by Nancy Giddens
I am a retro chick. I love vinyl records. Dean Martin songs still play on my IPod. Give me a black and white movie any day over a new one with special effects. Pride and Prejudice remains the greatest book ever written in my world and I read it each year. And…I held on to my dying blackberry as long as possible. Though, like the dinosaurs, my poor blackberry succumbed to a similar fate. I since have been thrust into the modern-day world of the iPhone. The transition would have proven too much for me without my trusted tech experts George Kopp and Zach Brunnert. They are patient Saints! For a brief tutorial on “how to use your IPhone during session,” Zach joined me this week at Arris’ Pizza to delight in his favorite buffet and help me download, upload, or some-way load helpful session apps.
For Capitol-regulars, Arris’ Pizza is no stranger. It is located one-block south of the building and always has a steady stream of legislators, regulators, staff and lobbyists. Its famous $7 buffet serves soup, salad, pizza, and many other items to the hoards of guests that enjoy it each day. Zach is a buffet veteran and didn’t have to ponder what he was ordering for lunch. I, on the other hand, am not a buffet fan – too many people sharing serving utensils (hello, fellow germ freaks). I settled on a Greek salad and a side order of pita with Tzatziki sauce. My trainer should be proud!
The Place – Arris’ Pizza began serving Jefferson City in 1961, under the direction of its namesake Arris Pardalos, a Greek native born near Mount Olympus. Arris’ Pizza is located in five communities, including Columbia, Fulton, Osage Beach, Springfield, and Jefferson City. The JC eatery consists of three buildings and can seat 200 people. It employs over 45 people, including several family members. New this year is a banquet room that can fit approximately 40. Check it out should you need a private dinner space.
The People – Family is the name of the game in this restaurant. As regulars, we love our usual wait staff. Renea Marston and Waki Houston are fantastic. They can tell by our attitudes if it is a tea day or a beer day. Visiting the restaurant earlier than usual, we were served by Carrie Harold. Despite a great lunch crowd, Carrie was attentive and was on top of everything…even equipping this dinosaur a tea for the road!
The Product – The menu contains American, Italian and Greek specialties and includes several pizzas, salads, sandwiches and subs. Zach enjoyed pizza, fried okra, salad and potato soup from the buffet; though, he highly recommends taco pizza and fried green beans. Personally, I don’t think you can beat the spanakopita with Tzatziki sauce, as it is my fave.
The Pizzazz – Clearly, it is the pizza. As much as I enjoy all of the specialty pizzas, the Arris’ Pizza half-baked pizza is a must try…at least for locals. You simply order the half-baked pizza, pick it up, and finish baking it at home. This allows you to enjoy hot and delicious Arris’ Pizza in comfort of your pajamas!