Tharon Giddens' quest for fast, cheap and tasty

Heat lamps don't make for great pizza

We're on a pizza binge here at Lunch Money Central, and we learned something today: It's hard to keep even the best pizza in its prime under the hot lamps of a pasta buffet.

Lunch Buddy Donna and I and the Luncheon­ettes have been happy with the food at Pizza Joint for years. The Devito sandwich is a favorite of mine, the dough balls are fantastic appetizers, and the pies have always been sublime. The downtown Pizza Joint is one of my favorite places to take job candidates.

Unfortunately, a recent meal from the lunch buffet at the Evans location proved problematic. Their made-from-scratch dough is rolled into thin-crust pies, which is fine, but it didn't hold up well under a heat lamp. This is a pie that deserves to be custom ordered and eaten hot and fresh.

The price is right for the buffet, at $7.50 each, and the selection is decent, with four or five full pies, spaghetti and a salad, but take a walk to the back and check it out before you dine.

Our visit was at 12:30 p.m. on a Sunday, prime dining time, so the pies should have been fresh.

You are greeted as you enter and handed menus, then you seat yourself. Pizza Joint is dark and spacious, with rock music piped in to the background and several televisions of various sizes around the large bar and in the dining room.

The massive aquarium in the dining area is a nice touch, but some of the artwork put us off. We were especially puzzled by a watercolor of a snowy landscape that had been hidden behind three large, brightly-colored plates.

Maybe it was just an off day all around. The dough balls are usually a highlight of a Pizza Joint visit, but the ones on the buffet tasted old and cold. The spaghetti noodles were in water on the buffet. I passed. The Greek salad is usually a treat here, but all that was offered on the buffet was a tub of iceberg lettuce, some bland tomatoes and some shredded cheese, with two dressings available.

Pizza Joint has earned a return visit, based on past experiences. We'll just avoid the buffet on the next go around.

THE LUNCH LINE

WHAT: Pizza Joint
WHERE: 4301 Washington Road, Evans
ON THE MENU: Pizza, sandwiches, salads, subs
FOOD: 2 out of 5
SERVICE: 2.5
VALUE: 3.5
CALL AHEAD: (706) 447-4992

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lovemykids
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lovemykids 02/15/10 - 02:33 pm
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Wow, the PJ in Evans sure has

Wow, the PJ in Evans sure has a bad reputation. I really hope the owners will get to read some of these comments and see how customers feel about their place of business.

TheOne
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TheOne 02/15/10 - 11:19 pm
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For GREAT tasting pizza check

For GREAT tasting pizza check out Antonio's Italian Eatery in Downtown North Augusta (Jackson Square). The sauce is out of this world and the flavor lights up your taste buds. Great ambiance as well.

buddydawg
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buddydawg 02/16/10 - 07:05 am
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I ate at the Evans PJ

I ate at the Evans PJ yesterday and was immediately reminded why I stopped dining there. We sat down and had to waited for nearly 15 minutes for a waitress who never showed. We had to ask the bartender to come serve us. Fresh paint and new decorations are nice but they should renovate the wait staff and management.

RAWR
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RAWR 02/16/10 - 12:10 pm
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I have always been partial to

I have always been partial to Roma's. I have eaten at Yo Pizza once or twice. I need to try them out again.

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