I am pretty excited to have a new ‘Western’ restaurant up in the Northern Hills area. It seems like everywhere you turn up here, the new developments are filled with fast food joints and more Asian restaurants – the new ‘District’ has: Starbucks, Mary Browns, Subway, McDonalds, Dairy Queen, a candy store (coming soon), a liquor store, Kinjo (sushi) and Rice for King (Vietnamese). The only thing that’s of interest to me in that complex is Rice for King; it’s good, but it’s yet another Vietnamese noodle house up here (I think there are 5 or 6).
Via Cibo is near the Superstore on Country Village Road. Beside it will be a Good Earth Cafe – a nice change from Starbucks and they have tasty baked goods. I’d never before been to the other Cibo or Via Cibo’s in town, so I was excited to give this a shot. Jay was at work so I opted for take out. It’s a self-serve style restaurant – order at the till and find yourself a place to sit. You’re given a number and the server will bring your food out to you. The concept is the same as Famoso Pizzeria if you’ve ever been there.
I like the fact that you place your food order as soon as you walk in; the time that you spend waiting in line to pay isn’t wasted – the kitchen already has your order. There’s a fairly large menu here, with appies/sides, salads, pizza, pasta, piadina (wrap-like street food), panino (sandwiches) and entrees. I’ve already decided that I want to try everything on the menu as it all looks really good and the prices are extremely reasonable. I might be most excited that they serve brunch on weekends; from my perspective there is nowhere up here in the Northern Hills that serves a decent brunch!
For dinner I got the side caesar salad for $5 and the Pollo Balsamic Piadina for $14. I also ordered a half order (4) of their little Italian donuts for $2. Sadly, I didn’t notice that they were not in the bag until I got home and therefore I paid for something I didn’t receive. I wanted to call them to let them know but I couldn’t find a phone number anywhere – neither of the menus nor the receipt have their phone number on them. Apparently you can’t call in an order for pickup…
The caesar salad dressing is thick and creamy, and with take out you get a pretty big portion (I didn’t use it all). It was very garlicy and cheesy with a good zing to it. I like the container that the salad was served in – I’m pretty sure it is biodegradable or compostable (it was brown and felt ‘green’). The croutons were obviously homemade and the pancetta was dark and crispy (albeit, it was actually a little overdone). I have to say that compared to other chain restaurants, $5 for this side salad was a fair price.
The Pollo Balsamic Piadina was delicious and totally filling. It was full of big chunks of chicken! The Piadina is basically a large flat bread with 2 piles of filling on it. The flat bread is folded in half, then in half again so that you have two quarters side by side. It’s a perfect way to eat the wrap without the filling falling out of the end. I can understand why they’d sell Italian street food this way – it’s just easier to handle. The flat bread was filled with chicken, spinach, soft unripened goat cheese, and caramelized onions. There was a great depth of flavour in this ‘sandwich’, and for the price (the most expensive of the Piadina’s) it was well worth it.
I have to admit, I felt a little bit awkward – once I paid for my order I took my number and waited for the food to come out. There’s no designated area for people waiting for take-out to stand or sit, so I suppose you could pull up a chair at an empty table (but then those folks eating-in lose an available seat) or you could just stand around. Me and another lady ended up huddling near the soda tap (which is pretty cool, by the way) until our food was brought to us.
I’m so happy that my first experience at Via Cibo proved that they have good food. I’m not thrilled that I lost $2 on some donuts, but I’ll give them a break because 1) they’ve only been open a week, 2) it’s only $2, and 3) I really didn’t need to eat the deep fried, sugar-coated balls of dough anyways.
I can’t wait to go there for brunch this weekend with Jay! I’m stoked to try the Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and the Tiramisu French Toast. Yum!