Monday, March 28, 2016

Pizza #12 California Pizza Kitchen

With the name Pizza in the title of the restaurant, it seemed like this would be a great restaurant to try out the cheese Pizza.  California Pizza Kitchen is a family favorite and we like both the one at Polaris and Easton.  As many times as I have come here, I have never ordered cheese pizza.  I usually love their salads.   Today we went to Easton Mall and had excellent seating and service.

This trip I brought my granddaughters, Addie and Reagan with me as they are on spring break.  This is definitely a favorite restaurant for them and they were pleased to come.  It is a comfortable restaurant - more "California" than Italian.  Addie looked it up online and found out that their home office is in Los Angeles - so that may be why it is called "California Pizza Kitchen."  The booths are comfortable, there is carpeting on the floor, very quiet music an open kitchen and a bar where you can sit and order a meal.  I do remember one time eating at the bar with Kacey for her birthday and that was one of my favorite times coming here.

As soon as we got seated, they  opened up the children's menu for Addie to order and for them to do the puzzles and games.   It really kept them involved between the word search, tic tac toe and doing the quizzes:
 - A. 5 people walked to California pizza kitchen with only one umbrella.  How did they all keep from getting wet?
 - B. What weighs nothing, but you can't hold it for even five minutes?
 - C. "California Pizza Kitchen has perfect pizza."  Can you spell that without using the letter "P"?

Reagan and I split a cheese pizza and Addie got the pasta with Alfredo sauce. She liked it but said it needed more cheese sauce.  Both Reagan and I also thought it tasted great! .

Reagan really liked the cheese pizza.  She said "This pizza's good.  I've had it like a thousand times." It was good and cheesy.  I have now had it one time and that is all I am going to have it.  I thought it was bland and prefer both Donatos and Pizza Hut cheese pizza better to this one.  But always, this pizza tasting is totally subjective and it is good to know that Reagan likes this and it is what she always orders.

So, like many other of these blog entries I found  I liked the restaurant better than the pizza.  .  I will keep coming and bringing family but not eating cheese pizza.

Answers to quiz
a. . It wasn't raining
b.  breath
c. that

Monday, March 21, 2016

Pizza #11 The Pizza House

Audrey was visiting from Tuscan and Chuck recommended that the three of us try out The Pizza House on Lincoln.  He had eaten here over ten years ago and read a good review recently and was game to try it again.  So we went.

Audrey, it turns out, is really a tougher critic than her mother and so I will pass on her more negative views of this restaurant as well as mine.  We both ordered the lunch special - a small pizza, salad and beverage for $6.95.  And Chuck had Rigatoni and a meatball, salad and drink for the same price.  And his came with bread.  It was a very good bargain and we all came away from the meal full with salad to space.

I liked the salad which had a house Italian dressing on it.  Audrey was not a fan of the iceberg lettuce and "lackluster" dressing which was a centimeter thick in the bowl.

Audrey described the ambiance of the restaurant as "store bought."  It has white tables and white tile floors and Italian pictures on the wall. It looks and is clean and I liked our booth a lot.

The cheese pizza was good.  Audrey said it was fine and she could make a better pizza. It had a good crust and was flavorful.

Without a doubt the best part of this restaurant experience for me was the jukebox.  I am learning through this blog that music in the background is important to my dining experience.  When you enter the pizza house, the first thing you see is the jukebox.  They were playing rock music that I did not particularly like.  So, we spent $2 for six songs - including the beach boys, Celine Dion, Billy Joel and Eric Clapton.  I loved that part.

So, I would say, this restaurant has a good value, good and friendly staff and okay pizza. By the way, Chuck liked his meatball!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Pizza #10 Giamarco's

I had been two Giamarco's in Westerville twice before and really liked it.  I was sure that I would have a wonderful cheese pizza here. There were some surprises.

First the decor is very nice.  There are wood floors, vaulted ceilings, red faux painted walls, stained glass windows and draperies.  There was no music at all in the background.

I met Trixie here and as I came in asked the waitress for a bud light.  She brought it and Trixie wondered if she offered me a glass?  No.  We ordered the lunch special - we each ordered a pizza (cheese for me, pepperoni for Trixie) and salad (caesar for me, chopped for trixie) for $10.

Before the salad, our waitress brought out bread and dipping sauce.  I was disappointed that the bread was cold and we were curious about the green dipping sauce.  We knew it had Italian seasoning, but didn't know what the flavors were.   The waitress said  it is "bread sauce" from GFS. 

The salad came next and mine was okay and Trixie's was good with balsamic dressing, however, it is not what we think of as a "chopped salad"  We would call it s a tossed salad with spinach, arugala, green lettuce. 

The pizza was good but not great.  It was plenty cheesy and the cheese tasted good.  There was a thin crust and it got soggy after a while.  There was a sweet taste to the pizza (not as sweet as Planks) but sweet. Trixie said that the pizza looked better than it tasted and she was right.

The biggest surprise of the meal, however, was when we got our bill.  We did separate checks and Trixie did not have a beverage and her bill including tax was $10.17.  She looked at the tipping guide at the bottom of the check and was surprised to notice that 20% of this bill was $3.10.  Hmmmm.

There's a word of warning to me as I often just do what the restaurant suggests.  Very disappointing.

Pizza #9 Pies and Pints

Yesterday afternoon Chuck and I decided to try out the cheese pizza at Pies and Pints in Westerville.  We impulsively called Marsha and she met us there. 

I was distracted by taking a picture of the door and greeting Marsha and failed to notice that Chuck lay spread eagle on the steps after a fall walking in.  So we learned how friendly the staff is here and a young woman immediately came to help and seemed not to notice when Chuck was yelling about falling on the &*^%$# stairs.  The good news is that he was not hurt and the pants that were ripped I really did not like, so all was well.  Here are the offending steps

 The restaurant is very modern and has an "industrial warehouse factory style.  Wood floors and tables.  We sat in a booth.  It was comfortable but not warm.  The music in the background was not too loud and what I call "techno" rock with a strong pulsing bass line. We were there at 3:30 in the afternoon - I bet it gets really noisy in the evening.

The first thing I did when we sat down was order a beer.  There was a three page beer menu and the waitress guided me to find a delicious wheat beer.  That was the best part of the meal for me. And this place is known for its craft beers.  I ordered a white pizza.  When we found out it was happy hour and appetizers were reduced in price, Chuck got wings and Marsha got Cheesy bread with tomato sauce.

 We all liked the pizza to a point.  It had a good crust, thin and flavorful.  The pizza itself had an "asiago" taste and was garlicky.  All of which is good in my book.  However by the second piece, I found I was bored with it.  It was good but lacked something - some taste that made me want to keep eating it. 

Chuck got his wings which came with a gorgonzola sauce that he did not like but I loved.  I found dipping the pizza in it gave it a better flavor (let's not even think about the calories here!)  The wings, by the way, were not good.  We all liked Marsha's cheesy bread but thought the tomato sauce was only so-so.

So in conclusion with Pies and Pints - I would definitely recommend the Pints and pick a different Pie than the "White" one.

Pizza #8 Claudiana

I went to Claudiana's last week with Melanie.  Neither of us had been there before but I figured an Italian restaurant should have good pizza.  It is located in a strip mall on Sancus north of Lazelle.

There is much that I liked about the ambiance of this restaurant.  It has carpeted floors, table cloths and the music was Italian opera.  After our charming Italian accented waiter came we decided that this was a REAL Italian restaurant.  As opposed to restaurants like Buca, Olive Garden, Bravo, etc which may have alot of  what looks like Italian decor, they are more corporate than soulfully Italian.
I still like them but there was a real family vibe here. .

Part of it was that the waiter was obviously harried when we first came.  Too many people to handle than they were used to.  Later, as the place thinned out he was able to be more attentive to us.

I ordered a glass of white wine and a white pizza with parmeson, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses.  Melanie ordered pasta and salad.  The pizza proved to be the most disappointing part of the meal.

 It was flat, salty with a crust that was like a cracker. The wine, however was good and Melanie's salad and meal was wonderful.

I cannot overstate how much we enjoyed the restaurant itself and I would come back here in a heartbeat for Italian food - just not the pizza.