A couple of month’s ago, I had a public poll on the Wichita By E.B. Facebook page to determine the ‘Most Liked Pizza‘ in Wichita and the surrounding area. Obviously any of these polls becomes a popularity contest but that’s OK if people don’t take it so seriously.
In the end it was Gambino’s Original that beat out 63 other bars and restaurants to win the title. The single biggest misconception of Gambino’s Original was that they were related to every other Gambino’s. That is not the case as this location in Colwich has been separately owned and operated by a family from Wichita.
I’ve been to a Gambino’s before but never to the one in Colwich so I finally made my way out to check them out.
339 S 1st St
Colwich, KS 67030
Monday: 11am – 8:30pm
Tuesday – Thursday: 11am -8pm
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 8pm
Inside there was a nice rustic small town feel that should be enough to tell anybody they aren’t related to the other Gambino’s around the area.
But let’s focus on the food.
A majority of the people will likely go here for the lunch buffet which runs everyday from 11am – 1:30pm. It’s $7.29 for adults and $3.99 for children 10 and under. A salad bar add on is $2.59.
The restaurant was very busy as the lunch hour continued and they did a great job of keeping the buffet filled up along with asking customers what kind of pizza they wanted.
After a few trips to the buffet, I have to be completely honest that I’m not sure I would have been able to tell the difference between Gambino’s Original and other Gambino’s in a blind taste test. In the world of pizza buffets, it was good for what it was. The pizzas came out fresh and had a nice soft crust that was slightly thicker than your average thin crust style. There was no shortage of toppings on each of the pizzas. The sauce was almost reminiscent to a Godfather’s Pizza to me which brought back many memories of post Church outings with the family at the old south Rock Road location.
It wasn’t the out of this world pizza that left my taste buds raving but at the same time I was very satisfied and kept returning to the buffet line over and over.
Upon leaving I got a Mobster pizza to go. Here’s a little secret. Some places that offer pizza buffets offer a different style of pizza on the menu than on their buffets. So I ordered a Mobster which was almost like their version of a supreme pizza.
Now this was a pizza I really enjoyed. It was heartier, meatier, thicker and more filling than the standard buffet style. The crust had a doughy texture may not appeal to some but I thoroughly enjoyed it. If this was what people were voting for, I could see why they loved it. What made my experience even better was eating cold leftovers the next day. Pizza is one of those foods where the cold version that’s been sitting in the fridge can sometimes be better or just as good. I very much enjoyed the Mobster.
Or perhaps the reason Gambino’s Original won was because of the people. The quality of service they displayed going from table to table and the people working hard to check on customers was very remarkable. You don’t see that often in any sort of buffet style restaurant. Like any online poll or political vote, sometimes people go with the people and that very well may have been the case. When I stopped by, they had no idea who I was. I grabbed a seat near the corner and just observed everything for a good hour. I was able to pinpoint the owners and saw one of them working just as hard as her younger staff tending to everything. Leadership by example is what I saw and it seemed to work.
So many people got so caught up in the winner and I think that brings out the supporters as much as it does the haters who want to bash on someone who wins. Would I have voted Gambino’s Original as my favorite pizza in the area? Probably not but on a personal level, they were certainly just as deserving. Maybe the recipe to winning these contest is to first focus on the customers and then the product.
I’ve always said, I’ll return to a restaurant who have good people regardless of the product they put out. If the food is great but the people are terrible, I could care less about returning.
Final verdict on the pizza for me was the buffet line pizza was alright, the menu pizza was great and the people and service were just fantastic. That would be more than enough to get me to return.
Here’s their menu:
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