Latinx Connect Conference panel discusses Latinx and Afro-Latinx data, Civil Rights advocacy

Despite an increase of data on the Latinx community over the last five decades, Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz said scholars only recently started studying the accumulation of Latinx demographic data and its circulation in the media. 

“This data helps to inform — some might say disform — how this population is seen and seemingly understood,” Rodríguez-Muñiz, assistant professor of sociology and Latina/Latino studies at Northwestern University, said. “It influences self-identification, senses of community and enables and constrains diagnoses of the present and visions about the future.”

Rodríguez-Muñiz spoke at a virtual panel last Friday titled “Latinx Data: Historical Civil Rights Advocacy and Contemporary Intersectional Insights.” The panel — which was part of the 2021 Latinx Connect Conference and sponsored by Pitt’s Year of Data and Society — focused on the development of Latinx data and how it can be used to understand the Latinx and Afro-Latinx populations. Lisa Ortiz, an assistant professor of language, literacy and culture at Pitt, moderated the discussion.

Rodríguez-Muñiz said although the public routinely consumes Latinx data through media such as newspaper articles, lectures, public service announcements, reports and political speeches, there is still a lot to learn and understand about its historical origins, political conditions and social effects. 

“Traditionally, and still principally, academic researchers have used statistical data on Latinx populations as a source for analysis rather than an object of study in its own right,” he said. 

Rodríguez-Muñiz said he wanted to focus his presentation, “Data, Demographics and the Making of National Latino Civil Rights Advocacy” on the U.S. Civil Rights era. During that period, Latinx advocacy organizations and the decennial census developed more diversified Latinx data, according to Rodríguez-Muñiz. 

“Statistics became important because they came to be seen as a solution to the problem of invisibility, which was widely understood as a chief obstacle for empowerment and advancement, or dealing with disparities and inequities during that period,” he said. 

The lack of inclusion of Mexican-Americans in policy-making and public discourse frustrated Mexican-American predecessors of today’s national Latinx advocacy organizations, according to Rodríguez-Muñiz. He said Latinx advocates felt absent in the national conversation, and politicians and journalists only saw them as a marginalized and regional issue. 

“Advocates believed and argued that this condition, this notion that they were insignificant to the national story, was a condition that hindered their ability to call attention to the social, economic and political needs of the population,” Rodríguez-Muñiz said. 

To combat the issue of invisibility, Latinx advocates began to make demands to be included in the decennial census, according to Rodríguez-Muñiz. The U.S. Inter-Agency Committee on Mexican-American Affairs issued a recommendation to include a question asking about Spanish heritage. After constant pressure from Latinx advocacy organizations, the U.S. Census Bureau met these demands in the 1970 decennial census.

The Census Bureau gave out two forms in 1970, according to Rodríguez-Muñiz. The shorter of the two forms included demographic questions about the Latinx community, and the longer form included a few additional questions along with the demographic questions, but was only given to a sample of the population. He said it wasn’t until pressure from the new Nixon administration that the Census Bureau added a question on Spanish heritage on the longer form. 

Amalia Daché, an associate professor in the higher education division at the University of Pennsylvania, said the census is a primary source when looking at race and ethnic variables between different populations. During her presentation, “Cartographies of Afrolatinidad: Limits and Possibilities,” Daché discussed Afro-Latinx population demographics.

Daché uses geographic tools with census data to learn about cities and their educational access for Latinx populations. Daché said she learns about how this population engages their social environments and what institutions and resources are in their proximity through this information. 

“Geography is a major factor in understanding how Afro-Latinx people identify, their educational opportunities, their economic opportunities and their social mobility,” Daché said.

Daché said the Afro-Latinx population is very urban-centric and situated in many cities across the U.S. Afro-Latinx mapping demography has key differences to the mapping demography of the Latinx and African American populations. All three populations share a high concentration in the Northeast, but the Latinx and African American populations are also highly concentrated in the South. 

During the Question and Answer portion of the event, Ortiz read one attendee’s question which asked, “What are your thoughts on the proposal to collapse the Latino ethnicity questions with the race question on the census. Does it inevitably lead to invisibilizing Afro-Latinx’s as we’ve been talking about?” Daché said she thinks it’s important to ask more questions and acknowledge that the census is incomplete because the status of Latinx advocacy can not be based solely on these statistics. 

“When thinking about issues of resistance, qualitative data and the actual human experiences and stories of Afro-Latinx people are as important. These are not just quantifiable social problems, these are also qualitative problems and issues,” Daché said. “It’s not going to be the end all be all, but I do think there are ways where we can slice up these numbers to reflect the diversity of the Latinx group.” 

Rodríguez-Muñiz said through numbers and narratives, the Latinx population has been placed at the center of debate about ethno-racial demographic change. He added that demographics fueled by population politics greatly influence contemporary politics and policy making. 

“The current rhetoric about voter fraud, illegal immigration and redistricting shows this,” Rodríguez-Muñiz said. “Population politics, particularly among conservatives, made such issues demographic issues. We can’t afford to take racial population politics for granted.”

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Column | Key pieces break out for Pitt in 28-7 win over Virginia Tech

Pitt entered the driver’s seat of the ACC Coastal Division after toppling Virginia Tech 28-7 on Saturday, silencing a hostile crowd and giving the Hokies their first blemish within conference. Here are my takeaways from a resounding road victory by the Panthers. 

Izzy Abanikanda finally breaks out

Much of the discourse surrounding Pitt football heading into this season circled around sophomore running back Israel Abanikanda and how he was poised for a breakout season.

During training camp, the staff raved about his performance and it seemed as if he would take the reins as the Panthers’ top running back out of the gate. It may have taken longer than Pitt fans envisioned, but the breakthrough finally happened Saturday. 

Abanikanda carried the ball 21 times for 140 yards against Virginia Tech, good for just under seven yards per rush. This is despite not touching the ball throughout the entirety of the third quarter, which makes it all the more impressive that he put up eye-popping numbers in just three quarters of work. 

It’s possible that he may have missed the opening of the second half due to a few mistakes in pass protection earlier in the game. Abanikanda got a flag for tripping in the first half which brought back a long reception by junior receiver Jared Wayne, as well as missing a block on a play that likely would have resulted in a massive gain to senior tight end Lucas Krull. 

In the coming weeks, Abanikanda should still see the majority of the workload at the position despite miscues in pass protection. The positives he brings to the offense massively outweigh the negatives — which are very coachable. 

For a team that relies so much on airing it out — and rightfully so, since the Panthers have the best quarterback in the conference in fifth-year senior Kenny Pickett — it’s comforting to know that you have a reliable back in short yardage situations. 

A complete game from the defense

Fans and analysts alike viewed the Panthers’ defense as one of the strengths of the team this offseason, but it hadn’t lived up to lofty expectations through the first five games. 

Outside of the Western Michigan loss where the defense looked helpless, Pitt’s defense has been relatively steady and has created timely turnovers in big situations but has not played a complete game — until Saturday, that is.

In previous games, Pitt made some massive plays on the defensive end but also made its fair share of mistakes. In games against Tennessee and Georgia Tech, the Panthers’ defense gave up over 350 yards and several chunk plays that made spectators scratch their heads. 

Saturday’s game against the Hokies was a different story.

The Panthers stifled the Virginia Tech offense, holding them to just seven points — the first time the Panthers held an ACC opponent to seven points or less under head coach Pat Narduzzi. 

Pitt’s defense held Virginia Tech to 224 yards and only 13 first downs, while registering three sacks and four tackles for loss as a unit. 

Granted, Hokies junior starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister came into the matchup banged up, with an injury to his throwing shoulder — but this was a dominating performance. Pitt held Burmeister to 11 for 32 on the day and under 150 yards

This performance serves as a building block for the defense as a whole, but more specifically the secondary. That group has really struggled this year at times, so to see this type of performance from them was encouraging. 

Junior safety Erick Hallett was among the standouts. He came away with an interception and looked much improved compared to his play earlier this season. 

Panther fans expected Pitt to have to overpower opposing teams with its offense to win games the rest of the season, but if the defense continues to play like this, they will take a lot of weight off the offense’s shoulders. 

Pitt controls its own destiny in the ACC Coastal

Pitt and Virginia Tech entered this game as the only teams in the division without losses, meaning whoever won this game controlled their own destiny to win the ACC Coastal and earn a conference title game berth. 

After the Panthers’ victory over the Hokies, they now hold the tiebreaker, meaning Virginia Tech is two games back of Pitt in the division standings despite only trailing the Panthers by one game in the loss column. Pitt holds at least a two game lead on every team within the division, making it increasingly likely that it will make the ACC Championship Game.

The Panthers still must take it one game at a time though, as there is still plenty of season left. Next weekend Clemson comes to town for what is arguably Pitt’s biggest home game since the Big East Championship Game in 2009 against Cincinnati, one of the most infamous and heartbreaking losses in program history.

While the Tigers are unranked and not the world-beating, national title contenders of years past, they are still ultra-talented and Pitt can’t afford to overlook them, according to Pickett. 

“They’re a heck of a team,” Pickett said. “I know everyone’s talking about them like they’re not Clemson. They’re still Clemson. They’re a heck of a team.”

He’s right. The Tigers are still a team riddled with five-star talent, coached by Dabo Swinney and still one of the premier programs in the country. This is a massive game for the Panthers, and it would be a statement win in what could be a preview of this year’s ACC title game. 

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Tamar Braxton Shows Off Her Abs – See This Video

Tamar Braxton is showing off her abs in the video that she posted on her social media account. Check out the post that she shared below. 'Doing these projects on Lemon Pepper Island atl, has totally gotten me off my fitness track. I’m getting back slowly but surely. It’s just so hard to say no to the lemon pepper air that I breathe#happy Saturday saints,' Tamar captioned her post. A fan said: 'Come on for the snatched body that husband gone say My my my my my , shorty looks good tonight,' and one other follower said: '@tamarbraxton i love me some you I swear I would do anything to make u happy and I don’t even know u.'   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Tamar Estine (@tamarbraxton) One follower posted this: 'What it iyuz?! Long time since So Many Ways lol.' Someone else posted this: 'Tae you gotta pull up on us @thewingsuite! Babbeeeeeey.. our Honey Lemon Pepper Hit Hardt!' and a commenter said: 'I keep seeing you showing off with your beautiful body and those two points up front, I got it.' A follower said: 'You ain’t lying, that Hot Lemon Pepper get me every time.' Tamar Braxton made her fans and follwoers happy with a new photo dump. Check out her latest pics here. 'Sunday Funday photo dump with the Best company… let’s see if this tops tonight,' she captioned her post. Tamar Braxton is sharing a motivational message for her fans and followers. Check out the post that she shared on her social media account. 'I declare. But Today. I’m tired. Goodnight,' Tamar captioned her post.

Editorial | What Harry Styles would do if he were actually on Pitt’s campus

Harry Styles graced Pittsburgh with his presence last week for his “Love on Tour” concert at PPG Paints Arena, and Pitt students damn near lost their minds. All around Oakland, dozens of people gathered outside of the Cathedral of Learning, the Oaklander and more — following rumors about his whereabouts to potentially catch a glimpse of the star on campus. If Styles actually were on campus, here’s what we think he’d do. 

Go to Gene’s

Styles would absolutely go get a drink at Oakland gem Gene’s Place, because that’s where all the coolest people hang out, and he is very cool. We’re sure Gene’s regulars would welcome him with open arms. 

Show up on @pitt.missedconnections 

The post, on whatever color background the account is on now, would read, “if u were holding hands with olivia wilde hmu.” 

Get Roots with Willow Smith

We all love a good salad. Rumor has it that Willow Smith stopped in Roots after her show at Mr. Smalls Theater on Oct. 6. They could just make us all happy and get Roots together. We’d appreciate that. 

Tour the Nationality Rooms

No one’s trip to campus is complete without a tour of the Nationality Rooms. A picture of Harry Styles looking British with a cup of tea in the English Nationality Room would be put in the room’s display case. 

Be followed by hordes of fans

Everyone who was obsessed with One Direction in their youth — and the people who started listening to his music after he struck out on his own — would make a pretty formidable horde. Also, he has a whole subset of people obsessed with him just because he’s dating Olivia Wilde, which is, of course, perfectly valid. I mean, have you seen her?

Have a smoke with Volodia

Vladmir Padunov is known to students and Pitt faculty alike as “Volodia,” and as the man that smokes on the Cathedral of Learning patio. We feel like he and Styles would get along and enjoy smoking together. 

Rubbing the Panther’s nose in front of the WPU

Styles would need to participate in this age-old Pitt tradition to truly say he came to Pittsburgh. After all, it’s the Pitt version of “break a leg.” He might even perform better if he rubbed the Panther’s nose before his concert.

Bring Olivia Wilde on a date to Phipps 

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is beautiful inside and out as well as a Pittsburgh landmark that draws thousands of visitors every year. It also fits Styles’ aesthetic — just him and Olivia Wilde frolicking in the Orchid Room. Beautiful people belong among beautiful flowers. 

Go to Phipps with Mick Jagger

But maybe Wilde had other plans while in Pittsburgh and Styles had to burn some time. He could always join Mick Jagger, who paid a visit to Phipps just a few weeks ago. Something tells us they’d get along too.  

Take a picture with Dippy

Not every city is as lucky as ours to have a massive dinosaur statue. Aside from Roc the Panther, Dippy serves as a sort of unofficial mascot for Pitt students and the people of Pittsburgh alike. Although he’s usually adorned with Steelers gear, we could sacrifice one day of team pride to dress him in Harry Styles swag. 

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Uzima smoothie bar focuses on a healthy diet and a healthy mind

At Uzima Smoothie Bar, customers will come for a cold fruit beverage and stay for the positive and serene atmosphere. The slogan for Uzima Smoothie Bar is “defeating depression one smoothie at a time,” in alignment with its mental wellness standpoint. 

The store, located on 3400 Fifth Ave., opened in August. Family, friends, customers and community members came together Saturday to celebrate its formal grand opening. The celebration commenced with speeches, music, a bouncy house and lots of free smoothie samples to go around. 

The day began with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Uzima’s two owners, husband and wife duo Mayan and Sheronica Marshall. Throughout the afternoon, customers flooded in to purchase different smoothies and drinks. 

Uzima offers a wide variety of smoothies, juices, acai bowls and health shots. There are lots of flavor combinations such as the crowd favorite, the “Love” smoothie, according to co-owner Sheronica Marshall, which has strawberries, mango and passionfruit in it. 

But their mission goes beyond selling drinks to customers. The business’s original name when it opened in 2019 was “Salud.” It went under a rebranding in February where the owners changed the name, logo and slogan and redecorated the store to focus on mental health in addition to physical health.

According to Sheronica Marshall, Uzima wants to devote their store as a safe space for students to spend time and relax.

“So many times people will come in and be like, ‘I had a really bad day’ or ‘I bombed a test,’ so we want them to come in and just exhale and share that. We wanna be that safe space to have those conversations and also have a smoothie,” Sheronica Marshall said. 

The story behind the rebranding comes from the store owners’ personal mental health battles which they struggled with for years. They found peace through their family, religion and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, both physically and spiritually. Sheronica Marshall said she and her husband wanted to raise subject awareness to the public.

“We were dealing with anxiety and depression. We read about the illness and the combination of things we can do to battle and grow stronger, sleeping, eating well and discussing it,” Sheronica Marshall said. “Uzima came out of that journey of healing and our understanding of how to overcome it.”

Uzima is short for “Mti wa uzima,” which means “Tree of Life” in Swahili. The store’s new logo shows two large trees intertwined with outstretched leaves and roots reaching down below. According to co-owner Mayan Marshall, the logo represents the mottos and beliefs Uzima stands for. 

“Mental illness is not something you ever want to go through alone. The two tree trunks represent people and community. The most important aspects are the roots,” Mayan Marshall said. “They represent the inner person, those inner battles we go through that aren’t visible. A tree is nothing without its roots, it shows the challenges and adversity people go through in life.”

When a customer walks into Uzima, they will notice many interactive elements on the walls, such as colorful portraits of famous people with a QR code to scan and read about their mental health journey. Portraits include a range of actors, singers, politicians and other celebrities. Sheronica Marshall said they help remind customers that everyone faces internal battles no matter their occupation or status. 

“Demi Lovato, Prince Harry, you’ll see them in our store. Yes, they struggled with depression, but look at what they contributed to society. Those pictures are there to remind us that it’s not just us,” Sheronica Marshall said. “If we’re honest with ourselves, we may all struggle with that in our life, but knowing that gives us strength so we can endure.” 

There are also two decorated walls in the front and back of the store, which customers can write on with different Q&As on mental health, words of advice or say how they’re feeling that day. 

Gianna Benni, a sophomore communication sciences and disorders major, said the food and beverages sold at Uzima are not to be overlooked. She tried and reviewed their products on her social media.

“Uzima reached out to my Instagram food account and was incredibly kind. When I got there, they recommended I try the Grace smoothie, and I also wanted to try the Thrive acai bowl,” Benni said. “They were both amazing. Overall, Uzima was delicious and had impeccable service.”

Benni also said Uzima has also done a great job of providing a positive atmosphere for students. 

“The atmosphere was gorgeous and really inspiring, considering it’s decorated based on mental and physical health. There were quotes and beautiful decor all around the shop,” Benni said. 

Uzima is currently building up their social media presence to get their name out, according to social media manager Khalil Weathers.

“I post weekly doing product drops and lifestyle pictures, you’ll see that more in the coming weeks. It makes more of a community and showcases what’s actually going on here, which is something I’ve never seen before,” Weathers said. “It’s a beautiful thing to see someone come in and actually feel the difference, this just feels like a home.” 

According to Weathers, the store wants to use their social media to not only promote Uzima but spark conversations online.

“Reach out to us if you’re ever struggling with anything and you don’t have the strength to come in the store. We will be very happy to talk and help you,” Weathers said.

Mayan Marshall said being surrounded by so many universities is important to Uzima because the store wants to focus on helping Generation Z and shedding light on the subject of mental health. 

“I just want people to know, especially the students who read this who are going through a battle with mental illness, it’s more common than what you think,” Mayan Marshall said. “You are not alone, and I think once people start to open up more you’ll see it’s a big club. Once we begin to encourage one another, I truly think this generation is going to change it.”

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‘We do not have the space to stop our protesting’: Students discuss mental health, activism burnout among the Black community

In the midst of a pandemic and large protests against anti-Black violence, it can be difficult for Black students to navigate the area between their identity and mental health, according to Destiny Mann.

 “I need to turn off my phone, but when I go downstairs and I see my little brother, who often goes on runs in our neighborhood, and then you see the Ahmaud Arbery case, it’s like I can’t do that,” Mann, a senior political science and Africana studies major, said. “I can’t just turn off my phone and take a step back, because it’s constant.”

Mann serves as the president of Pitt’s Black Action Society, the group which co-sponsored an event titled “Activism Burnout” last Wednesday with the National Pan-Hellenic Council. This event was part of an ongoing series of conversations and workshops for Mental Health Awareness Month. At the roundtable, student speakers Nadiyah Fisher and Selam Mekbeb-Gillett discussed the historical legacy of medical racism toward the Black community and the concept of activism burnout.

Fisher, a sister of the Mighty Mu chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and one of the lead panelists, said it would be impossible to address the whole history of medical racism. However, Fisher said this event should be seen as a springboard, something that other students can utilize to begin their own research and education.

Fisher, a junior majoring in neuroscience and psychology, noted a few specific examples to give a broad overview of the history, such as drapetomania and dysaethesia aethiopica. According to Fisher, during slavery, physicians would often diagnose enslaved people who attempted to rebel as “mentally ill.” When an enslaved person attempted to escape, they were diagnosed with drapetomania, and enslaved Black people were also categorized as “lazy” through the label of dysaethesia aethiopica, Fisher added. 

“These are words you cannot even read because they are fake and have never been in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” Fisher said. “These are just words made of prefixes and word roots to define ‘bad.’”

Even after formal slavery ended, during the Civil Rights Movement, Fisher said people would label members of the Black Panther Party and other members of the racial justice as having “political psychosis,” in order to connect a mental illness to political rebellion. 

To this day, the current sociopolitical context has lasting mental health consequences for Black people, according to Mekbeb-Gillett, the executive secretary of the BAS. Racial justice scholars coined the term activism burnout in 2003. 

“The feeling of hopelessness, going to college protests, reading the slew of social media,” Mekbeb-Gillett, a sophomore studying sociology and psychology, said. “Everyday you’re hearing about some other innocent Black body being murdered.”

However, there are ways to alleviate the intensity of activism burnout. Mekbeb-Gillett said creating vulnerable, safe spaces for Black people to talk about their feelings is just one way to prioritize self-care for Black students. 

Activism burnout, and mental health in general, is a major area of concern among Black students at predominantly white institutions. Fisher said being constantly surrounded by students and faculty that do not look like her is an isolating experience.

“When you look so drastically different from those beside you, all of your actions are amplified,” Fisher said. “If you usually sit in the front, and you miss one day, you feel like everyone in the class knows you’re absent because you stand out so much.” 

Due to prevailing anti-Black stereotypes such as the “angry Black woman,” Fisher said she finds herself analyzing her own actions, and trying to determine if her passion will be misconstrued as anger among her peers and professors.

“Why are my peers hesitant to defend me in public settings but agree to my points following my encounter?” Fisher said. “You start to question your stances and morals when you are constantly gaslit.”

Mann said on top of stereotypical norms and a general feeling of isolation, the constant brutality against Black people often seems to be ignored.

“That looks like my little brother, that could have been my father,” Mann said. “We normalize violence against Black people to the point where people don’t check in on their Black students.”

The constancy and intensity of racist oppression is overwhelming, and Mann said there is a real need for Black students to be able to decompress and have the resources to move forward.

One potential resource for racial trauma and activist burnout could be the University Counseling Center. According to Fisher, the UCC has made efforts to diversify and expand their resources, pointing to Dr. Darr’s meeting with Pitt Excel and Bridges to discuss the mental health of Black and brown people.

“But racial trauma is complex,” Fisher said. “I believe holding events that encourage raw and educational experiences geared towards Black people is the step in the right direction.”

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Food For Thought | Piada Italian Street Food

On the corner of Meyran and Forbes Avenues is Piada Italian Street Food. With all the restaurants in bustling central Oakland near campus, you might not have seen or tried this one yet. But, if you’re looking for some quick and yummy pasta between classes, this might be the spot for you.

Piada Italian Street Food is a chic quick-service restaurant. Guests can choose between wraps, salads, bowls or pasta. Staff assemble all the meals in front of you, and you can make it your own with all types of protein options and additives. There is even an option to build your own wrap, bowl or pasta! Then, you can take your meal to-go or dine inside their large dining room.

With all the options available, it is difficult to pick just one. But, after all, who doesn’t love pasta? I ordered the carbonara. Carbonara is a pasta dish from Rome that contains parmesan alfredo, bruschetta, tomatoes, pancetta, spinach and grated parmesan. I added hot fried chicken on top of it. 

The hot fried chicken with the pasta might seem like an odd choice at first, but it adds so much to the flavor. The chicken has a thick rub of spices and is very juicy. I couldn’t ask for better seasoning. It perfectly combines with the alfredo sauce and the other components to make the dish cohesive.

The alfredo sauce itself wasn’t particularly noteworthy. It had a great creamy texture, but not a lot of flavor. Luckily, the other ingredients pick up where the sauce fails. The other ingredients, namely the tomatoes and pancetta, add more variety than the plain sauce.

The crunch of the pancetta is amazing. The flavor is very smokey, like you expect from pancetta and bacon. I also got a little bit of crunch from the spinach and tomatoes. All the vegetables are raw, which I thought at first to be a little off-putting. Despite my initial drawbacks, the vegetables give a refreshing texture that cuts through the heaviness of the pasta itself.

The carbonara, along with the other pastas, is available in small or regular sizes. I chose the small size for myself and I’m glad I did. The serving comes with a heaping handful of spaghetti or penne, if that’s what you choose and a generous portion of each topping. It might not look like a lot compared to the regular size, but it fills you up quickly. I felt myself starting to get full after only eating half of the bowl.

Piada Italian Street Food also offers a range of sides, from Piada sticks to meatballs.The Piada sticks intrigued me, so I opted to try one of them. Piada sticks are the business name for a breadstick and come in parmesan or pepperoni flavors. Since most people have tried a parmesan breadstick before, I opted for the pepperoni Piada stick.

The Piada stick is very lightly golden and crusted with sprinkles of cheese. Inside, it is stuffed with pepperoni, more cheese and tomato sauce. It’s more than a foot long, which is a nice deal for a little more than $2. The pepperoni has a good smoky flavor. That is about all the good things I have to say about the Piada stick.

But I was disappointed that the stick was cold. Without it being hot, it freezes up into a rather unappetizing lard. The sticks are on display in the front of the store, though, so I understand why they may not be warm. The fillings inside are very scarce and the pepperoni outpowers the tomato sauce and cheese. The flavor is reminiscent of a frozen pizza or a pizza Lunchable. 

These items may be great if you’re feeling nostalgic, but not if you want a good breadstick. I think that a quick microwave or oven stint for the Piada stick could do it some good, if you happen to take your food to-go. I don’t know if that would completely redeem it, though, because some of the flaws revolve around taste rather than temperature.

All in all, Piada Italian Street Food is a great choice if you’re looking for something quick and easy. I was very happy with their pasta. Should I ever go back, I would love to try some of their wraps as well. However, if you do go, it might be a smart idea to stick to the main dishes only and stay away from the sides. 

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