Look out Columbus! The Pizza Snob’s real job will be sending him on frequent trips to the jewel of the Buckeye State. While, a previous trip there a few years back lead to disappointment at Adriatico’s, this time out I had high hopes with Mikey’s Late Night Slice.
I first spotted Mikey’s on a previous pizza-free visit to Columbus at their unusual downtown location in the employee-only Nationwide Insurance cafeteria. Unprepared, I passed on that first siting, and did some homework on Mikey’s for my next trip. Seems that these guys have cleverly positioned themselves to push slices from some strategic and likely economical locations. Out of the ten they list at their website, only three are actual brick and mortar.
The evening direct Southwest flight from Music City to Columbus is a late one. My original plan was to hit Mikey’s the next day, but when I landed just before midnight, I got into my Hertz-mobile with the thought of “Why not?” Here was my chance to get a true “late night” slice! Being Sunday, I checked the hours to find that they open at 3pm and close at 3am (Sunday-Thursday) and at 4am (Friday and Saturday). My iPhone GPS then set me on the short 15 minute trip from airport to downtown.
I knew that the High Street location was in a nightlife district. But, I was not prepared for the surprise of Mikey’s original flagship location being no more than a truck in a vacant lot between two bars! Turns out that this open space was once called “The Shack” and used to be the office for a used car lot. Nonetheless, the lot was lively and loaded with charm and character. I loved it! After ordering at the truck, there’s plenty of room to sit at picnic tables including some that are sheltered from a storm. There’s even two port-a-potties if you are in need.
The menu offered a few different kinds of slices, and I of course went for the $3.00 plain. While ordering I noted a row of condiment dispensers offering several varieties of very untraditional (and uninviting to me) sauces to squirt on top of your slice as if it were a hot dog. This was not a good sign since I see no need to drown out the flavor of good old tomato sauce and Mozzarella cheese. Apparently proud of these sauces, you can even buy them to use at home.
It only took about a minute to get my slice, and she and I retreated to one of the picnic tables in the back. The slice, which could be used in a Geometry book to illustrate an equilateral triangle, unfortunately also looked doughy and limp. It was also a bit tepid temperature wise. My inspection of the bottom revealed a plain white crust with no evidence of any char. That meant one thing—a total lack of crispness which made the crust bread-like. When I got to the end crust, I felt like I was eating something out of a restaurant bread basket.
However, surprisingly on top I found the cheese and sauce quite tasty and not overdone. I especially enjoyed the dose of seasoning (oregano, garlic and possibly more) that they took the worthwhile effort to add. Sadly, the slice was also quite dry without any noticeable oil. I thought that was what the late night stomach was looking for—some good old grease to cut through the layer of alcohol? But, maybe that dryness was to make way for the toppings?
Overall, Mikey’s makes an enjoyable delicious slice that would have been much better in my opinion if it was crisped up a bit. And come on—forget that focus on the sauces and get back to tradition! Your slice can be good enough to stand on its own.
PIZZA SNOB RATING *** ½ Working on a Good Thing
Mikey’s Late Night Slice
1030 N. High Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues)
Columbus, OH 43201