Garlic Jim’s Pizza
2766 West 11th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97402
Phone:541-344-1093

Eugenified.com rating: 1 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 5

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Meh. Corporate franchisee “gourmet” pizza.

If you start with that phrase as your expectation for this place, you will not be disappointed.

The Good News:

Friendly service while still in soft opening. They all seem a bit harried and confused, but that’s to be expected. I had the odd feeling that there was no specific person in charge, except for the owner who was walking around doing things but not really paying attention to the actual business at hand. The (cough cough, slightly fat) lady at the cash register was great. Tremendous personality and perfect for this position, or even better as a dining area supervisor. She should be given a raise asap and given an appropriate title.

The Bad News:

The layout of the place is basically the same as the Subway that previously was located here. They did a quick and sloppy interior paint job and hung up a few low quality banner signs. Even the menu is oddly located far away from the cashier on the left side wall. Overall, the decor is very sparse and bland. That might be because of soft opening, but they told us their grand opening will be tomorrow, so I assume we are seeing the final product today.

The pizza cheese is very liquidy and stringy at the same time. It doesn’t ever seem to get hard again, even if you wait until it is cooled down. Not sure what’s up with that, but it does raise some reddish flags. The flavor concepts are interesting (bacon chicken ranch, spinach with artichoke, garlic gourmet, etc.) but the execution is underwhelming. Visually, it looks good, but there is just not enough of any specific flavor. I’m guessing that their corporate HQ market research has told them that consumers like fancy-sounding names, but what they really want to eat is basic Papa Murphy style pizza. In my case, they are wrong, but I have to say that most of the blue-collar-ish people eating here are probably thinking along those lines, so maybe it will be a winning formula for them.

The crust: We only tried the Napolitano thin crust pizza, so can only directly comment on that one. In two words, it was a big miss. Rather than the correct dry, thin type of crust, their version is filled with oil so it gets a light frying on the bottom while in the oven (sorta like pot stickers). It is oily to the touch and tastes of oil as well. Now, I’m guessing that this high oil content may help them achieve their “ready in 5 minutes” promise, but it’s a big fail in terms of…you know…actual Napolitano pizza crust.

The Summary:

Won’t go back, but probably some people will.

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