Pagliai’s Pizza

945 South Main Street
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402
419.352.7571
website

More of a local place than anything, Pagliai’s Pizza is just down the street from busy Bowling Green’s main stretch. Opened in 1967 when pizza was a new thing, this place has been serving locals a simple menu of pizzas for all types. Confusingly, another business in town, Campus Pollyeyes, was established to the north, originally as a branch of this location, but has since evolved into its own business with a menu more catered to Bowling Green State University’s students. In the meantime, Pagliai’s seems the attract more locals of the two businesses with its pizza buffet.

Pizza Buffet

Now, Bowling Green is a place packed with pizza establishments, but Pagliai’s seems to stay ahead of the rest with this buffet I’ve heard so much about. When you walk in the door it doesn’t look terribly outstanding; a small table with salads and pizzas, and indeed it’s a very small selection. Don’t let that get to you, though, because the miniscule-looking menu is actually quite charming. Pagliai’s continually replenishes the small buffet with new pizzas of all kinds, and you can actually request the kinds of pizzas you’d like to eat when coming in.

The variety of pizzas are impressive, many of them are deep dish and many different basic pies are offered, but Pagliai’s has a variety of toppings to go on its pizzas, and some unconventional flavors include the likes of Taco Pizza, roast beef, sauerkraut, and olives. Really the entire menu is eclectic, from subs to burritos there are equal parts Italian, Tex-mex and German in the offerings. It’s very fun, really. The breadsticks here are great too (though not as famous as Campus Pollyeyes, but that’s a confusingly different story.)

Unusually, the salads are a strong item on the menu. The lettuce is crispy, the toppings are tasty, and apparently they even make their own ranch dressing here. The comparably small salad bar is actually one of the most quality salad bars I’ve seen with these things in mind. It’s a nice touch for what many other businesses seem to consider a throw-away food option, and I definitely recommend you give the salad a sampling if you stop in.

So, it takes a little while around Bowling Green to understand Pagliai’s and Campus Pollyeyes are two different restaurants with a very similar menu. Of the two though, Pagliai’s carved itself a firm niche as a Bowling Green institution. Locals come here for years, only to return even after they’ve moved away. People will line up for a long time for a seat inside. If one thing is clear, this place has a fan club. One I’m happy to join.

Reccomendations

  • The modest-looking buffet is actually one of the strong points of this place, because different pizzas are always rolling out of the oven to replace what’s being eaten.
  • Salads here are some of the freshest you will find, definitely worth a shot.
  • If you’re not in the mood for pizza, don’t forget the healthy menu of subs and burritos.

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