It’s taken me a while to decide to write this blog post. Not because I was being selfish and didn’t want to share this diamond (Joseppi’s) in the rough (West side) with you for fear that if others found out about it, it would get too popular, and therefore, too crowded to go back. Well, ok…maybe that was it a little bit. But the main reason is because it’s pizza. Yes, pizza.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I love pizza of all varieties. The problem arrises though, when you try to tell people what’s good about a pizza place that’s not their pizza place. You see, the creature of habit in us all, even knows what kind of pizza is “our pizza”. Cracker crust, thin crust, hand tossed, pan pizza, Chicago deep dish, New York Style…it’s craziness. On top of that, there’s always the inevitable squares vs. slices debate. And don’t even get me started on the bazillion toppings!! Everyone has their own favorites, and that’s they way they like it.
So after some thought, I decided to just do what I do, and tell you about our visit to Joseppi’s, and let YOU decide. So here we go….
As one of our last boss/employee lunch outings, my buddy Kevin and I were deciding where to go to eat, when I uttered the magic words that struck a chord on the heartstrings of my pizza-loving supervisor: “There’s this place down by my house that does a pizza lunch buffet.” And that’s all it took. We made our way from Dublin to the West side via I-270 and the W. Broad Street exit. Just ahead on the right was the long strip mall which housed the inconspicuous pizzeria. As we pulled into the lot, we saw the bright, red lettering on the windows of the restaurant advertising the buffet. Within the twenty seconds it took to park the car and get out, we counted at least 5-6 people who entered the pizza shop. We took that as a good sign.
The shop itself was your classic ’80′s pizzeria. Lots of retro Coca-cola decor, wooden booths, jukebox, pinball machines, etc. It was a fairly large space, and seemed pretty family oriented. We walked up to a big window on the far wall, that was connected to the kitchen on the other side. The girl who helped us was very friendly, and she suggested to us that if we didn’t see what we were looking for on the buffet, to just ask and they would make it for us. Nice touch. She handed us a vintage, red Coke cup for soda (which we found out was included in the $6.99 buffet price!!), and we found a seat. The place was pretty crowded with everyone from a couple of singles, to a table of 4 guys who looked like they worked in construction, to a professional-looking couple, to a large family of 4 adults and 6 kids all sitting together at the biggest table in the room. It was definitely a popular lunch choice that day.
The buffet set-up was done very simply and effectively. A total of five medium pizzas were kept on the buffet warmer at all times, as the cook worked hard to keep a steady rotation and variety coming out hot and fresh. With as many people as were eating at the time, I’d say the staff gets extra points for a job well done, since there were only two of them. And even though there were so many patrons, there was never a time when people were waiting for food.
We actually arrived at the same time as the large family party, so we sat and waited until they were all finished getting their food. By that time, new pizzas were being brought out, which was fine with us. My plate #1 consisted of a slice of pepperoni & cheese, a slice of pep & sausage, and a slice of ham & bacon pizza. The pizza itself was really, really good. The crust was thin, the sauce had good flavor and was a little sweet, and the cheese & toppings were excellent. I like a nice “brown” to the cheese on my pizza. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s the way that the cheese browns up on top, and gives it the baked cheese taste and texture, as opposed to some places where the cheese has more of a microwaved appearance and taste. Does that make sense? I’m not sure. But Joseppi’s nailed this technique on everything I ate here. Bravo!
A close-up of the bacon & ham slice. So good…
Plate #2: A chicken ranch white pizza, a slice with pep & salami (cheese on top), and a couple of cheese sticks.
Joseppi’s also features their own food challenge. As you can see from the sign located in their restaurant, it’s a pretty hefty one, but I think I could manage it with the right partner. Any volunteers??
We were both pretty impressed with Joseppi’s lunch buffet. The pizza was great (in fact, I might even be tempted to say that it’s one of my favorites in Columbus), and the variety that they offered was really good. I would have liked to have maybe tried a veggie pizza or something, but they did really well to try to accommodate for everyone’s tastes, even the kids (the chicken ranch pizza was a special request of the youngsters). We could have asked for a veggie, but there was enough coming out consistently that we were satisfied, as was everyone else, I think. The price was excellent for what we got, especially considering that a fountain drink was included.
Joseppi’s was definitely worth the trip. They have a couple of other locations scattered around the West side of town, although I’m not sure if those shops do the buffet. Either way, check them out if you’re a fan of good pizza, or a fan of “brown cheese”, like me.
The Joseppi’s shop we visited is located at 4764 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228. They’re open Mon – Thurs, 11AM – 11PM, Fri – Sat, 11AM – 12AM, and Sun, 12pm – 10pm. The lunch buffet is available Mon – Fri, 11AM – 2PM. Check them out on Facebook or Twitter for more info, or visit their website.