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Takeout Pizza of the Month: Dante's Pizza

The plain white box containing our pizza in many ways represents
Dante Pizza's functional and no-frills approach to producing their pies
Keeping with my intention to do a takeout pie/cold pizza test from a previously untried Columbus-area pizza place roughly once a month, this month's candidate is a Clintonville institution on the Indianola Avenue side of the neighborhood: Dante's Pizza.

Atmosphere: In many ways, the plain white box which our takeout pizza came in perfectly reflects the functional, no-frills operation that is Dante's. Located in a smallish space near Weiland's Market, Dante's matches a simple exterior with a functional interior. A central hallway (stacked with supply boxes along the wall as you progress farther into the space) divides the pickup/kitchen area and a wood-paneled, straight from the 1980s eat-in space. Customers who are there for takeout pies can easily catch Dante's staff members plying their pizza-making skills behind the counter.

Like its pizza boxes, Dante's exterior and interior is simple and
functional, offering a cozy wood-paneled space for those who choose
to dine in and eat and a chance to watch pizza-making in action
Dante's is a cash and check-only outfit, which helps explain the relatively inexpensive prices they charge for their pies. With that said, they do have coupons on their website, which sadly for our pocketbooks we neglected to check for before we put in and picked up our order.

Pizza (hot): Some very quick research mentioned that Dante's homemade sausage was the way to go, so we opted for a large sausage and onions pie.

The stars for us on this pie were the sausage and sauce. We prefer spicier red sauces, and Dante's provides a decent zing with theirs. The sausage sports a nice chew and pleasantly savory taste profile. Together with the plentiful but not overbearing amount of cheese and just enough onions to provide a textural contrast, it turned out to be a winning combination for us.

The pie was cut Columbus-style, but the crust wasn't as cracker-thin as others you might find. In a way, it acts as the functional part of the pie - while it may be a touch on the bland side by itself (we thought it could use a little bit of salt ourselves), the crust forms a firm base that won't easily sag into a greasy mess.

Although bland, the strong crust in Dante's pizzas allows the zesty sauce
and tasty sausage to please your taste buds unencumbered
Pizza (cold): I'm starting to think the more simpler the pizza, the better a candidate it is to eat cold. Unlike previous month's Pizza House's "All The Way" loaded pizza, this Dante's pizza made for a far better cold pizza. A great contributor to that is that crust - while the chill doesn't bring out any extra flavor in it, its solid structure still held the gathered toppings well and allowed their flavors to take front stage.

Future Visits: Dante's sausage-based pie offers a good deal of taste for a relatively inexpensive price. Overall, their pizza ranks just a bit below some of the others we've had for takeout based on initial impressions, but it's good enough for us to give it another shot or two in the future.

Dante's Pizza
3586 Indianola Ave (Clintonville)
Columbus, OH 43214
614-268-5090
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