Lin at Lunch – Vapiano
After discussion at a recent food blogger event, I decided that this week I’d check out Vapiano. Located on Stuart Street , this is a prime location for many in and around the Theatre district, Chinatown and even the Arlington area.
When checking out their website, I noticed an option to order your meal ahead of time online. I took this to mean that it would be ready when I arrived and would therefore bypass the time spent waiting for my food. Online ordering was very easy, and included many add-on options just like at the restaurant. I was also asked to specify my pick up time, within a half-hour interval. And so trying out a different lunch tactic, here is this weeks Lin at Lunch.
Location: Vapiano, 191 Stuart Street
11:35 Ordered online
12:16 Left office
12:26 Food ready when I arrived
12:33 Return to office
So here was my rookie mistake. Vapiano is set up like an upscale food court, but your meal is cooked to order. Once you receive your food, there are many seating options, including communal tables and an outdoor patio. However, due to my online order, which was a “to-go” in reality, I took my lunch back to the office.
Lunch: Aglio e Olio, olive oil, garlic, chili
The pasta was good and on an unseasonably cool day, and exactly what I wanted. The flavor was tasty, and the heat level from the chilies was exactly as I had specified in my order. I could tell that the dish wasn’t incredibly fresh, but this is an obvious consequence of online ordering. And in honest fairness, I arrived eleven minutes into my specified interval, so I would venture to guess that my meal was ready right at my 12:15 requested time. The condiments were very impressive, including freshly grates Parmesan and two slices of bread (at no additional charge).
Yet another rookie mistake. I ordered a San Pellegrino figuring it would go well with my Italian pasta, but forgot the bottle was not a screw top. I had to spend 5 minutes scourging the office for a bottle opener!
Dessert: Mini Gummy Bears
One unexpected surprise of my online order was the inclusion on a small package of mini gummy bears. Fun, right?!
As soon as I walked in, I was immediately disappointed with my decision to order online. The open space is modern in decor and somehow calming.
Even at 12:30, there were plenty of tables available and the lines seemed reasonable. Walk-up stations give an open-air market feel and reminded me of the Prudential Center’s Marche from years back. Stations included pasta, pizza and antipasti, and soup, panini and salad.
After this experience, I surmise that Vapiano is a terrific lunch option for any diners in the Stuart Street area. If you’re on the go and need to pick up a quick lunch to chow down in your office during a busy work day, their online ordering system is easy and efficient. However, if you have the time for that precious lunch break, head in and experience fast casual dining at reasonable prices at Vapiano.