They don’t have a catchy jingle about wanting their baby back, baby back, baby back ribs. There aren’t any servers with red shirts covered in various forms of “flair” or teeth with various forms of crystal-meth rot. And unlike other restaurants where you wait in line to order your food from a counter, everything here is freshly made to order.
Meet our new European friend. He’s tall, dark, handsome and his name is Vapiano. And despite the Italian-sounding name, he’s German.
Okay, so he’s not a person, and not really a “he,” either. Rather, it’s a hot new restaurant in Mockingbird Station. But that’s not going to keep us from screaming out, “Oh, Vapiano! Feed me your pizza!” in bed every night. This is the kind of Italian we like to dream about.
When you walk into the smartly decorated space adorned an indoor herb garden on one side and lots of red leather on the bar side, the concept is immediately understood: fresh and chic. After being greeted by someone at the door, you’ll be handed a “chip card,” which is your passport to all the flavors of Italy. There are three food stations: one for thin-crusted pizza, another for sizeable salads, and the last one for creating hundreds if not thousands of possible pasta-sauce-protein combinations.
After you place your order, you simply swipe your card in front of the space-age scanner at each station and your selections are added to the card. Want an ice-cold Peroni draft? Take your card to the bar and they’ll add it to your tab. Dessert? Flash your card again, baby.
Then when you’re done, you pay at the register and everything you’ve ordered is totaled like magic! The concept is great for large groups so you’ll never have to worry about that guy who wants to split the check evenly among everyone even though you only ordered water and bread and they all had a pizza apiece and several bottles of champagne. Sure, that’s fair.
But we digress. The food here is not only affordable, it’s well crafted and extremely flavorful. Pizzas are thin and the house-made dough has just the right bite. Pastas are plentiful and satisfying. Plus, if there’s not a line, you can stand at the counter and bug the cook while he or she preps your food allowing you to specify exactly how you want something. Control freaks, this is your new favorite dining spot.
The perfect pre- or post-Angelika destination, Vapiano is designed to be a place where you feel comfortable lingering, whether it’s at one of their communal tables, in the bar or on their shaded patio. The Dallas location is the first one west of the Mississippi, so now even Texas is more progressive than California. Who would’ve ever thought?
Vapiano Mockingbird Station
5319 S. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas