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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CiCi’s Pizza (Colonie, NY)

2010-07-18 16.12.24

Today was the official opening of Cici’s Pizza in Colonie. I wouldn’t have known about it had I not looked at Steve Barnes’ Table Hopping blog and his brief mention of it.

One free pizza buffet a month for a whole year to the first hundred people to show up at their grand opening? Okay, I’m game. M too.

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We made it over to Wolf Road just after 10:30, thinking that half an hour before opening wouldn’t be too early, and hopefully the line wouldn’t be impossible (the line we saw the day before  wasn’t too bad… and that was the pre-opening opening). And we were right- no crazy crowds, just order and what could only be some very tired people. By the time we joined, the line had reached the entrance to Outback Steakhouse.

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I’m not sure when the first person on line got there, but it was pretty early. A woman ahead of us told M and I that her daughter got there at six in the morning so she could be one of the first to get in. Sounds crazy, but eh… it’s summer Gives you something to do, and a story to tell when you’re older.

People at the front of the line made their wait as comfortable as possible by bringing folding chairs and blankets. Many of the groups waiting to enter were families with young children (from the looks of it, the demographic CiCi’s may be aiming for).

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If you were one of the first hundred, you were given a “token” as seen on the left. As you walked in, you handed your “token” to the owner, who in return handed over the free meal card.

Inside was bright, cheery, and very chain-like. After entering you are steered straight to the register where they do their hellos and explain how the buffet works. The $4.99 covers just the food, and it’s another $1.6(5/9) for a regular sized drink. Throw in another .75 cents and you get a large take out cup (which has some tab thing where you can win more free stuff).


I figured I’d whip up a layout of the place so you get a better idea of what’s going on. This could be their generic layout for all I know, but it’s very different from most buffets.

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Salad Bar – There were two options available, although they looked exactly alike. Both were iceberg mixes, one just looked shinier than the other (pre-dressed salad I guess). There were some chopped vegetables you could add to your salad, and a few different types of dressing. I especially liked the large slices of mushrooms. No skimping out there.

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Soup/Pasta/Garlic Bread – Both the soup and pasta tasted like they came from a can. I didn’t try the pasta, but M said it reminded him of Chef Boyardee. Funny, because the soup almost instantly made me think of Campbell’s soup. Little salty, little sweet, but good enough. Did not necessarily like the bits of “chicken.” As for the garlic bread… I might be rushing judgment here, but don’t eat it. I tried to look up the ingredients for what they put on it, but it’s nowhere to be found on their website. The garlic bread is one of their zero trans fat items, so I’m pretty sure it’s chock full of artificial ingredients. A good thing to know is that the marinara sauce they will offer you to accompany the garlic bread will absolutely cover that chemical taste.

2010-07-19 12.07.33  2010-07-19 12.09.27

Pizza – The customers at the opening today seemed to like the pasta topped pizzas. I didn’t have any, but I saw quite a few people going for the macaroni & cheese pizza. And for a second I swore I saw a Hamburger Helper topped pizza, but it was probably the Italian style sausage or beef pizzas. I helped myself to the Pepperoni flip, regular pepperoni, and thin crust Italiano. The pepperoni pizza was okay, but the dough was a little chewy. The thin crust was not as crisp as I thought it would be, and it was a tad too salty (but corrected with a dip in that tomato sauce). The flip I did not like at all- it was salty and oddly runny. I don’t know if that was from the oil that cooked out of the pepperoni or the cheese they used. But like the Italiano, a dunk in that tomato sauce made it much more tolerable.

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Dessert – The apple pizza and the cinnamon rolls were pretty good. I’d actually consider ordering a whole apple pizza pie.

Lunch for two was just under 15 bucks. Not too bad, considering what I ate wasn’t the greatest stuff. Will I be going here often? No, but I will stop by at least once a month. And the prices on their take out pizzas (I think I saw $4.99 for a medium and $5.99 for a large 1-topping) are very budget friendly. We’ll see if M and I ever check it out.

CiCi's Pizza
145 Wolf Road
Colonie, NY 12205

Su - Th 11:00A - 10:00P
Fri - Sa 11:00A - 11:00P

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