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Restaurant lunch highlights:

Cici's Pizza

Cici's Pizza

Choices abound at this pizza buffet

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

CiciDoorposterI was out in what I call the Archer Rd. Triangle to take pictures last week and thought pizza would be the answer to lunch. I walked past Cici's, a pizza buffet restaurant, in Butler Plaza twice before the thin-and-crispy, everything-on-it light went on in my head.

This review isn't for pizza snobs who demand certain ingredients, perfect crusts, or haute cuisine to satisfy their hunger.

This review isn't for foodies who turn their nose up at plain ol', ready-to-eat fast food. As Ferris Bueller says, life can move pretty fast sometimes, and this lunch stop is the perfect food-on-the-go factory.

Kudos to the Cici's for emphasizing customer-friendliness. Audra and Kaitlin teamed up to drive this all-you-can-eat bus, and they did it with a smile and attentive behavior, as they flew around the restaurant making sure everything was just right from keeping tables clean to answering any lunch question at all.

"Lunch is popular, be we do a lot of families and students for dinner, GLOB Master," Kaitlin said stopping by my table. "Customers are really coming in for the flatbread pizza," she added.

I am saving the flatbreads for another visit. According to the Cici's website they have 20 different pizzas available. It looked like Audra's and Kaitlin's mission was to have all of the pizzas available before lunch was over. There is a complete Cici's menu at the restaurant link below.

I found a website called punny.org that goes into detail about attacking a buffet lunch line, and I'm paraphrasing some of their better, humorous tips: Break out the Fat Pants -- Don't even think of showing up at a buffet in pants that actually fit you. You want two sizes above normal at a minimum. Sweat pants work great too.

 

CCsaladA

I started with a very nice salad from the salad bar that included all the standard items including some tart, sweet pickles and yummy garbanzo beans. I saw several ingredients that deserved my interest if I should make a second trip to the salad bar.

Now, here's my take on Cici Pizza, and pizza buffet rules:

PIZZA BUFFET RULE #1: Wait for the pizza that's fresh out of the oven. The whole pizza experience is amplified by fresh, hot, bubbly pizza.

 

ccPIZZAline

So many choices GLOBers. I surveyed the 60-ft-long ingredient landscape and tried to cover my plate with a varied selection choosing, from left in image at top of this review:

SAUSAGE & PEPPERONI:The Sausage was tasty; wish I had caught this one coming out of the oven. The Pepperoni and Sausage had very pronounced flavors. I could detect a certain sweet flavor to the red sauce.

PIZZA BUFFET RULE #2: Sit close, but not too far from the buffet line. Even a little bit of walking will contribute to buffet fatigue.

VEGGIE SLICE: Perhaps I should have called this slice a three-way. I had 2 of these, which had black olives, green peppers, and mushrooms. My slices were just warm, which made the crispy crust come into play for a flavorable combo with the green peppers. I did taste the 'shrooms, which complimented the crispy peppers very nicely.

PIZZA BUFFET RULE #3: Take a break. After your first plate is probably a good time to break out that book and pause for a bit. Avoid the temptation to down a mug of soda. The only digestive aid you should use right now is time.

CHEESE PIZZA:  Like climbing Mt. Everest I guess I selected  this slice of pie becaus it was there.  They just pulled this pie out of the oven and the cheese was hot, melted, and gooey.  A nice starter slice amidst a cornucopia of flavors, textures, tastes, bites, chews . . .

 

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All right I couldn't resist. I saw the chocolate brownies when leaving the buffet line, and they really looked good. Walking up to the buffet line, I saw Audra adding a new pizza to the lineup called the Buffalo Sauce Chicken and Cheese. I swear I heard it sizzling GLOBers. It was bubbling like it was alive. I had to try that too, which turned dessert into a sweet and savory experience.

Kaitlin came by again and I said, "That hot buffalo chicken pizza is really good."

"Yeah it's my favorite, it just doesn't stay on the buffet too long," she replied.

CCstuffedWe are talking about Cici's being a crispy and crunchy multi-ingredient lunch stop with ingredienst any restaurant would be proud to serve to customers, GLOBers. It has more pizza choices than should be allowed for a professional eater and an every-day price at a little over $8.

Audra only charged me $7 for lunch and when I asked if it was a mistake she said customers over 55 years old eat for $7, children eat for $4.  I'm going back to Cici's, as soon as I get enough nerve to face the Archer Rd. triangle again.

The Pluses and Minuses of Cici's Pizza

Cici's Pizza + indicators: This was good, hot, fresh pizza in more varieties than seemed possible to eat.

Cici's Pizza – indicators: Stick to rule #1: The "older" buffet pizza slices are for the REALLY hungry lunch outers.

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Cici's Pizza. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!

 

CICIsTOPPERgif

Family takes on all-you-can-eat pizza challenge

By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor

CiciDoorposterI wanted to try another pizza lunch buffet and quickly thought of PBB – that's Pizza Buffet Bliss – at Cici's Pizza in the Butler Plaza Shopping area.  Cici's must have something going for it considering it was closed for a while and then re-opened to much fanfare from inquiring Cici's pizza lovers.

On further consideration, I decided I need to take a different approach to multiple platters of sliced pizza pies sitting under heat lamps.  My new approach to PBB was to see how the hot slice lunch line worked for a large group Gainesville pizza lovers gathered together at one time. Just like Noah, I proceeded to round up pizza eaters.

 

ciciCLAN

"And so the Sanford clan descended upon Cici's pizza for an all-the-pizza-you-can-eat-and anything-else-sitting-under-a-heat-lamp" family feast.  There we were, five Sanfords representing three generations; three females and two males; one granddad, one mother, a high schooler, a middle schooler, and one elementary schooler in search of perfect pizza satisfaction.

Did I say we were also all hungry for pizza?  Cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, veggie pizza, everything pizza, pizza with pineapple, white pizza, spinach pizza. All five Sanfords were surprised to also find spicy chicken wing pizza, spinach Alfredo pizza, and Mac & Cheese pizza.

 

ciciPizzaline

Everyone agreed the pizza was good. The Sanford girls were leaning more toward the cheese pizzas. Kaci was all over the Spinach Alfredo slice, plus she was curious enough to give the Mac & Cheese pizza a taste. Kaci had a hard time choosing her favorite. This string bean of a middle schooler wins the pizza eating award of all time for gobbling down nine slices of pizza, a healthy plate of salad, and a couple of very tasty pizza rolls called garlic knots. Oh yeah, Kaci also requested a couple slices of custom made pineapple pizza and they were duly baked up especially for her.

"That was a good dinner," Kaci said with a small, quiet burp. "I would come back.  There are still a few slices I would like to try," she added.

 

CiciFULLplate

Buchholz High School freshman Kali Sanford was more middle of the road in her pie slice choices. "It was all good, I like the cheese pies, the salad was good, and I REALLY liked the garlic-knot rolls."

Hawk Sanford is in the middle of serious training for his youth football team and, being smaller than everybody else, settled for two slices of cheese pizza. One thick slice and one thin and crispy square slice. When asked what his favorite pizza is, he quickly responded "Big Lou's Italian Pizzeria downtown."

Mom Lindsey sampled an everything slice and a slice of the spinach pizza and gave them a two thumbs up. It appears that the fewer slices of pie allowed Lindsey more room for the garlic knot rolls.

This was good meal. The pizza was hot and cooked fresh and was quickly removed from underneath the heat lamps by hungry customers. I agree with Hawk that the crispy cheese pizza was very flavorful, and that the everything slice and Alfredo slice had a lot of cheesy flavor.

CiciSTEPHIt was a very special fun pizza adventure. Kudos to the very customer friendly server, cook, chef, cashier, host, manager named Stephanie, who was very accommodating and eager to make our all-you-can-eat-pizza adventure special.

Thanks Steph! The GLOB Master likes the way you throw a pizza pie!

After much calculation, it was decided that the Sanford clan had consumed 26 slices of pizza, several servings of salad, more garlic rolls than we really want to talk about and at least eight brownies.

The Pluses and Minuses of Cici's Pizza

Cici's Pizza + indicators: This was good, hot, fresh pizza in more varieties than seemed possible to eat.

Cici's Pizza – indicators: This was good, hot, fresh pizza in more varieties than seemed possible to eat.

Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Cici's Pizza.  Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments.  - THANKS!

Last modified onTuesday, 05 March 2019 05:57

Additional Info

  • Phone Number: 692-1260
  • Address: 3246 SW 35th Blvd., Gainesville, FL
  • Urban GLOB Location: Archer Road
  • Latitude: 29.6236729
  • Longitude: -82.377873
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2 comments

  • tom
    tom Friday, 18 October 2013 00:52 Comment Link

    Cici's Pizza has a lot of crust. sSauce is average. Most of cheeses are non-aged, a problem with lactose intolerant. Even If I like a pizza, once it is over a certain age it is gone, and I might not see it again. I forget ever 3-4 months, or hope or improvement, but like the Raven .....

  • GLOB Master
    GLOB Master Monday, 26 March 2012 12:32 Comment Link

    PIZZA LUNCH ALERT! Cici's Pizza Buffet in Butler Plaza has reopened and is serving pizza lunch specials every day of the week.

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