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Dahmen's Pizza Place

Update: Dahmen's is closed.

In a word: Some pizza is more equal than others.

The specs: #0626  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Ruppert Food Blog77 Square, Yelp; listing at Eat Drink Madison; Facebook, Dahmen's Pizza Place on Urbanspoon

Latest Dahmen's Pizza Place news and reviews

Chris, JM, John, Marissa and Nichole ate at the buffet.
The bill was $9/person, plus tip.
Chris gave Dahmen's Pizza Place a B; Marissa gave Dahmen's Pizza Place a B for the buffet and a C for everything else; John and JM gave Dahmen's Pizza Place a B-; Nichole gave Dahmen's Pizza Place a C (see our grading rubric).

Dahmen's replaced Pizza Oven, and falls under our "New name and ownership, same theme" rule, which calls for our third visit to the former Hooters location. There's been virtually no decor change since Pizza Oven (think Shakey's, not those pizza parlor pink/red/white checked tablecloths).

Cliff's Notes: Dahmen's $9 dinner buffet is OK, but none of us figure we'd ever order a pizza for dine-in. 

We took the socialized path because there was little incentive to order our own pizza. The menu was unclear about pizza prices, and besides, the server took requests for how to stock the buffet. Vegetarians and fans of cold breakfast pizza might use a different calculus.

There was also little incentive eat anything from the buffet but pizza. Whatever went in two chafing dishes was an enemy - there was a bland, gnarly mac & cheese and some sort of spaghetti/pepperoni hot dish. There was a red soup that we swear we saw one diner pour over his casserole. The salad bar was stocked with iceberg lettuce and a dozen or so toppings (radishes, beets, bacon bits, and the like).

Salad bar gatheringsBreadstick and meaty slice

The breadsticks topped with canister-style Parmesan were "donuts without icing," opined Marissa. She identified correctly that they'd been deep fried (hush, it's a secret). Predictably enough, there was an overtly sweet version with icing. Get it?

The pizzas arrived on the buffet at regular intervals, so competition with the handful of other diners was not brutal (unlike our experience at a KFC buffet in Bloomington, IL that ran out of chicken).

All the pies had a thin, crackerlike crust with a little char and most were too light on sauce for our taste. The cheese mix varied by slice, but the house blend was not very memorable.

Crust

The quality of the pizza varied. Whatever pizza had creative sauces, or used to have wings, was a friend. The chicken-bacon-ranch with cheddar and Alfredo sauce was a table favorite. It was the exception to the not-enough-sauce problem, almost too greasy. Another good one had chicken, pepperoni, and a kicky bright scarlet sauce that we'd be surprised to find out wasn't part Sriracha.

There was some respect for meat-free options on the buffet. One of four heatlamp spots was dedicated to vegetarian pizzas including margherita and plain cheese. The serving spatulas were replaced with each new pie, but diners may have mixed things up.

We also pigged out on pepperoni-sausage, pepperoni-mushroom-olive, and another hot mess of pepperoni-sausage-jalapeno-red pepper flakes. Nobody much cared for anything featuring the bland sausage.

Pep/mush/olive slice, hot sliceChicken bacon ranch

We tried to write a proper conclusion but got stuck in the mud. We're sorry. We will work harder.

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I ate here once. The staff member was really, really friendly - but unfortunately, the food was really, really blah. Not that I had particularly high hopes for a pizza buffet, but it was pretty iffy even as pizza buffets go. The stuff in the chafing dishes and the salad bar weren't much better. I'd agree with the C rating.

great review, love the Orwellian nods to Animal Farm!

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