Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pizza by the Slice, and a Whole Lotta Spice

Twenty-third Stop: Ramundo's Pizzeria
Location: 3166 Linwood Avenue  Cincinnati, OH 45208
Ranking: 14

It was a weeknight, and takeout pizza seemed like a good way for us to spend the evening.  There are a few places on the pizza list that offer only takeout, or are perhaps best designed for takeout.  Ramundo's has a very small interior, with its space mainly reserved for the kitchen.  There are a couple of bar top-type tables immediately near  the entrance, mainly there to accommodate the late-night diners after their rounds of the many bars that pepper the heart of Mount Lookout.  For these patrons, Ramundo's offers the good ol' pizza by the slice deal, also a good option for a quick lunch for those who work at the local businesses.  If you want a whole pie and a seat, though, we recommend picking up an order and heading home to your dining room table.  Or, better yet, your couch, which we all know is the best place to eat pizza. 

For a few years, Courtney and her husband lived right in Mount Lookout square, within walking distance from some great restaurants.  There was Ruthai's for (you guessed it) Thai food, Betta's, no longer there, for wonderful Italian (Filo Chicken!), and Zip's for a tremendous burger.  Ramundo's was their go-to for pizza whenever the mood struck, and they usually ordered a 3-topper with bacon, spinach and tomatoes.  It was always delicious, with the freshest of ingredients and just a little spicy kick to the sauce.   

Having not had Ramundo's for too, too long, Courtney was truly looking forward to reconnecting with their pizza.  We called ahead to place our order, which included that large bacon-spinach-tomato pie and some Ramundough Bites.  These aptly-named treats are described on their website as "zesty pepperoni & cheese rolled up in our garlic butter brushed dough".  Who can resist that?  Plus, we learned about Ramundo's Rewards, a loyalty-type program for clients, and how new members get a free order.  Top that.

The pizza was just about ready when we picked it up, and we were quickly headed back to Courtney's to indulge in its deliciousness. 

Sometimes a dish, an event, a place can take on added importance and greatness in your mind, increasing with the years and with every time you remember it in conversation.  "Remember how good that blah blah blah was?"  "It was the best blah blah blah EVER."  We're sure you know that overhype-things-for-yourself feeling; we can't be the only ones.  Well, sadly, that was the case here.  Courtney had such melt-in-your-mouth memories of Ramundo's Pizza.  Worse, she'd passed this excitement onto Robyn.  In the end, we both ended up disappointed.  Bummer.

It's not that Ramundo's Pizzeria has bad pizza.  It's just that, well, it wasn't as good as we wanted it to be.  It certainly was not as good as Courtney recalled, though certain elements do stand out.  The crust - crisp and chewy.  The toppings - absolutely fresh.  The flavor - something was missing.  The sauce - incredibly spicy.  It probably didn't help that, before eating our Ramundough Bites, we both doused them with the side of sauce that accompanied them.  The spice of the sauce totally overpowered the poor little pepperoni and cheese snacks, and sent our mouths into a fit of rage.  We were a little saddened the by spice-level of the sauce, but figured it only hit us so hard because we had so liberally applied it to the appetizer.  Surely, the pizza wouldn't be so bad.  We were wrong.  Not horrendously spicy, but still a bit too much.  Courtney didn't remember it being like this in the past, but from what we've heard, that is generally the experience with their sauce.  There are folks out there who love Ramundo's.  After all, it is #14 out of 50.  We can see that, perhaps especially if you're into spicy.  Overall, it just wasn't our favorite. 
Ramundough Bites-what's not to like here?  Yum!

Some classic iceberg lettuce to cool the palate after that spicy sauce

We don't advise against Ramundo's, but we think it's fair to say we don't highly recommend it, either.  We've heard people exclaim their love for Ramundo's, and we've heard others denote it as "gross".  Guess we're right in the middle.  If you are a fan, be sure to sign up for Ramundo's Rewards.  Their e-mails are frequent, but they do offer some nice deals for their members, including bonus treats on your birthday.   Oh, and their calzones are fantastic.  Well, so says Courtney's memory, which is apparently not so reliable these days.  

Ramundo's Pizzeria & Deli on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. wow!! The pizza looks delicious and I was starting craving with this.