we moved onto the roasting lab to learn about the process.

We got a quick lesson and a demonstration of that machine behind our kind host. The thing vibrated up a storm and even released a few plumes of smoke while it was working. It was like being in Willy Wonka’s factory — if Willy Wonka was hyped up on caffeine instead of sugar.

Next we went on to taste the various levels of coffee roasting. Again, Alicia’s sensitive palette was the star, as she called out the different qualities and levels of acidity. I sat quietly by, nodding in agreement — listen, they were all pretty tasty to me!

And then it was time to eat! We walked into the test kitchen to see several white-coated men standing behind a glorious display of bowls, sandwiches, and even refreshing tea. It was all we could do to keep our hands to ourselves and wait for instructions.

We got started with the Mediterranean power bowl, with broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, chickpeas and this bright mound of delicious pickled red onions. I swear we almost blacked out with pleasure as we ate those bright pink onions, and I even dodged a staff member who was trying to help by disposing of my (not quite empty) bowl. Look at this magic.

See that pink garnish? ASK FOR EXTRA. In fact, ask for double extra and save it for me! And the bowl is even vegan friendly! Just ask the kitchen to leave off the yogurt sauce, and you’re good!

Next we tried the Porchetta Sandwich, a pulled pork loin seasoned with savory rosemary, garlic and pepper, on a soft roll. We ran to the back of the room like Gollum with Precious to enjoy these hand-held treats: the pork is just salty enough, and so tender. It’s a perfect bite of sandwich!

Last, we sampled the blood orange pomegranate tea. I know you’re thinking, okay iced tea, I get it. BUT YOU DON’T GET IT. This iced tea is so refreshing, so light — it’s the perfect accompaniment to a warm September afternoon or a blustery October evening. It is delightful! We made sure to drink every last drop before heading out for dessert!

Full and happy, we were still pretty pleased to see the Rime Time popsicle stand outside the test kitchen. We learned all about the two flavors they had on offer — Cocounut Marble and Cocoa Dream Pop — and decided we’d each get a different flavor so we could sample both. Because Wander & Whine doesn’t mind sharing germs. You heard it here first.

Our manicures are on point for once, aren’t they!? The cocoa was ridiculously creamy and rich, and the coconut marble is refreshing, light, and perfect for any instagram feed.

Once we recovered from our ice cream headaches, we grabbed a snazzy pair of Piada sunglasses and made our way out the door. We literally yelled all the way home about the Meditteranean Power Bowl and the Blood Orange Tea. The stuff is no joke.

The new menu will be available at all Piadas on October 10. You certainly don’t have to wait that long to swing by for a fast-Italian treat, but you MUST go sample the new menu once it’s out. Promise me you’ll go, yes? PROMISE ME? It’s for your own good!

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Alexis

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