Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pizza Tour of Toledo

Toledo is famous for a few things - Home of Jamie Farr and Katie Holmes, The Glass City and also having the most restaurants per capita in the USA (we are a test market for fast food even).  Needless to say, we have a ton of restaurants here, but not all are created equal.

So my friend Jeff and I are on a quest for the best pizza.  So far we have toured a few places while on our Pizza Tour 2014.

Jo-Jos on Monroe St, Toledo
(We only sit on the bar side)
Crust - thin and crispy, flavor is good
Sauce - a nice and tangy sauce, not overly salty or sweet
Overall Pizza Score - I give it a B
Other items of note - Always sit on the bar side, there are sure to be shenanigans.  Last time we were there, there was a group of 50ish year old ladies drinking dollar beers (cans) and making a beer-a-myd at the table behind us.  Amazing
Atmosphere - See above.  Also best bartender in the world.  If you frequent Jo-Jos, you know him.
Service - Same.  This is for sure a "regulars" sort of place.  Like Cheers but danker

J&G Pizza Palace on Main, Sylvania
Crust - Best!  Thin and crispy.  Sort of plain so as to compliment the pizza.  A little pokes of of the top but not much, for maximum pizza enjoyment
Sauce - Again, incredible.  Great sauce to pizza ratio.  On the savory size (I'm not a sweet sauce fan).
Overall Pizza Score - I would give it an A.  Just love it this pizza.
Other items of note - They cut their pizza on an angle and in many slices - so if you happen to have 8 slices, that's more like 2 slices so you don't feel bad.  You can strategize and take the edge triangle piece or the middle square piece that has nothing but cheese and no crust.  It's beautiful.   Also, they have a rotating spit with the absolute best gyros in town.  Reminds me of European street food "Doner-kebabs."  A must have to compliment your pizza.
Atmosphere - Nostalgic.  Most people that visit J&Gs are lifers and have been going there for a LONG time.  A small, cozy dining room (their takeout business is heavy) is adored with wallpaper featuring velour and chrome and the red booths are perfect.  No renovations necessary.
Service - Always excellent.  Last time our server gave us some complimentary chocolates to go. 

Inky's Italian Food on N. Detroit, Toledo
Crust - I didn't love it.  I felt like it was the frozen Sofo kind you made in grade school.  Sort of doughy and chewy.
Sauce - I liked the pizza sauce, but we also ordered the lasagna/spaghetti combo and that sauce tasted a lot like it was out of the can.  It didn't have much flavor and was very average.  I liked the meatball though.
Overall Pizza Score - I feel terrible, but I have to give it a C.  Very average.  I think it was built up in my mind because I have been hearing for 35 years that Inky's is the best.
Other items of note - Our server was excellent and the menu was HUGE. I would like to go back and try the sandwiches or the eggplant Parmesan.   I bet this is one of those things that you are loyal to where you know.  Like Packos or Skyline. 
Atmosphere - Classic diner style.  There was a church pew at the front (which I loved) and this statue of an Italian guy greeting you at the front (which I loved).
Service - Amber was friendy and helpful.  Steering us in the right directions.  She was attentive and knowledgeable.

What's next?
On the list is 5th St. Pub, Gino's, Aimee's, Mama LaScola's.  Where do you frequent??


Mickey D. said...

I love this! The D family gets pizza every Friday so I appreciate your investigative work. We're always looking for new places.

I also recommend you try Jet's off of Reynolds. That's one of our new faves that we learned about through the PizzaPalooza event. It's so good!

Keep up the good work!

Danielle Tracy said...

5th street is amazing. I love it! Interested to see your take on it :)

Wrestling Kitties said...

Love this!!

You know, I don't go up to Toledo to eat often so I haven't tried these but that J&G sounds good....I love thin crust!!

We tried the 5th Street Pub in Perrysburg and I thought it was AWESOME. Seriously, amazing. They have a brick oven so the pizza crust is slightly burnt in spots (YUM) and has that smokey flavor. The pizzas have a great amount of FRESH toppings. There were four of us (Henry got his own pizza!) and we got three pizzas. I know, we like to eat :-) Their pizzas are cut into four large and fold-able pieces. It was actually nice to have four people because we each got to try a piece of three different pizzas.

We had the margarita....delicious. And the pepperoni SO GOOD. They use real pepperoni and thick chunks. Awesome.

And we tried a couple appetizers....seriously, we are eaters!! The pesto bruschetta was very good and this mozzarella tower had fried mozz and fresh....tasty!

We are going back for sure!!!

Stephanie said...

J&G's Pizza is amazing!

Fun fact- I worked at Jo-Jo's about 10 years ago for 6months. On Thursday nights, the ONLY night that Pat, the infamous bartender doesn't work. He's worked at Jo-Jo's for half of his life, and his wife and sons work(ed) there as well.
It very much is a Cheers type place. We had the same patrons who sat at the same barstools who ordered the same drink. Every day. It was a fun experience!

Inky's is TERRIBLE. Always has been, and I imagine always will be. Their sauce in an insult to us Italians.

Since leaving Toledo, I really miss Marco's and Gino's. Although, last time I was home we ordered Gino's (they're the only ones I found to carry gluten-free pizza, silly intolerance), and I feel the quality is not what it used to be.

I'm curious to hear your review of Gino's and Aimee's. You know the story there, right?