Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cottage Inn (Cemetary Road, Hilliard, OH)

Hype: A couple of people sent e-mails in the past few months talking this joint up. I also had a co-worker or two mention it. We were in the mood for a good pie so we thought we'd give Hilliard a chance.
**NOTE-- We did not yet know that this is a chain from Michigan or that this pizza sucks.

Scene: Cottage Inn sits in a strip mall attached to a supermarket, which is usually a good sign, so we were off to a good start. Once we got inside things went down hill fast. Some kid was asleep in one of the booths. A bunch of teenage suburban rejects, one of whom has a Wu-Tang neck-tat was smoking in the doorway, were working there. Had the tat been Juggalo/ICP related I would have been happy (always good in pizza shops), but Wu-Tang: no. We smelled crappy chain right away, but for some reason kept hope alive. Another hint we didn't take was that it was 70 degrees in there. Good pizza shops (Gattos, for example) are usually hotter than the Amazon Jungle in summer. I almost passed out picking up a good pie from there just last week. Deep dish pictures and Italian scenes painted on walls looked very nice though.

Crust- Airy and doughy at the same time while being flavorless. If it were good we would have liked the thickness but it sucked.
Sauce- Straight from the can. Tomato-flavored.
Cheese- It was there, but I could not taste it.
Peps- Very ordinary. Very bland. Very mediocre.

Overall: We discussed many questions while eating this pizza:
1) Why would anyone come here?---We don't know.
2) Is this worse than Pizza Hut?---Yes, much worse.
3) Little Caesars?--- Possibly. We refuse to eat LC's so we can never answer this question with confidence.
4) Would we rather eat a Red Baron Pizza at home?---Absolutely. Even if we lived right next to this place we would prefer going next door to the supermarket and just cooking our own Red Baron. It was like when Hungry Howies opened up at the top of the hill. We wanted it to be good, but it just wasn't. This place is absolutely bogus.
5) Is that sleeping kid high, related to one of the workers, or just sleeping here for no reason?

In conclusion, we hear a lot about Luigi's in Hilliard, so we'll do it next time -even without knowing anything about it, I guarantee it beats the hell out of Cottage Inn. This is probably the worst pizza in Hilliard OH. 2--5 pies.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tristano's Pizzaria (3306 Columbus St. Grove City, OH)

Hype: People have been talking all kinds of hype about Grove City lately...well at least the pizzas they make. I think we've had three or four people mention it to us in the past month or two so we thought it would be worth the trip.

Scene: The shop was on a pretty major looking street of mixed residential and commercial spaces. Tristano's is in an old house (like Newark, OH's Plaza Pizza) and it has a really nice patio space in the front. Some people were having a cornhole tournament while we were there. I had a good feeling about this. We ordered one extra large thin and one small Chicago style because we don't really know much about Chicago style pizza. I still haven't decided if it is really pizza or just pizza-themed casserole or something like that--so much cheese--overkill.
The Pie: (The thin crust on the right, not that big monster, which was good, on the left)
Crust- very crispy and very thin. Browned perfectly so that it did not submit to the abundant toppings above.
Sauce- traditional Ohio style. Not too fancy but slightly sweet with well-applied Italian seasoning.
Cheese- moderately applied, quality cheese. Not too heavy but in no way lacking.
Peps- cupped and crisp when on top, soft on the bottom. Abundantly applied but not overkill. Very well done here. Pretty spicy too.
Overall: We had the freshly brewed iced tea because of the drive but I must say they like good beers at this place too. We were impressed by all aspects of this shop. Good environment for a beer and many slices. Solid pies--both thin and thick. If I lived in Grove City, I would go here all the time. A strong 4-5 pies!