Here in central Ohio, a few friends and I have a monthly pizza outing to get to know the pizza around us. We've been doing it for a couple years, and I've decided to start documenting our outings for all to read. First up, Pie's Gourmet Pizza In Reynoldsburg, OH.www.piesgourmet.com
OK, Pie's Gourmet Pizza... was awful. It was like they had a great concept and put it in the hands of an uninspired high school kid.
First off, I asked them what size their pizzas were, and they told me it was between 8-10 inches. Upon further inquiry, they offered that pizzas change size when you cook them and they couldn't tell you exactly what size yours specifically would be. Then I asked them how many slices each has, and they said it depended on the pizza. Not what pizza you ordered, mind you. What the pizza was like when it came out of the oven. !?!
We were in a small and intimate twenty-something seater room with 7 adults and 2 kids, and it felt much too quiet for us to be there. Two older couples were drinking their red wine and we felt like intruders (though they assured us that we were not). When I walked around the refurbished colonial home of a restaurant, I found their kitchen, and subsequently their vastly mistreated dough. It was yellow and dried out, with peaks showing the "stick to the tray above" over-fermentation before it was allowed to completely dry out, and it was just sitting there for everyone to see. They were cooking this completely abused dough in a 600º (though I doubt it was even that hot) woodstone oven. The kitchen was open and beautiful, with a few sets of tables in the room looking into it. This style of kitchen is best appropriated in an environment that has nothing to hide, where as these folks had plenty to hide. Namely, the dough. They had a cobblestone patio that seats 45, complete with a fire pit and several comfy chairs and tables around it. There was also a beautiful bar upstairs called "Pie in the Sky". All together, the place felt very segmented, with each section of the colonial house feeling different than the other. Kinda weird.
The menu had such things as duck confit and apple glazed pork belly as pizza topping choices, which set the tone for an elegant and refined pie. My pizza (a "create your own") was a house made fennel sausage and local wild mushroom pizza with fresh mozz and gouda, which sounds kinda hard to make badly. When my pizza came out, it had not one single bit of color to it. Literally the entire pie was white top to bottom, with a doughy center that made the whole thing collapse at the attempt to eat it. The pre cooked sausage was greasy and utterly flavorless, and the local mushrooms, while delicious, were mishandled and obtrusive. The toppings were piled on high and it made a mess of an already messy situation. It was an oblong shaped pizza cut into 8 slices. The oven gods had spoken!
When the waitress came out to see if everything was alright, I bit my tongue. Every place we go to, I'm highly judgmental (especially high-end pizza places, and usually after we leave), and I feel that person growing inside of me that everyone hates to go out to eat with. I'm torn between letting them know where they went wrong (a laundry list for this place) and allowing them to hang themselves with their own rope. The "chef" who opened the restaurant (and was not cooking the pies. More of a manager while we were there) was the one who delivered my pizza, so it's not like this one crappy pizza snuck by. This is their product. And it sucked. I never told them how bad the place was. I paid good money for a bad product and will never go back.
I'm beginning to think that I know too much. Being a part of this community of pizza folk has ruined my ability to enjoy crappy pizza. Most everyone else had pleasant things to say about their experience. And I must admit, mine was, unfortunately for them, the worst of the bunch. And I will be the one who talks about it the most.
Pie's Gourmet Pizza: 2 thumbs down (maybe more, if I had more thumbs!)