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CiCi's Pizza Buffet

j
jes Aug 30, 2006 10:59 PM

Going for lunch on Monday. Any advice?

  1. d
    duncan36 Sep 20, 2010 09:44 PM

    Its like a bad joke. Everything looks like pizza but tastes worse than a .99c Totinos pizza. The 300lb morons will sit there munching the faux pizza thinking at least it was only $3.99. Then they finish and immediately forget how bad the pizza they just ate was. Start looking at the buffet and think 'that looks good I'll try that'. Gets more faux pizza with no cheese, and no sauce, and starchy crust designed to fill you up. Munch, munch, tastes like crap but at least it was only $3.99. Rinse and repeat.

    This place is what I imagine hell is like. You eat nice looking food that you cant taste. Its like mental torture.

    1. apop Jan 6, 2010 01:03 PM

      Anyone who's been to a Cici's lately was probably astonished to see that they have removed almost the entire salad bar and they also discontinued the cheese bread. What were they thinking? There are plenty of other pizza joints so I'll take my biz elsewhere!

      5 Replies
      1. re: apop
        Bob W Mar 1, 2010 10:49 AM

        I took my kids to Cici's last night. Easy to see how they can still turn a profit selling AYCE buffet for $3.99. My kids probably each ate about 25 cents worth of food. (I was eating at home later so I resisted the "temptations" of Cici's pizza).

        I do have to say, though, that the cinnamon buns my kids got were very good. Probably along the lines of Pillsbury's, but they were fresh and warm.

        If I do have to go back to Cici's, and I'm sure I will, I'll stick to the pasta and the cinnamon buns. The pizza looked as bad as usual.

        1. re: apop
          podunkboy Mar 1, 2010 03:44 PM

          Ah HA, that's what was missing! Took the family there last week (we had a coupon, I'm cheap, sue me...), and there was no cheese bread. They had some sort of alleged "calzone" that was pizza crust folded over a few stray bits of pepperoni, with no discernable cheese in there, but no cheese bread. They did have ranch and blue cheese back on the salad bar, along with the pre-dressed mixed salad, which was nice because my daughters like dipping their crust in ranch dressing. But nothing had really improved and they were really slow to put our acceptable pizza, so it'll probably be a long time before I try them again.

          1. re: podunkboy
            o
            observor Mar 2, 2010 03:13 PM

            You had a coupon? How can they possibly have a coupon for a 4 dollar buffet?

            1. re: observor
              podunkboy Mar 2, 2010 07:17 PM

              It came in the Sunday coupon flier - it was a BOGO adult buffet (drink not included). And here in Wichita it's a $4.99 buffet, and drinks are another $1.69, so it was still $20+ for the four of us. Barely worth it at that point.

              1. re: podunkboy
                h
                HungryinBmore Mar 2, 2010 10:12 PM

                Never was a big fan of this place, but I can't believe they discontinued their cheese bread!?? ..I thought that was actually one of their "decent" items. Maybe it is just a regional thing or a store-by-store thing. I still see it listed on their web site...

                Yea, and the Apple Dessert was good when fresh and hot out of the oven. Oy Yoy Yoy

        2. o
          observor Nov 16, 2009 06:00 PM

          of course Cici's is like a slice of heaven compared to Pizza Inn

          1. o
            observor Oct 2, 2009 12:08 PM

            Ah, CiCi's buffet...much like slitting one's throat, except this is interminably slow. I don't know who CiCi is but he must be part of the fifth circle. The going is initially slow after your five bucks so easily and ridiculously go away to the demon attendant...first the salad area containing a small bowl of green lettuce next to a vat of lettuce that's so white your eyes will be seared if you look right at it. There, creamy buckets of goop stand guard to the chaos so you remember why you are here...pure suffering. The real torturous stuff then begins...a bowl of dense pasta spirals so tough they might be metal, bathed in a gunk of red-though-slightly-greyish hue, all hearkening back to those dorm room days when you actually had to eat like this, instead of now when, um, you have to eat like this. The pasta sauce...better than something from a medical supply truck, but just slightly, lending a tinny and hollow sensation to the mass. Then the main concoction...pizza after horribly plastic pizza, all lined up like a weapon, standing like small tombstones, each with various colorful guises but all of a similar ilk. Alfredo (sprayed with popcorn butter), Mexican Ole' (no doubt Spanish for "oyvey"), and, for those who can *not* part their pasta from their pizza, macaroni and cheese...all with a horribly stale and slippery crust, coated in a corn-syrup infused paste, and jacketed by cheese they say is real, but seems like pants. Each new pizza - er, attack - announced by a man who must have done something truly horrible to have to keep watch over this evil spread. Down it goes, painfully, excrutiatingly, until the very depths of one's soul begins to moan and scream "why?", while the coin-sized plastic plate before you - a dish from the devil - begs for its return to its original spot. But now there's "dessert", glycemic index ten thousand, and more greasy, dense crust, now smothered by factory-concocted apples and a chemically-developed butterscotch sauce. But that is not enough, there must also be...cinnamon buns! What would pasta, dough-heavy cheese pizza and gunky dessert pizza be without some dense cinnmon buns!? ! Truly, the vomit can begin now, except one's stomach muscles lack the power to bring this stuff up. I'm surprised they don't have a person there to just shovel masses of dough into your face. After this vicious assault, one can only stumble back to one's car, feeling the suffering and wondering how long before normalcy can return...but this isn't normal. This is something horrible.

            3 Replies
            1. re: observor
              b
              BigGuy Jan 5, 2010 11:46 PM

              Ah, very good writing about a bad experience. Thank you.

              1. re: BigGuy
                Bob W Jan 6, 2010 01:55 PM

                And not even a mention of the hordes of kids in soccer/baseball uniforms celebrating the end of another season. Well played, lad.

                1. re: Bob W
                  o
                  observor Jan 7, 2010 09:35 AM

                  Well, if one goes during that time of year one may as well just slit one's eyes open.

            2. podunkboy Oct 4, 2007 04:19 PM

              Heavens -- jes said they were going to lunch Monday...13 months ago. Never heard how they liked it.
              We hit Cici's for lunch occasionally. Yes, it's cheap, sparsely topped pizza, but if you special order one, it's hot and fresh and no worse than anything on any of the other local pizza buffets.
              The dwindling number of local Godfather's won't make a fresh pizza, and don't put out anything but combinations of pepperoni, sausage, and pepperoni and sausage. And they're overpriced for the quantity and quality of pizza available.
              Pizza Hut doesn't do buffets here anymore so far as I've seen. They keep changing their business model so you never know if they're doing order-at-the-counter or waited-table service.
              I happen to like Cici's combo/garbage pizza and the spinach alfredo, and my wife just likes to order a half-pizza of jalapeno and cheese only. And then we feast on the cinnamon rolls. And the salad bar's not that bad when they don't fill it up with weird things like banana pepper rings and pineapple.

              1 Reply
              1. re: podunkboy
                j
                jes Oct 4, 2007 05:04 PM

                So we went and actaully went back a second time. Its more or less what you expect for the money. Gourmet?, no. Would I choose it? Probably not. But if friends want to go back I wouldn't fight them on it.

              2. Ditdah Oct 3, 2007 04:12 AM

                I don't think it's great, but I can manage it. I never choose to go there, but if I'm with someone who chooses it, I fill up on their garlic cheese bread - I love that crap. pasta salad is ok - not great, but well made and not mushy.

                1. p
                  pizzacake Oct 2, 2007 09:43 PM

                  i've been to p. hut's all you can eat lunch buffet. maybe they should rename it all you can eat if you can find anything on the buffet. there were 3(three) pies on the buff. all looking a day old. and when i asked for something else they said we'll see what we can do. i think some of you p. hut emp's should grow up. and, if you don't work at a competitor of cici's and it was truly that bad maybe you should have called the health dept. sure, your not going to find pizza at cici's that loaded down with toppings. it's a cheap buffet. what did you expect for the price? maybe a cadillac. i challenge anyone out there to give an example of a same price or lower pizza buffet that will make you a fresh pizza with the toppings you want on it. and, if you want more toppings order double or triple whatever you like. i'm not a rocket scientist but i have stayed at a holliday inn express before. as for the greeting as you enter or the bye, thanks, cici ya later as you leave complants, are you completly antisocial? i've heard whinee babies before but you guys take the cake. maybe they should have payed you to come in and cooked steak and lobster for you. or maybe they should have asked " did you want mozz or chedder cheese with that wine(i mean whine). one last thing. are your parents going to have your 12th birthday party at mickey d's or is it chuckee cheezzzzz. don't listen to all this negativity. go to a cici's and try it. give it a honest chance. and, if you don't like it then do the adult thing and talk to the manager. i bet if your trully not satisfied they'll probably offer your money back.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pizzacake
                    southernitalian Oct 5, 2007 10:27 AM

                    Hey - calm down! I said it was very clean and inexpensive and you want to know something? I just went again. Yup. A group of us just ran out and went there. I had a nice salad and a bowl of pretty decent soup and a slice of veggie pizza. Had a large soda and the check came to $6.47. Not bad at all.

                  2. southernitalian Sep 7, 2007 11:34 AM

                    I went today for the first time. i think it's spelled Ceci's? I went to the one on S. Tryon in Charlotte. They shouted at us when we walked in and we almost ran out. Very clean, inexpensive. I had a small salad and then got a pepperoni slice. I heard the pizza guy yell, "Macaroni and Cheese" and I thought I'd go check it out but it was Mac & Cheese pizza! Yuck. Right? Maybe not. Hmm.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: southernitalian
                      t
                      treadsoftly Jan 2, 2010 02:20 PM

                      Macaroni & Cheese pizza owns the buffet! I've proclaimed it to be my favorite dish and it rocks the universe with its deliciousness.

                    2. c
                      cor Sep 5, 2007 02:31 PM

                      EWWWWWWWWWWWW.

                      1. g
                        GilloD Aug 30, 2007 01:25 PM

                        Guys- It's not poisoned. That said, it's not good, either. But it's 4 bucks and it's not like it tastes bad. So grab a slice and a little salad and bask in your cheap lunch. Take the change and get a nice steak for dinner or something. It's not the end of the world and you can always find something to chow on.

                        I'd ignore the posters who decry CiCi's as the gourmet apocalypse.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: GilloD
                          j
                          jlawrence01 Aug 31, 2007 06:55 AM

                          For the price, I think that the pizza is excellent. And the food has always been very fresh when I have been there which is unusual at many of the pizza buffets,

                        2. c
                          cheeseonastick Aug 29, 2007 07:31 AM

                          CiCi's wouldn't be so bad if they didn't yell greetings at you when you enter and leave the store. It's very intrusive and obnoxious at my city's location.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: cheeseonastick
                            deibu Aug 29, 2007 08:15 AM

                            They are obnoxious at the one near me as well. The manager kept pushing the staff to smile constantly. When one high school age kid was cutting and putting out the pizzas and I was in the line, the manager came over and told him to "smile big, it makes the customers happy". When he walked away I told him that it was okay, you don't need to smile...

                            1. re: cheeseonastick
                              c
                              Cathy Aug 29, 2007 08:44 AM

                              Whenever I walk into and leave the smaller Family Owed Asian and Mexican restaurants in San Diego, I always hear something from the kitchen. I think Cici's policy is trying to bring that 'old fashioned' feeling.

                              1. re: Cathy
                                deibu Aug 29, 2007 11:40 AM

                                I guess so - but it ends up to me and others just sounding so forced and insincere... I guess the marketing dept. knows what works though!

                            2. southerngal Aug 10, 2007 08:30 AM

                              I think Cici's is fine for the price. I always have a salad, order a special order pizza...usually a pepperoni, onion and mushroom...and let my grandkids eat their fill, and enjoy themselves.

                              1. d
                                dalaimama Aug 9, 2007 10:51 AM

                                We refer to Cici's as All You Can Stand pizza. It's OK, but stick to the simpler stuff and avoid the sausage - at their prices the sausage is cheap and gross. The plain cheese and the pepperoni are OK and replenished frequently.

                                1. Richard 16 Jul 31, 2007 11:47 PM

                                  Sure -- don't expect much. Have fun with your friends or coworkers. Order a fresh pizza right away; I had one with spinach and mushrooms. Be patient for the fresh pie -- it's too easy to fill up on incredibly mediocre junk, and it won't take too long.

                                  It's not the worst pizza I've had -- after all, I live in St. Louis, where St. Louis style "pizza" is made on stale matzoh, with horribly overdone sauce and provel "cheese". But the only reason we go to Cici's is that it's so cheap and the kids like it. It's not dining, it's barely eating -- it's refueling.

                                  1. k
                                    kiloindia Mar 14, 2007 09:48 AM

                                    Just went to one in Naples, FL. Great food, great price! Very clean and freindly. I'm actually looking into a franchise for my hometown. Outstanding manager and team.

                                    This was my first time at a CiCi's and I was very impressed!

                                    1. ccbweb Mar 7, 2007 01:25 PM

                                      Its awful...especially the cinnamon rolls that I can't stop eating when I'm there. Both of those ideas are true...it is awful...but I crave the cinnamon rolls.

                                      1. b
                                        Bob Frable Mar 5, 2007 06:25 PM

                                        The only reason they did it is that P. Hut did (never mind that they're in FAR, FAR fewer locations, and won't tell you on the .com whether a location has one...)

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Bob Frable
                                          s
                                          Sister Sue Mar 5, 2007 07:09 PM

                                          O.K., I'm a little confused ---
                                          "The only reason they did" what????

                                          1. re: Sister Sue
                                            b
                                            Bob Frable Jul 31, 2007 05:37 PM

                                            Offer a buffet built around pizza.

                                            Pizza Hut's (where available) has not only multiple thin-crust regular-type pizzas, but also usually-fruit-covered dessert thin-crust, breadsticks (with garlic-parm topping and cinnamon-sugar), cavatini pasta topped with mozzarella, and a noticeable salad bar (I prefer the caesar)

                                        2. f
                                          FusilliFarfalle Sep 13, 2006 12:16 AM

                                          Grossest place ever.

                                          1. Bob W Sep 8, 2006 09:51 PM

                                            Count your blessings that it's costing you only $3.99?

                                            Seriously, it won't kill you, but what can you really expect at a $3.99 AYCE place? Even Golden Corral will set you back more than that.

                                            1. k
                                              KOK Sep 1, 2006 06:22 PM

                                              I'll respectfully disagree with most of the posters and say CiCi's isn't too bad, especially when you consider it's a bargain buffet pizza place, as previously said.

                                              Do indeed ask for a fresh pizza. They'll make you any kind you want, one slice to a whole pie, and I've never had a problem getting fresh pizza even when what I wanted was still there.

                                              The pasta is not overcooked as you might expect, and the red sauce I like is a simple tomato sauce. The salad bar is kept up well, and the desserts are very sweet, but in moderation good.

                                              The posters can flame away as they see fit, but I think you'll do okay (not great, but okay) at CiCi's

                                              Thanks,

                                              Kevin

                                              1. c
                                                citizenconn Sep 1, 2006 02:03 AM

                                                Perhaps the salad bar??

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: citizenconn
                                                  r
                                                  River Rat Sep 1, 2006 02:14 AM

                                                  NO, NO, NO.

                                                  1. re: River Rat
                                                    c
                                                    citizenconn Sep 1, 2006 02:16 AM

                                                    I would have to think the salad bar would be better than the pizza, though, right?

                                                    Maybe they have some packages crackers.

                                                    1. re: TexasToast
                                                      r
                                                      River Rat Sep 1, 2006 05:35 PM

                                                      Well, you optimistic types have pretty well exhausted all possible avenues for finding something to eat at CiCi's. Now let's try this one more time -- THERE IS NOTHING WORTH EATING AT CICI's. Can you hear me now?

                                                2. h
                                                  HollyDolly Aug 31, 2006 01:40 PM

                                                  CiCi's is okay.the one in the Forum Shopping Center is always packed at lunch time,and people also eat there for dinner too.
                                                  It's not bad there at that one,and they keep up with putting out new food.I will watch the tv they have or just people watch.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: HollyDolly
                                                    TexasToast Aug 31, 2006 01:50 PM

                                                    Well if you MUST go, then ask for the pizza that's NOT there (because someone just took it all) and when they ask you "how many slices" just say half, or whole, or whatever. And they'll bring it to you, so you get a freshly made (but still crappy) pizza for next to nothing. At least, that's what they do in TX.

                                                    TT

                                                  2. j
                                                    jlawrence01 Aug 31, 2006 02:08 AM

                                                    It is a $3.95 lunch buffet. Not great pizza, but what do you expect for the price?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: jlawrence01
                                                      e
                                                      Emm Aug 1, 2007 06:41 AM

                                                      I dropped in once at lunchtime and got carryout. Based on that, I'd say the value and quality are somewhat less than you can get with a medium quality frozen pizza from the grocery. If I were eating in, I'd strip the skimpy toppings off three or four slices and put them onto one slice of crust.

                                                    2. r
                                                      River Rat Aug 31, 2006 01:06 AM

                                                      Quietly sip your soft drink and don't eat.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: River Rat
                                                        TexasToast Aug 31, 2006 01:12 AM

                                                        My advice would have been just one word RR . . . DON'T!

                                                        TT

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