Fast, fresh Italian fare at Vapiano
Our group of four decided to forgo our usual haunts and try out a different restaurant for our monthly dinner. Our fearless leader picked Vapiano, located directly across from the K in Lautern mall in downtown Kaiserslautern. I had seen it before, but hadn’t yet tried it out.
When we walked in, a friendly hostess who handed us our menus and smart cards greeted us. She explained the system; look at the menu, order at the counter, watch as they prepare your food as you like it, place your card on the scanner and your total will scan to the card. When you leave, you hand the cashier your card and pay the total on the card. Ingenious and convenient!
The restaurant is very light and airy. You have your choice of plentiful seating; high top tables, or long oak picnic-type tables. I looked at the menu and chose the bruschetta as a starter and risotto al funghi for my main dish. I ordered at the counter and watched the chef skillfully prepare the risotto in front of me. The bruschetta was made at a different station, but was freshly prepared when ordered. The great thing about this ordering system is that you have the option to customize your dish the way you want it.
The bruschetta was one of the better appetizers I’ve had. The tomatoes were sweet and fresh, while the bread was lightly toasted. The risotto al funghi was prepared in a light wine cream sauce and was absolutely delicious. The risotto was cooked perfectly—not too crunchy and not too runny. My friends ordered the salmon carbonara and said it was fantastic. The salmon was tender and the pasta was al dente. The portions are quite generous; I wasn’t able to finish my meal and didn't partake in the delectable array of desserts they offer.
The total for my meal plus a drink was less than €15, so prices are pretty reasonable for the amount of food you get. This is a great place for a quick lunch with co-workers or a dinner out with friends. I look forward to many more visits in the future.