Every restaurant talks of value, from processed $1 menu items sitting under a heat lamp to $20 artistic, but small meals those in a higher-than-average tax bracket call “affordable,” to a plate of good home cooking selling for $7.
So you want to talk about value? Without any close challengers in sight, CiCi’s Pizza sits atop the “value” hill, offering an all-you-can-eat buffet for next to nothing.
“Where else can you go and get all the pizza you want for $3.99,” Tony Pegel said as he grabbed some slices off the bar for lunch.
The pizza rarely sits on the bar for more than a few minutes before it’s grabbed up by those dining at the buffet.
“It comes hot,” Pegel said.
Even if the buffet had no pizza on it, it would still be worth $3.99 just for the all-you-can-eat salad, garlic bread, pasta and absolutely amazing desserts.
However, the staff keeps a rotation of 16 different pizzas on the bar. Additionally, the manager has the freedom to place the manager’s choice on the bar.
Store General Manager Chuck Aschbacher said sometimes they get pretty creative with the special, but often make it simple pepperoni, hands down the most popular pizza at CiCi’s, he said.
“It’s for young and old,” Aschbacher said of the old standard.
Along with the value, it’s the selection of some unique pizzas that keep the guests coming back.
“Everybody likes pizza,” Nick Davis, an employee for four years, said. “And we have a lot that most people don’t have.
“We have our own garlic sauce for the classic chicken pizza,” Davis said.
The flavorful, white pizza might just receive the editor’s choice award. But the bacon and cheddar and ham and cheddar, both with rich creamy white sauce, come in not far behind.
One pizza oddity you’ll not find anywhere else is the macaroni and cheese pizza, that’s right, cheese sauce and pasta on top of a pizza.
The staff is one of the most talkative and friendly around?they treat their clientele as guests, not customers, Aschbacher said. Everyone coming in the door is greeted by a chorus of “Welcome to CiCi’s,” and they mark the creation of each taco pizza with a chant of “Uno, dos, tres, ole, taco pizza on the buffet.”
While noodles on the macaroni pizza and lettuce on the taco pizza might seem a little weird to some and the spinach pizza is not the taste for everyone, with a selection from ham and pineapple to apples and cinnamon, everyone can find something they enjoy on the bar.
“You can pile on the pizza,” said Zach Sullivan, who comes quite a bit.
Some truly do pile it on.
“Teenagers will come in and have pizza contests, seeing who can eat the most slices,” Davis said. One employee believes the record is 33.
One probably shouldn’t eat like that every day, though some partaking of the bar look as though they might.
While it’s not the best pizza in the world, it’s good, and the selection and price make CiCi’s a winner. Plus, if you don’t find anything you want on the bar, they’ll make it for you.
“I like pretty much anything and everything, as long as it’s crispy,” Matthew Vastola said as CiCi’s put a pizza back into the oven for a little while especially for him. “I highly recommend this place.”
The place is very family-friendly?there is no smoking or alcohol and video games line a back wall.
My only real complaint is the toppings don’t always come near the edge of the crust on all of the slices. But too much crust is an easy problem to deal with when it’s all-you-can-eat. The crust, which is made in house, is good and chewy, but let’s be honest, it’s really a holder for all of the delicious toppings.
Once again, the desserts, which include chocolate pizza and cinnamon rolls, are fantastic.
CiCi’s Pizza is good pizza at an outstanding price.