The Overland Park Cinzetti’s on a Monday night seems like the place to be — there are families celebrating birthdays, dads meeting to discuss business over ice cream sundaes and a few teenagers on dates. The hostesses under the large Italian-inspired entrance are even in a good mood.
Heading into the — $18 per plate — buffet line. I’m overwhelmed by the smell of marinara and fresh-baked bread. Grouped up by the salad bar, pizza section, past bar and dessert area, the buffet area is like heaven.
I loaded up on a slice of cheese pizza, a side greek salad, a bit of alfredo, some gnocchi and a cannoli.
As a self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur, I was disappointed in what ended up being cold, not fresh pizza. If I’d wanted a mediocre-at-best slice of pizza, I would’ve just gone to Dominos.
But the salad was one of the best parts, lettuce was perfectly fresh and crisp, similar to a Panera classic. The pasta was perfectly smooth and basically steaming on the plate. Finally, the cannoli was flakey and a bit dry, good flavor, but could’ve been executed better.
The only change could be the almost obnoxiously small plates. If you’re picky about your alfredo touching your meat sauce, then the plates are not your friend. The stack of plates on my table made it look like I made fifteen buffet trips when it was only 30 minutes in.
Overall, one of the best Italian buffets in Kansas City. Besides the minuscule plates that left me feeling bad about going back to reload it for the third time, Cinzetti’s inviting atmosphere and lingering marinara scent make it feel like one big Italian family dinner that I would want to keep being invited to, the food was just about perfect.
Cinzettis definitely deserves another visit.
The vibe going into Waldo Pizza was a little different from Cinzetti’s family-reunion-esque setting. The only decor is neon signs, gaming tables and a bubble gum/temporary tattoo quarter machine — not the most inviting place to eat a slice of ‘za.
The Google search is slightly misleading when labeling Waldo as a “buffet” — the buffet portion is only open until 2 p.m. so when I showed up around 7 p.m. I had to stick to the salad bar.
My salad formula had: lettuce, mushroom, carrot, tomato, boiled egg, cheese, ranch, and bacon bits. It was obvious that not everything was being replaced by the minute based on the slightly browned lettuce and parched black olives.
With the depressing lettuce and the egg container almost empty — there could be room for improvement. However, by the time I reached my seat and digging into your beautiful salad creation, you’d be surprised to see just how great it all flows together.
In between my salad appetizer and waiting for my pizza, a waitress came over and profusely apologized for the long wait (it was only ten minutes which is a normal pizza cook time, so I wasn’t complaining). She ended up giving me a free salad and my pizza ended up being half off because it didn’t arrive until six minutes later.
The pizza was perfect — a 12 inch half cheese half pepperoni coming to $9.90 — between two people there was still about another serving left for leftovers. The cheese was the perfect amount of stretchy and concise — I think the Pizza Review Club would be proud.
All in all, Waldo Pizza could work on their salad bar, and maybe redefine “buffet.” But the taste factor of the salad and pizza made up for the lengthy wait.