On The JT’s Rave Train

JT’s Pizza and Pub has done it again. The premier Columbus-area pizza emporium and sports bar, located in Linworth, has received another rave, this time from Jim Ellison of Columbus Underground.

As Mr. Ellison explains in the article linked above, he treats pizza as a serious culinary experience. In fact, his wife and son basically demand nothing less. And his approach to pizza analysis is intriguing. He thinks it is important to use a tried and true standard as the starting point for evaluation:

“The standard order for evaluating a new pizza place is large pizza, half pepperoni and half cheese. This is Columbus so the need to evaluate the quality, quantity and pairing of pepperoni with the rest of the pizza is critical. For any pizza, regardless of style, location, philosophy, etc., it is important to be able to try it plain sans toppings. A cheese pizza without any other ingredients – lets me evaluate the base pie without anything else to interfere in my assessment. A plain cheese pizza has nothing it can hide behind.”

This rational approach to comparative pizza analysis makes a lot of sense to me, as does the Ellison clan’s focus on the crust, which I think is a crucial element of any excellent pizza. And I’m happy to report that JT’s passed the Ellison family acid test with flying colors. You can read Mr. Ellison’s detailed analysis of JT’s offerings–as well as an interview of proprietor (and my nephew) Joe Hartnett and a shout out to my brother-in-law, the namesake of JT’s legendary Big Al pizza–at the link above. Congratulations, JT’s!

Best In The State

What makes a great sports bar?  You know, the kind of place where you want to go watch your favorite team play a game?

screen-shot-2016-06-04-at-2.58.35-pm-470x220-1Clearly, there are some basic elements.  Great sports bars aren’t white tablecloth and fine china venues.  You’re looking for tasty food favorites at reasonable prices, an ample selection of beers to stoke your competitive spirit, and a friendly and attentive wait staff that won’t leave your glass bone dry during the key part of the game.  You want to have plenty of TV screens in the room, so any table or chair will have good sight lines to the screen carrying your game of choice.  And, equally important, you’re looking for an energetic atmosphere and a setting with lots of fans watching their games, where you won’t be shushed for letting out a cheer, giving a few high-fives, or blurting out a random curse at a bad play.

Whatever the qualities that make a great sports bar, JT’s Pizza & Pub here in Columbus clearly has them all.  The MSN website just named JT’s the best sports bar in Ohio.  Given the sports-obsessed culture in Ohio, that’s incredibly high praise, but it’s really not surprising.  JT’s has great pizza, appetizers, wings, and sandwiches — exactly the kind of fare you want from a sports bar — an extensive beer and drink menu, and a raucous atmosphere come Game Day.  Stop by for an Ohio State game, an NFL Sunday, or March Madness if you don’t believe me.

Congratulations to my nephew Joe, the proprietor of JT’s, and my nephew Danny, who works there, for making JT’s into a sports bar that has won Best in the State honors.

Winging It

The Super Bowl is the greatest chicken wing-consuming event in America.  The National Chicken Council forecasts that Americans will chow down on 1.3 billion chicken wings during the game tomorrow.  That’s four wings for every man, woman, and child in America.  As the vice president for communications of the National Chicken Council aptly stated:  “Any way you measure it, that’s a lot of freaking wings.”

slide_3So, if you’re going to eat chicken wings tomorrow — and chances are, if you are a red-blooded, football-loving, commercial-watching American, you will be — and if you live in the Columbus, Ohio area, why not get your wings from a place that the Only in Your State website recently announced was one of the 11 restaurants with the best wings in Ohio?  The wings from JT’s Pizza & Pub made the top 11 list, and I can tell you from firsthand experience that the JT’s wings are excellent.

In the interests of full and fair disclosure, please note that JT’s is owned and operated by our nephew, Joe Hartnett, who’s been doing a bang-up job as a small businessman.  Now that the conflict of interest disclosures are out of the way, why not stop at JT’s to satisfy that Super Bowl wing craving?  You’ll find JT’s and its magic wings at 2390 West Dublin Granville Road — also know as Route 161 — in Columbus.