Review: Luca PizzaAuthor: indianapoliseater | Filed under: Food Reviews, Location: Indianapolis, IN
Luca Pizza di Roma
7407 N. Shadeland Avenue
I was driving around one random Sunday weeks ago and came across this place. I’ve known this place from the Castleton Square Mall for years (most of their locations are in mall food courts) but I didn’t know that they had locations outside of the mall, so I was intrigued. When I got closer, I saw the sign for the All You Can Eat Buffet and I was hooked. Unfortunately, I had already eaten lunch that day, so I went back a week later and gave the buffet a shot.
What I Got: All You Can Eat Buffet $6.99 (drink not included)
I went with two friends and when we walked in on a Saturday around 11:45, we were the only ones there, so that was not a good sign. We walked in and asked if they had the buffet going and they said they would get it going. Again, not a good sign that they were totally unprepared for something despite the fact that they open at 10:00 or 10:30.
They threw a couple of pizzas and some breadsticks in the oven (they already had lettuce salad, pasta salad and cookies out on the buffet, so at least they were partially set up). I’ll just go through this by the types of menu items they had out there.
Pizza: This wasn’t their normal huge size pizza by the slice type pizza that they put out there at the mall. These were normal sized (think a medium pizza at any pizza place) and they were pretty basic types of pizza. Sausage and pepperoni, pepperoni, etc. The pizza was fairly tasty, but the lack of originality and the lack of pizzas being changed out was very disappointing. Granted, we were the only three in there but I was hoping I could have a pizza that wasn’t just a normal type of pizza.
Breadsticks: After a bit, they took a batch of these out of the oven and I must say, these things were awesome. They weren’t stuffed or anything like that…they were just basic breadsticks and they were wonderful. I’ve never been a huge breadstick guy, but I could have sat there and eaten these all day long (I did have about five of them, so I did do some damage). They also included a nacho cheese style dip (not a fan, so didn’t try it) and a marinara style dip (runny, gross and flavorless).
Salad Bar: Didn’t have any, but this was just your basic salad mix that you see at the grocery store with lettuce, carrots, cabbage, etc. There was some shredded cheese to throw on there, but that is about it. They just had basic dressings as well (Ranch, French, Italian, etc.). Boring.
Pasta: At first, they had two mayonnaise based pasta salads out there. One was your basic tri-color rotini with broccoli, etc. (boring and essentially flavorless) and the other was a small shell shaped pasta (like you might find in some macaroni and cheeses) that included chunks of bacon and honestly, it was awesome. Later, they threw out some spaghetti that they didn’t strain that was watery and terrible. The marinara sauce you were supposed to use was the same one for the breadsticks, so that was depressing.
“Dessert”: They had chocolate chip cookies out and I’m a huge cookie lover and will eat almost any type of cookie and like it, but these were awful. They tasted just like the cheap store brand cookies that you get at the grocery store that are dry and hard. Not cool at all.
Would I Buy It Again? Most likely not. I really was upset after this experience because I was really looking forward to it. The only way that this place could ever give a positive experience is that if you went there during the busy part of the day when they were continually cycling food and fresh pizzas out of there. The funny thing is, I’m not sure when the busy part of the day would be because of the location of this place. It is near an office park, but I don’t think that office park could sustain it to stay busy enough to make it worth it. You’d almost have to rally twenty of your friends to go with you so that the kitchen would stay busy.
That said, if you want a calzone, this is your place. As I was depressingly looking at the buffet, I looked over at the “regular” food and saw some of the most delicious looking calzones that I’ve ever seen in my life. I wish I had gone that route instead of the buffet. Oh well, from now on, I’ll just stick to ordering by the individual slice at the Luca in the mall. By the way, even as depressing as this place was, it is still better than CiCi’s. Just thinking about that place makes me want to gag.