cici’s pizza – san diego, ca
Cici’s Pizza is a new addition to the San Diego scene. They made their debut opening this past Monday and I stopped by for a visit with my crew on Tuesday evening. Cici’s Pizza features a Pizza Buffet for $5.99 (drinks extra, less than $2, and I believe kids under 10 are $3.49). You can also order a large pizza to go if you don’t want to stay and gorge on the buffet items, but you’d be missing out on a great deal if you did. A large pizza to go though will only set you back $6.99 which still isn’t too bad.
Upon our arrival we saw that the place was packed. Not a surprise really. My boyfriend sent his son on “table duty” to find and procure a spot for us to consume our goodies. After paying up front, we squirmed into line and each grabbed a small plate for some salad. They also had offerings of pasta, bread sticks and marinara sauce and soup. I got the BLT Salad and some bread sticks but skipped the pasta and soup – I wasn’t in the mood for either.
The salad was basic – iceburg lettuce, a little radicchio, some carrots and bacon bits (I’m sure there were tomatoes in it, too, but considering I don’t like tomatoes I avoided them). It was in a ranch-y kind of dressing and I did like it, even if it was bacon bits. They also had a Caesar salad up for grabs as well. I’m not sure if the salads rotate or not, but I saw someone refreshing the salad bowls and they looked freshly made. The breadsticks were also quite good – garlicy and a little buttery – I had plenty of these. Not quite “Pat & Oscars breadsticks” good, but good enough.
Once you move further down the buffet line, there’s a number of different pizza’s up for grabs. And here’s the kicker – if you don’t see anything you like, you can ask them make something for you. And you can just have a couple of slices of it, or the whole thing, and they’ll give you a colored cone and bring it out to your table when it’s ready. How AWESOME is that? You can pretty much ensure yourself of a freshly made pizza by ordering something special.
A few of the already made pizza’s I tried were the “Rustic” Italian Sausage pizza on a thin crust (I didn’t like it though, the crust was way too thin and not crisp enough and I thought the whole thing would fall apart when I picked it up), a Buffalo Chicken pizza (good but a bit too spicy for my taste – if you like spicy though – like buffalo wings spicy – you’ll probably like this), a standard Pepperoni pizza (this was when I realized I didn’t like their tomato pizza sauce – a bit bland) and a plain cheese pizza with a white sauce (I loved the white sauce the best). I also tried a calzone-looking thing which kind of tasted like a weird hot pocket that I wasn’t into.
By far my favorite piece of the night was one covered in mushrooms with little bits of chicken and the white sauce. Damn. The mushrooms were cooked just right and the chicken didn’t overpower it. The crust on all of the pizza’s (except the really thin one) were good – chewy, crisp, flavorful. If they didn’t already have something with mushrooms out, I would have ordered it.
They also offer dessert.
Their desserts consist of brownies with a crap ton of powdered sugar on them and cinnamon buns. The cinnamon buns were gooey and good, I kind of wanted the cinnamon to be a little bit more melty overall, but it was fair. The brownies, I really loved the texture – dense, fudgy, and slightly crisp – but it seemed to be dark chocolate brownies and killed it a little for me. Still though, if you’re looking to end the night on a sugar rush, these items will defintely get you there.
All in all, it was a pleasant experience. The staff was friendly and nice and I was excited by the idea that I could come and order what I wanted and get something freshly made for me. That’s always my qualm about buffets – they don’t taste fresh. But Cici’s Pizza really knocks that idea on it’s head by offering you what you want and the options make it an excellent choice for everyone. And you really can’t beat the price – where else can you get all of this for only $5.99? I don’t know how they do it, but it’s awesome.
5801 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92115