Pies and Pints
I recently visited a relatively new-to-the-area pizza and beer joint – Pies & Pints – located in Worthington at The Shops at Worthington Place. Pies & Pints is not a brand-spanking new restaurant – its first location was originally was opened in Fayetteville, West Virginia. Another location then popped up in Charleston, West Virginia, and most recently, in Worthington, Ohio.
I decided to head out on a Thursday night after work to check it out for myself, and I have to say, business was hopping. When I arrived around 7pm there was a wait for a table and the bar was full. However my companion and I were able to score a spot at the bar while waiting.
The Grape Pie is their most “talked-about” according to the bartender, topped with red grapes, Gorgonzola & fresh rosemary. Being a traditionalist myself, I didn’t muster the courage to try it, and instead ordered the “Pizza Pie” which comes with pepperoni, mozzarella and tomato sauce. When asked if the bartender recommended any other toppings I was missing out on, he recommended the sausage, so I decided to add sausage and banana peppers. Now, maybe it was because I modified my pie and they were just having a busy night, but they forgot the sausage for my order. I’m not picky so I would have let it slide, but the bartender noticed and immediately offered me up a complimentary beer and let me keep the pizza while they cooked one that was the correct to order – so kudos to them for rectifying an honest mistake. I really appreciated the care and patience they showed me and other customers.
Beers on Tap
They also entertained my indecisiveness about which beer I wanted on draft. The bartender was very knowledgeable about what he was serving up and recommended a few samples for me. I ended up going with an always-good choice, Founders Breakfast Stout. My second choice later that night to go along with my pizza was the Stone Levitation, a great beer from Stone Brewing. With 36 beers on draft, you can choose a pint or pitchers. They also have a decent selection of bottled beers, with at least one gluten-free beer option.
Regarding the pizza, they have many interesting specialty options, or you can choose your own toppings. Sizes come as a 10″ small (good for one hungry person, or a less-hungry person with leftovers) and a 16″ large, and you can order 1/2 and 1/2 toppings on the large size. They also have gluten-free options which I always like to note for those that cannot consume gluten. The gluten-free pizzas apparently come out in a square shape (so it’s not easily mistaken or mixed up with other pizzas) while normal pizzas are round. I did not experience this first-hand but read about it in a restaurant review. What a great idea!
The dough is very good – it’s housemade and very tasty – brushed with roasted garlic olive oil and has just the right amount of crisp.
While I liked the general the feel of the restaurant, my friend and I both agreed that the layout, while interesting, is not exactly functional. There is limited bar space and the stools are a bit odd as well, they seemed a bit off-kilter and I couldn’t get comfortable. Behind the bar seats there is a fairly cramped passageway that runs behind the bar to another area with tables. It’s a bit split up and strange. If you enter the restaurant, for example, you can’t see to the back to get an idea of how crowded it may be. Don’t let this be a deterrent if you’re going to check it out though! Just make sure you get there before prime-time if you want your choice of a seat immediately.
My official verdict? Pies & Pints is in my top 3 of favorite pizza places to date, with Dewey’s Pizza being my number one pick for specialty pizzas (I’m mildly obsessed with their buffalo chicken pizza called Ryan’s Inferno), and a toss up between Pies & Pints or Grandad’s for 2nd and 3rd place. If you’re not familiar with Grandad’s Pizza in Grandview, it’s a VERY good local, family-owned pizzeria, however they can’t compete when it comes to beer. Dewey’s, on the other hand, constantly rotates their draft beers (which vary depending on the location you visit). Either way, I’d definitely go back to Pies & Pints just to expand my pizza palate. Business must be doing well also, as their website indicates they will be continuing to expand and franchise. Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think!