by Ian McNulty
If the notion of Italian street food brings to mind snacks found in a picturesque piazza or along some rambling Roman alley, the scene at Romano Italian Street Food may require a little adjustment. Located near Clearview Parkway and one of Metairie’s busiest intersections, this is not exactly a pedestrian’s paradise.
But this new eatery does perform with the speed and ease of street food, using the familiar fast-casual formula with customers ordering direct from the prep line. The menu is short — you pick angel hair pasta, salad or flat-bread sandwich — but long on customized options, with a variety of meats, sauces and dressings that customers pick out as servers prepare their meal. The list of toppings runs from whole roasted garlic cloves to shaved fennel. Each dish is under $10 and the time between ordering and eating is minimal.
Romano Italian Street Food opened earlier this month along a stretch of Veterans Boulevard where a number of national chain restaurants have set up shop lately. But this concept is a local one, explains manager Melissa Simon, and it’s designed for expansion.
“We’d like to grow with other locations all over New Orleans and in other states, but this is our first one right here,” she says.
Beyond the build-your-own pastas, salads and sandwiches there are just a few other items. Most significant is piadina stuffed with mozzarella, parmesan and red sauce, which resembles a small pizza. Piadina is a thin, almost cracker-crisp bread, which the kitchen converts into a sort of Italian-style wrap for its sandwiches. The same bread is also made into chips with a variety of dips for another side dish.
Romano Italian Street Food serves lunch and dinner daily, and you can order in advance online.
Romano Italian Street Food
4620 Veterans Blvd., Metairie, 504-872-9992