New Nosh Spot: Vapiano

Touted as a European “fresh casual” chain, Vapiano in Mockingbird Station is known for its gourmet salads, house-made pasta and fire-roasted pizzas. But “fresh casual” for Europeans is a far cry from what Americans may expect from the concept.

Vapiano isn’t the type of eatery you’ll want to roll up in wearing last year’s “Fun Run” t-shirt with flip-flops.

The décor is sleek and ordering is streamlined by the restaurant’s “chip card” payment system. The card is embedded with a smart chip that allows diners to order from different stations before paying for everything after an employee inputs their order into a point of sale machine.

Anything that shortens the time in between ordering and shoveling food into your mouth sounds like a winner to us.

Vapiano area developer and franchisee Tim McCallum has opened the restaurant -- the first in Texas for the chain.

Forget your American dash-and-dine mentality and marinate on the fact that there’s a real Olive Tree and an indoor herb garden inside the restaurant.

Crazy Europeans. What are they thinking with their “speedy service” and fresh, healthy ingredients?

Vapiano opens on May 11.

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