Restaurant Review: Pies & Pints
The Worthington Mall still exists. Who knew?
Re-christened as “The Shops at Worthington Place”, the mall’s experiencing something of a revival. The wintertime Worthington Farmers Market sets up shop there regularly, and two more new operations are slated to open soon: Piada and Naticakes.
That’s all in addition to Pies & Pints, a newbie that opened its first Ohio location in the mall at the end of 2012.
At Pies & Pints, the digs are a little more nouveau than you might expect. It’s all modern, clean lines with a fresh-faced, youthful waitstaff. The dining guests routinely include a few toddlers, so it looks more like a Northstar than a beer tavern.
Of course, Pies & Pints takes food a little more seriously than a random drinking hole. There’s a developed selection of appetizers, sandwiches and pizza pies.
For starters, the Char-Grilled Hot Wings ($8) are worth a whirl -they have little in common with the buffalo-wings that are ubiquitous in Columbus. At Pies & Pints, the wings never see a fryer. Instead, they get a char-grilled finish that infuses the meaty wings with summertime flavor -that’s in addition to a savory seasoning of sriracha, garlic and cilantro.
A salad might be another way to kick off a meal, and they’re good, as far as salads go. The House ($6) version is greens with tomatoes and cucumbers, and some mozzarella and provolone.
If Pies & Pints is staking its claim to fame on good pizza, that’s a smart call. The pies have an airy, chewy crust -almost artsy. The menu offers topping combinations that work nicely to compliment that crust. The Chicken Gouda Pie ($22) uses enough gouda cheese to make every bite filled with its flavor. Teamed with little chunks of bacon and giant cubes of chicken, the combo is a likable option. The Spinach Garlic Pie ($21) was also good, and loaded with enough spinach and gorgonzola to be worth the price.
There’s an endless array of gourmet pizza options: Eggplant & Red Pepper Pie, Cuban Pork Pie, and (disturbingly) something called Mediterranean Shrimp Pie topped with shrimp, artichoke hearts and kalamata olives.
Less adventurous types can opt for a customized pie: Pepperoni is $16. It’s a good pizza, with the same craftsman crust. It just seems like life is a little short to order pepperoni pizza at a specialty pizza joint.
Sandwiches are built on coarse ciabatta bread. The Cuban Pulled Pork ($9) piles on a heap of peppery soft meat and then throws some jalepenos, provolone and roasted garlic mayo to add both richness and more heat. The menu includes sandwich items for tamer palates as well, including an Italian Hero, and Grilled Chicken sandwich. All are served with thick-cut kettle chips.
Things at Pies & Pints buzz along quickly. It’s a good sort of spot for a family-friendly mall crowd -much in the same way California Pizza Kitchen serves the Easton peeps. You can find it in the shopping center at 7227 N. High Steet. It’s serving lunch and dinner every day of the week.
More information can be found online at www.piesandpints.net.
Photos by Walker Evans.