Ci Ci’s Pizza Buffet, Eastgate, Ohio Review

Upon entering the location I was immediately greeted with friendly face, as they had always. A management-like male approached the counter and I selected the buffet plus water, bringing my total to $5.31, a reasonable amount for unlimited food. I felt it was a good value for everything I had gotten before and expected to get this visit.

In the dining area, I noticed the table I chose wasn’t clean. It had a gritty, sticky film covering it which seemed to have been there a while. I also noticed the table was unbalanced. I looked around for another table but the rest looked equally dirty. It was around 20-30 minutes after the restaurant opened; there hadn’t been enough time for tables to have been used. My assumption, the tables were not properly cleaned the night before, and it didn’t look like the room had been adequately swept. Unoccupied tables had crumbs and pieces of pizza crust under them.

I made my way to the buffet and was immediately disappointed. Many of the salad selections I had previously gotten were no longer available. There was one bowl of pre-made salad and another bowl of mixed lettuce; no cheese, cucumbers, bacon bits, broccoli, or cauliflower. There were only carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, and croutons with a basic variety of dressings; not a good selection. I ended up with a bowl of lettuce, carrots, and ranch dressing. The salad bar was my primary reason for choosing Ci Ci’s, intending to have a large salad and slice or two of pizza.

I moved on in search of something more filling. Ci Ci’s used to offer soups (usually two varieties), a pan of large rotini noodles and choices of red tomato sauce or white Alfredo sauce. This visit, only one pan of premixed noodles with tomato sauce, overcooked and crispy from heating lamps was available. I always loved Ci Ci’s noodles and Alfredo sauce, but seeing it was also now an unavailable item, I passed on pasta all together.

The pizza buffet had cheese sticks and only four pizzas out; a Hawaiian-style with ham, a peperoni, a sausage, and deep dish pepperoni. I chose two deep dish slices, a cheese stick, and then returned to my table with my selections. I took a bite of pizza first, which was barely warm at all. Growing increasingly frustrated with the experience, I moved on to my shameful salad and cheese stick, which was fairly fresh and considerably warmer than the pizza.

I watched for about 10 minutes for new pizzas to be put on the buffet, before returning to give it another shot since I had barely eaten by this point. I chose a regular peperoni slice and two slices of buffalo chicken pizza; a spicy buffalo sauce pizza with cheese and chunks of chicken. The flavor wasn’t what I was expecting from previous visits. The spicy heat of the sauce was there, but it seemed the sauce had been changed or the pizza hadn’t been made properly. The taste was off in some way. After only two bites, I moved to the slice of pepperoni pizza which turned out to be the best. It was hot, fresh, and tasted very good, like what I was expecting originally.

Overall, I was disappointed. Due to economic changes, I understand minimizing or eliminating expensive items and reducing choices to cut costs, but not at the expense of reducing product quality. I would have paid more to get the food quality I had experienced in the past. On a 1-10 scale, 1 being bad and 10 being good, I rate this experience – 3. Although a seemingly good value at the counter, the $5.31 spent for lunch now seems high for the quality I received. Considering my kids and I have always really liked Ci Ci’s, and I have never before had any problem with their food quality prior to this experience, I will give them another chance. If I get similar quality, I likely will not return.

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *