I can’t say that I’ve ever been a fan of the calzone. While the dish originated in Italy (according to Wikipedia) it has always seemed like a red-headed stepchild, born out of a marketing meeting in the 1980s when some executive decided that their chain’s pizza needed a totally radical reinvention. After 15 minutes of fame, the calzone was resigned to county fair food status and taken off the menu of every self respecting pizza shop.
Regardless of my own made-up version of the calzone’s history, I did my best to clear my head of any bias when I heard that D.P. Dough is now sort of a local company with their franchising operations recently relocated to Columbus. I figured it was worth a review.
D.P. Dough is located at the corner of High Street & Smith Place, directly in the middle of the area that can be referred to both as The Short North and The University District. The shop only seats around 20 people and primarily functions as a carry-out operation with the option for delivery service powered by motorscooter. The interior is decorated in a scarlet and gray color scheme with OSU sports memorabilia on the walls, which would seem to be aimed at attracting college students from the north rather than residents of The Short North to the south.
The day of my recent visit was on a Wednesday, which advertises a “2 for $10″ special on all calzones. Normally, they’re $6.95 each.
The Chicken ParmaZone includes breaded chicken breast, american cheese, mozzarella cheese and ranch dressing. The chicken was all white meat, and having the ranch included inside the calzone was better than the others I tried, which had no sauce at all on the interior. Probably the best of the four that I sampled from.
The Cheeseburger Zone is filled with ground hamburger meat, bacon, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. This one had some potential, but was somehow salty to the point of inedibility. I tasted each ingredient individually and couldn’t pinpoint where the salt overload was coming from. Either my tastebuds were fried and it all seemed salty, or there was some sort of salt shaker accident in the kitchen.
The Maui Wowi Zone includes pineapple and ham in addition to mozzarella cheese. One of three specialty calzones, this one included the most unique ingredients, even if that only meant ham slices and canned pineapple chunks. The flavor was along the lines of your average hawaiian pizza, but could have used some other sort of dipping sauce. The standard marinara can be substituted for something else, but none of the other sauces seem to compliment this one at all.
I also tried out a side of Tater Tots ($1.75 small / $3.00 large) just for the hell of it. They’re the frozen variety, heated and served. Nothing different than what you can buy at the grocery store, though they can also add bacon and cheese to top them if you’re so inclined.
Overall, I’d say that D.P. Dough was a let down. The dough itself is actually pretty tasty, but the toppings were average across the board. An unfolded calzone from D.P. Dough would probably make a ok slice of pizza, but I can’t really get behind the hot-pocket style format. If there’s one thing D.P. Dough has working in its favor is that they’re open late with a decent proximity to a large body of OSU students. This type of food probably goes over pretty well with that crowd during those late hours, but if you’ve graduated and you’re sober, there’s really no compelling reason to go here when there are so many better pizza options throughout Columbus. Try Element, Romeo’s or zpizza instead.
DP Dough is located at 1259 N. High Street. They’re open from 4pm to 3pm Monday through Wednesday, 4pm to 4am Thursday and Friday, Saturday 11am to 4am and Sunday 11am to 2pm. More information can be found online at www.dpdough.com.