It’s common for college students to get late-night munchies. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln dining halls stop operating at 8:30 p.m., but that does not mean the cravings do. The options for a late-night bite within walking distance of campus are surprisingly limited for a college town. Calios — nicknamed “The Calzone King!” — has come to Lincoln to fill that void and satisfy students’ budgets and tastes.
Located at 1451 O St., Calios is located right off campus. It’s an ideal location for someone looking to immerse themselves in the downtown atmosphere.
This restaurant’s interior is well aware of its location. College kids and Husker fans will be impressed by the sleek, modern seating that blends with the Husker-logo brandished walls. All areas are kept clean, suggesting that the place may have opened yesterday as opposed to two months ago.
This type of setting would lead a patron to believe they are eating in a trendy, downtown bar and grill rather than a fast food restaurant. Despite Calios’s relative closeness to campus, those who aren’t feeling like making the trip will be glad to hear that Calios delivers until 4 a.m.
For Chinese food fans, there is Panda Express. For Mexican food fans, there is Chipotle. Considering America’s love for foreign-integrated fast-casual food, it’s quite unusual that there are few Italian-American eateries that offer both culture and affordability. Calios is the answer to this dilemma.
The restaurant offers an Americanized hybrid of Italian cuisine that does not pertain to the oversaturated world of pizza. With classics such as pepperoni and meatball and the more unorthodox calzones like the taco and BBQ flavors, the menu offers both tradition and innovation.
Calzones are priced at $7.99, which may seem pricey without context, but the quality and quantity of these folded pizzas are well worth the purchase. Calios is the epitome of everything a calzone should be. The crust is crisp, but not rough. The cheese is gooey, but not flimsy. The meat is spicy, but not hostile. For an extra two dollars, a combo meal adds a bottled drink and a side of choice, such as the perfectly seasoned garlic dough chunx or the ever-so-popular pretzel bites. These flavors blend together to create an expertly crafted and exquisite Italian dining experience.
Technically, Calios is a fast-food restaurant, but its business model proves to be much more. Calios takes everything that’s good about the fast-food industry and integrates it with the values of a premium sit-down restaurant. Much like any fast-food place, the service is fast, the staff is friendly and the food is affordable. These features are combined with the quality, friendliness and deliciousness of a legitimate dining experience.
Calios rewrites what it means to be a fast-food restaurant and proves to be a great new addition to downtown Lincoln’s ever-growing food scene.
4.5 out of 5 stars