Friday, August 28, 2009

Gatti's Pizza - A Pizza Buffet

When I think Pizza Buffet, I think Cici's but that is only because that is the chain most local to me - if local is 200 miles. There are other pizza buffet chain restaurants as well. We wrote about a new, small, two location chain in Pennsylvania a year ago. I recently found another chain that is much more wide-spread across the country. That chain is Gatti's Pizza.

Now, as always, I tell you right up front when I am writing about a restaurant or chain that I have not been to and this is another of those. I have not eaten at Gatti's Pizza, but I will share with you all that I have learned.

Gatti's presentation is very much like Cici's - a buffet comprised of pizza, salad bar, pasta, and dessert. There are also chicken wings - though it appears that these are not included on the buffet, . There is a take out option and there is also the ability to internet order from some of the locations, particularly those in Texas.

Locations are across the US as far west as Texas. There are Gatti's Pizza locations in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Most states listed have several locations with the most in Texas. This is not surprising as this is the state where the chain was founded in 1964 with a pizza restaurant called The Pizza Place. In 1969 the founder moved to Austin, Texas and renamed the restaurant using his wife's maiden name, it the restaurant became Mr. Gatti's. The restaurant prided itself on using all natural ingredients to make the best tasting pizza possible. In the 1980's the restaurant expanded to a chain of game rooms that included a pizza buffet. Interestingly, Cici's also began its pizza buffet restaurants in Texas in 1985. (So, who came first?) There are now 140 + locations of Gatti's Pizza. Locations are franchises.

So what types of pizza will you find on the buffet? This is another of the every combination you can think of assortment of pizzas. There is a Sampler pizza, a Bacon Double Cheeseburger pizza, BBQ Chicken pizza, Meat Market pizza, Vegetarian Sampler pizza, Superoni (pepperoni) pizza, Gatti's Deluxe pizza, Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Veggi Sicilian, and Meat Sicilian. There is a separate list of toppings so we can presume that other combinations are possible. Personally, I like to try the exotic when I go to pizza buffets but I am usually happier when I find basic cheese pizza also available.

The salad bar is what you would expect. Salad greens, tomatoes, and toppings with a variety of dressings. The pasta is spagetti with tomato sauce. There is a mention of macaroni and cheese as well. Most locations have a website and these tend to get a little more specific as to what you might find at that location.

The dessert choices are apple pizza and cinnamon bread sticks (what appears to be pizza dough baked with cinnamon). Of course there are soft drinks and it is stated that these vary by location.

To find prices you need to look at the websites of the individual restaurants which are linked on the locations page. For an example over 12 at the West Virginia location the buffet is $7.99. Not bad, but two to three dollars higher than Cici's. Kids over 6 pay $6.49. Only children under 2 are free and there is a senior discounted price of $6.49.

Each restaurant features a game room and large screen TV's in the dining room. There are larger locations call GattiTown which have party rooms and are listed as "destination" locations. Generally, destination means "shoppertainment" - an attraction location offering entertainment, food, etc. These are stand-alone restaurants meaning that they are not inset into other stores, etc. but a larger facility all on its own.

The food looks good. That is no recommendation. If I am in Virginia, West Virginia, or one of the Carolinas I will try it. The corporate website is linked at the side of this page. It is light on buffet information but if you go to the locations page and click on a location's website you will see much more about the buffet, prices, hours, etc.

If you have been to a Gatti's Pizza please leave a comment and tell us all about it!


Anonymous said...

We had a Mr. Gatti's close to us in VA when I was growing up.

I won't comment since it has been years since I have been in one, but I wonder why you published this. I can find all of the info you posted here on the internet without visiting your site. [I really like your site too!]

I would much rather read where you have eaten - although I appreciate you are limited as you can't find too many places within you home that you haven't already reviewed unless you travel.

Robert A said...

Readers have asked me to find buffets across the country - even those that I cannot get to. Whenever I can get to a buffet I will review it - but to give readers across the US buffet choices I do collect whatever information that I can and write about it - in a sense, putting all the buffet resources in one place.

Thank you for reading!

dave1973 said...

I can appreciate your hard work in providing us on information of buffets that you visited, as well as those you haven't been to yet. It can give us some information on what you do find buffets offer. That could give us an idea of a place to visit.

I don't know if this is a place I would consider, but at least I know that this place exists. They haven't reached my part of Indiana yet, as they're only in far southern Indiana at the moment, while I live in the NW Indiana area, near Chicago.