Oh Geez!

Geez Grill & Pub: Flat screens, flat taste

By Paula Johnson

If you are a super sports fanatic with ADD, Geez Grill & Pub just might be your dream come true. Replete with 360 degrees of flat screen TVs, it’s impossible to cast a glance anywhere that doesn’t fall on somebody wearing a uniform doing something with a ball. The night PIP (Palate In Progress) and I visited, we were treated to The Western and Southern Open tennis tournament, PIP’s beloved New England Patriots, some random golf tournament and a baseball game.

This IS your grandfather’s sports bar

The TVs might make you want to call Geez a sports bar, but the image of a place with a boisterous, beer-swilling male-dominated mob just doesn’t fit. Looking around the place, I noticed the average age of the patrons was, well, a little advanced and equally balanced in terms of male to female ratio. I ran into a friend who was taking her mom to dinner there. Then there’s the wait staff: These kids reminded me of sophomores at the local college—the kind you’d see at a fraternity and sorority car wash to benefit something. High spirits and youthful enthusiasm abound.

The restaurant’s website notes that the place was started by a large Italian family in 1994, which explains the Italian section of the menu. Momma Geez Specialties include things like spaghetti, ravioli and chicken parmigiana. There are a few dinner entrees and nightly specials, plus sandwiches and burgers. The appetizer menu is the fried everything you’ll find on every bar menu everywhere. Then, there’s the pizza, which PIP ordered.

Squaring off

I know I’m doing more than going out on a limb with this—it’s probably going to feel more like standing in front of a speeding truck considering how sacred this cow is around here—but Dayton, what gives with this pizza thing?

Yep. I went there.

Those little squares could possibly be amusing cocktail hors d’ouevres if you stuck some toothpicks in them, but they are not pizza. Where’s the slice? Both PIP and I are non-natives, and we are profoundly puzzled by these weird cardboard squares.

PIP, the quintessential engineer nerd, is disturbed by the lack of symmetry and irregularity of the portions. “It’s a circle for heaven’s sake—why the attempt to impose a grid structure on a curvilinear shape?”

Can I point out the glaring absence of a crust? What are they thinking? Somewhere the pizza gods are crying. (The fact that PIP ordered his with double cheese, pepperoni and anchovies ($13.45) might make them cry too.) Suffice it to say, the pizza left me sniffing for a slice.

We began with the Combo Platter appetizer ($6.95) featuring two potato skins, two Geez (mozzarella) sticks and fried mushrooms. What arrived is the kind of food you’d find delivered by any large food service corporation that goes right from the freezer to the fryer. Enough said.

Sad sausage

I had visions of a crusty roll and a fat, spicy grilled sausage when I ordered the hot sausage hoagie ($9) with melted mozzarella cheese. Alas, the roll was not the chewy crusty Italian roll I had hoped for, and the tomato sauce made it gummy. The sausage, a little meager and “wimpy,” according to PIP, lacked a hearty texture, and that grilled crunchy pop which is so satisfying when you bite into it. The dressing I ordered to accompany my salad ($3.50) was listed as “homemade creamy garlic.” I didn’t detect any garlic. It was sort of a cross between Italian and thousand island—and not homemade
tasting at all.

Looking out at the Taco Bell across the parking lot, I was left with the comparison that both places really don’t do a lot of fresh ingredients or on-site cooking other than deep frying. But if dad wants to see the game and mom and the kids want to come along and grab something to eat, Geez Grill & Pub is your place. No rough and rowdy hooligans here. You won’t find anything other than straight ahead restaurant food service fare, but the environment is clean, pleasant and friendly. Just don’t look for a slice of pizza.

Geez Grill & Pub is located at 5841 Far Hills Ave. in Centerville. For more information, please call 937.439.0001 or visit Geez Grill & Pub on Facebook.

Photo: Cheese, pepperoni and anchovy pizza from Geez Grill & Pub

Dayton City Paper Dining Critic Paula Johnson would like every meal to start with a champagne cocktail and end with chocolate soufflé. As long as there’s a greasy burger and fries somewhere in the middle. Talk food with Paula at PaulaJohnson@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Dayton City Paper Dining Critic Paula Johnson would like every meal to start with a champagne cocktail and end with chocolate soufflé. As long as there’s a greasy burger and fries somewhere in the middle. Talk food with Paula at PaulaJohnson@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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