Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Verdi Pizza Restaurant & Pizzaria (7770 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH)

Hype: Absolutely none.  We were just looking for a nice slice and didn't want to drive too far.  No expectations.
 Scene: Verdi is a pretty small place on the end of a strip mall.  It has some outdoor seating but it was too cold.  A family occupied a long table in the middle, which added a good positive vibe to our dinner.  Three generations at one table; very nice.  We were seated next to the beer fridge, which had a small, but solid selection of beers and sodas.  The guy talked us in to a Birra Moretti--a favorite of his and ours!  A few Italian looking prints added to a very positive ambiance.  Just as our pizza arrived the guy (manager, owner, we don't know) talked us in to a second round.  We could not refuse. 

The Pie:
Crust- Plenty of seasoning and garlic salt make it flavorful.  It is also foldable in the NYC Style.  We liked the chewiness.  It wasn't perfect though.  They should have left it in the oven a touch longer to brown it up just a little more.  With just a little more crispness this pie would be truly top notch.
Sauce- Understated next to the other toppings but filled with oregano and seasonings.
Cheese- Evenly and liberally applied.  Well done next to the peps.
Peps- Oily yet delicious.  Not overly salty yet flavorful.  Kinda interesting.  We liked em.

Overall: On its own, as a take-out pie, Verdi is solid but not amazing.  Dine in and you will find it to be a hidden treasure of whatever neighborhood this is--we don't know.  Families, awesome manager/owner dude, good beverage selections, and a very nice atmosphere all add to the pizza experience giving it a 5/5 pies.  Excellent place.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rocco's Pizza Plus (1664 W. 1st Ave, Grandview Heights)

Hype: This place just opened last week so we thought we'd give it a go.  It has Pizza Plus attached to the name and the others (Bexley and Gahanna) are pretty good.

Scene: It is kinda sterile in there.  Too big, golf on the TV, and just not right.  We were not excited by the age of the workers, which I would average at about 19.  While we have had many good pies made by young people, these were not those kind of young people.  They were clean cut;  not creepy, not Juggalos.  So this was a bad sign. 

Crust- Thick, bready, a little doughy, and boring.
Sauce- Not heavily applied.  It lacked the spice of other Pizza Plus locations.
Cheese- Pretty good, but again not stellar.  It was really thick in the center and light as we moved towards the edges.
Peps- Very boring.  Tasteless.  They do offer a "Spicey Pep" option, which we also tried and these tasted like real peps.  Our advice is to just drop the regular pepperoni option and call the spicey ones the regular.  We'll just act like this never happened.

Overall:  Certainly the weakest link in the Pizza Plus Chain. Barely 3-5 pies.  We had leftover slices for roommates with low standards.