A recent episode of No Reservations that featured two Columbus restaurants (as a part of a fly-over country episode) had me thinking: where in Columbus would I take an East Coast foodie to show off my city’s culinary prowess? When Maya comes to town, we typically spend at least one day in my kitchen. But if we were to do five straight days of Columbus eating (with complete disregard to cash and calories), for one of those days, we’d end up at Yellow Brick Pizza.
One of several new unique pizza places throughout the city, Yellow Brick Pizza is definitely a place where Maya and I could get into trouble. With a giant beer list paired with a pizza topped entirely with green stuff, the place hands out justification for overindulgence on an aluminum tray. Go ahead, order another beer. The pizza is healthy.
Located on a quiet corner in on the near east side of the city, Yellow Brick is one of the few culinary pioneers in the ever-changing (read: gentrified) neighborhood of Olde Town East. I predict that it won’t be very long before this pizza shop has several neighbors to widen the food scene in the area, but for now, it has little competition for the palates of Olde Town East’s urban homesteaders. I learned last night, though, that it’s not lack of choice that makes Yellow Brick popular.
The beer menu and happy hour pricing helps. A giant chalkboard boasts the wide variety of choices. And if that is too daunting, a baseball card holder offers a smaller selection for closer viewing. This place is a hop-lover’s dream. And our server seemed to be pretty well educated in the ways of the brew, offering suggestions based on the palates of the table.
The kitschy interior, which I define as San Francisco-meet-Athens, Ohio, makes for a comfortable experience, which may explain why our party camped at our table for close to three hours, with beer flowing beyond the 7 p.m. happy hour deadline.
Luckily, you can drink a ton of beer at Yellow Brick without worrying about calories. Why? Because you can get salad! See? The bright and beautiful salad skips the iceberg and comes with dressing on the side. Eating a bite or two of this salad literally adds years to your life.
And then there’s the garlic bread, which is really just an excuse to order a second pizza. Served steaming hot with a cool and flavorful marinara, their garlic bread begs for a second bite.
On to the creative stuff. Pictured above are what the pizza joint brilliantly calls the Kenny “Pizza” Loggins, or, more simply put, pepperoni pizza rolled up into easy-to-hold sticks. Although they were tasty, I probably wouldn’t try them again; the “Loggins” novelty wore off after one try. (A friend did suggest that they were good on-the-go, though. They’re a whole lot easier to carry around than leftover pizza.)
The pizzas at Yellow Brick come in small, medium and large, making it possible to try more than one flavor. At $9 to $10 for a small and with substantial dough and toppings, they’re a good value in the crazy-pizza-topping world. Pictured above is Boise Surprise, topped with thin potatoes, cheese, bacon and sour cream. The chives the menu promised seemed to missing from our version of the pie, but even without them, this was the winner of the evening and why Yellow Brick would be a stop on my imaginary week-long Maya food tour. Bacon, potato, sour cream and pizza all combined? You can’t get more fly-over country than that. Somehow incorporate cream cheese and a buckeye candy, and this thing could be deemed the official pizza of the state of Ohio.
And to balance out that bacon, I present the Green Monster: a pie generously topped with pesto, spinach, feta, artichokes, green peppers and olives, and more, importantly, justification. Justification we’d surely need if Maya and I lived in the same city. We often discuss the chaos that would ensue if that were to happen—we’d need as much ammunition as possible to rationalize our eating habits. Green pizza is a good start.
Yellow Brick Pizza
892 Oak Street