Editor’s Note: Ciabatta is closed. The location is now home to one of three area locations for Alebrije Mexican Restaurant.
There’s something about ciabatta bread that takes an ordinary sandwich and makes it better.
Bigger, denser and more flavorful than average white bread, ciabatta rolls add that little extra something that makes a sandwich feel more like a meal.
It’s that Italian baked specialty that serves as inspiration for the aptly named Ciabatta in Wyomissing.
Ciabatta sits along State Hill Road across from the Berkshire Square Shopping Center. The sign out front is simple, proclaiming the “gourmet sandwiches – salads – pizza” that are found inside a mostly drab-looking tan and brown building.
Inside, the decor is contemporary Tuscan, a modern take on the classic Italian decor, while a section of oversized lounge chairs and original artwork on the walls gives the restaurant a coffeehouse feel.
As the name implies, sandwiches are a major portion of Ciabatta’s menu, and they are all served on (you guessed it) ciabatta rolls.
But the menu is much more than that as the restaurant also offers grilled specialties like veal saltinboca and Delmonico steaks, build-your-own pastas, salads, and our choices for the evening, pizzabellas.
Ciabatta’s pizzabellas are about 12″ round, making them perfectly sized for a hearty meal for one or shareable for two with the addition of a side.
Or, if you are a hungry food blogger and his wife, you order two pizzabellas and an order of Cajun fries because you can.
Seven specialty pizzabellas and a build-your-own option make up the pizzabella menu. Our two choices were the pollo diavolo (buffalo chicken, mozzarella and blue cheese dressing) and Verona (Genoa salami, capicola, Italian sausage, pepperoni, tomato sauce and mozzarella).
The former packed a nice punch, both from the buffalo chicken and from the homemade blue cheese dressing, which did little to cool the heat as it added a spice of its own. Despite needing a little extra water to quench our thirsts, the pollo diavolo was very good, especially for those who enjoy a nice mild buffalo wing.
On the other side of the spectrum was the Verona, which was a much sweeter pie, with only a mild spice from the Italian sausage. For carnivores like myself, it’s hard to go wrong when you are piling on all of those delicious Italian meats.
When it comes to sides, the takeout menu we have sitting at home is very deceiving. There is a coupon mentioning Cajun fries, and dinner entrees that come with two sides, but nowhere on the menu are the sides actually listed. Still, we were able to order up some Cajun fries, and we were not disappointed.
The fries, thick and battered, where blanketed in a nice coat of Cajun seasoning. Compared to the buffalo chicken pizza, the fries were mild, but still had just enough kick that you couldn’t ignore it.
Pizza is always a reasonably priced option for dining out and Ciabatta’s is no exception. Pizzabellas are just $6.95 each, so even after we gorged on two pies and a side of fries, our bill still came in under $20.
I can’t deny the irony of going to a place called “Ciabatta” and not actually ordering a ciabatta. But with so many other great menu options, I won’t let a name limit by choices.
And after some excellent pizza, I’m glad I didn’t let the name stop me.
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