Bier Stube Pizza (aka Joe’s Place)

Looking to get some good pizza in northwest Columbus — and at a place where you can drink an adult beverage, watch an NCAA game, and shoot some pool or throw some darts?  If so, I suggest Bier Stube/Bier Stube Pizza, located at 2390 West Dublin-Granville Road on the stretch of 161 between Rt. 315 and Sawmill Road.

In the interests of full disclosure, I need to note that my nephew, Joe Hartnett, runs the pizza joint.  Family connection or not, Joe makes a damn good pie.  The crust is crisp and not too thick, and the sauce is tangy and sweet.  What I really like, however, are the meat toppings.  The sausage is especially good, served in large, spicy chunks that seem to snap between your teeth.  Equally important, as the photo of the sausage and pepperoni pizza above suggests, at Bier Stube Pizza they don’t scrimp on the toppings.

The signature pizza is the “Big Al,” named for Joe’s Dad; it is a man-sized meal that is loaded with toppings.  And while you are waiting for your fresh-baked pizza to emerge piping hot from the oven you can sample some pretty good bar food, too — like cheesy bread and fried mushrooms.  They all go down well with a cold one.

Bier Stube Pizza is a neighborhood place with neighborhood prices.  You’ll get your money’s worth, and if you give it a shot you’ll be supporting a budding local businessman and entrepreneur who takes a lot of pride in his product.  Why not try it the next time you have a taste for a well-made pizza?

An Evening At A Sports Bar

Wednesday I spent the night in Cincinnati, getting ready for a hearing.  The Buckeyes were playing Penn State at 6:30, and two other lawyers and I decided to go to a bar to watch the game and have something to eat.  We ended up at a place on Fountain Square called Rock Bottom.

Titan Toothpicks

As in many sports bars, this place had an abundance of TV screens with lots of selections.  We asked the waitress to put the Buckeyes game on the large TV immediately to our right and she cheerfully obliged.  Immediately ahead was another big screen showing the Olympics.  While we were there we watched a woman skier crashing into a retaining fence, then a very serious curling showdown between Sweden and Great Britain, and finally an unexpectedly one-sided hockey game between Canada and Russia.  On the far left wall, meanwhile, was a series of TVs showing NBA contests and other college games.  So, without leaving your seat, you could see virtually every sport known to man simply by swiveling your head.  It was almost as good as having unfettered command of the remote control at home.

Some well-brewed IPAs and bar food contributed mightily to the fun atmosphere.  Beer never tastes as good as when it is quaffed from a heavy pint glass, and a hoppy IPA is a good complement to bar food.  After scanning the menu we decided that, rather than getting entrees, we would just get appetizers for the table — and on Wednesday nights, appetizers at Rock Bottom are only $5 each.  We decided to mix healthy stuff with classic bar food, so we picked rare ahi tuna, barbeque chicken pizza, five meat pizza, and an astonishing dish called Titan Toothpicks.  The ahi tuna was quite good, but really isn’t appropriate bar food.  It is simply too light (and, frankly, healthy) to accompany a steady diet of beers.  If you are going to down a few pints, you need to establish a good base, and that means something that is melty, cheesy, meaty, and crunchy.  The two pizzas filled that bill admirably.  The Titan Toothpicks, on the other hand, are as long as your arm and consist of melted cheese and some unspecified meat rolled up in a kind of deep fried tortilla shell.  When you bite through the shell, a warm gooey mixture seeps out.  From that description alone, you can understand that Titan Toothpicks are a prototypical bar food.

It was a very successful evening.  Tasty beers were tipped back, unhealthy food was consumed, the Buckeyes won at Penn State, and the curious sport of curling was thoroughly discussed in a warm, happy, noisy place.  Sports bars can be a good choice when you are on the road.