Friday, November 25, 2011

Princeton Edition: Pizza House

I've been excited about this place opening for a long time. It's not just a new restaurant for me to try in Princeton, it's a new restaurant completely! It's right in the same building with Dragon Palace, Curves and Sally's along Stafford Drive. It's opened by the same owners of the Chinese restaurant, Dragon Palace. So, that's interesting. It has the same large, red lettering on the outside like Dragon Palace. It even has the outside door, then a small entryway, then another door to the restaurant like the Dragon Palace.

Once we got inside the restaurant, I realized how spacious this area was. We walked in, and there was a dining area to the left and a dining area to the right. The buffet was straight ahead. A waitress walked up to us and asked if we wanted the buffet. We said yes, and she seated us to the left. Maybe those who are ordering off the menu sit on the right side. Apparently they have both options here. We got situated in our booth, ordered our drinks, then headed up to the buffet. It was a few of those islands, like what you'd see at a Chinese restaurant.

Since its name is "Pizza House," I was expecting this buffet to be filled with pizzas, like CiCi's. But it was not. In fact, only a very small portion of the buffet was devoted to pizzas. There were only about six pizzas, one with cheese, one with sausage, one with pepperoni. One was a chicken alfredo. Two were dessert pizzas - cherry & pineapple. The rest of the buffet was some noodles, some mushrooms, some quesadilla thing, gravies. A huge area was devoted to salad, and the other area was devoted to some desserts - like light pastry-type things they serve at the Chinese restaurant.


They also had a soup, which was vegetable on this day. I was quite disappointed by this sad display of pizzas, but I tried not to let that get in the way of my judgment if the pizza was outstanding. It was not. It was generic, bland, lifeless. There weren't many varieties, some of the pizzas were all taken, and those spots weren't refilled. No thought was put into what types of pizzas people might like. If your name is Pizza House, you should specialize in pizzas. Six terrible pies isn't cutting it. It wouldn't surprise me if it was frozen & heated up in a microwave. The chicken alfredo wasn't too bad, though. It was a little salty, but it actually had some flavor. It was probably the sole redeeming factor of the visit, along with their spaghetti.

The problem with anything on the buffet that wasn't pizza, which was about 75% of the food, was that the spoon to get the food was scalding hot. They must have had some issues with some ventilation system because the spoons were so hot that I simply couldn't get some food, and one woman requested that a waiter bring out a different utensil.

But once I got the spaghetti on my plate, I really liked it. The noodles were thick, and the sauce was robust, but nothing a decent jar couldn't handle. While the wait staff was attentive, and the owner seemed nice, the pizza is not good here. You cannot open a restaurant, call it Pizza House, put out a handful of generic pizzas and think people will come. Pizza Hut has better pizzas and much more variety. And that's saying something.

Grade: D
Pizza House on Urbanspoon