Pasquale’s Pizza & Pasta House stands the test of time

Not to be confused with Pasqually’s, the alternate GrubHub identity of Chuck E. Cheese

G.A. Benton
Supreme Pizza and Founder's Favorite pizza from Pasquale's Pizza & Pasta House in Westerville on Schrock Road

Pasquale’s Pizza & Pasta House began serving customers in Westerville back in the 1980s. The fact that Pasquale’s is still serving today says a lot about the operation. I’m going to say more: If you like crispy thin-crust pizzas enriched with generous amounts of good cheese and toppings, as well as old-school Italian-American food, you’ll like Pasquale’s.   

I hadn't visited the business since it moved from its Uptown Westerville location (now home to Asterisk Supper Club) to its current spot in a Schrock Road strip mall about six years ago. The present Pasquale’s is smaller and less prominent. Like its progenitor, though, this community-bulletin-board-equipped-style restaurant with a neighborly dining room and a couple outdoor picnic tables specializes in crowd-pleasing, scratch-cooked fare that attracts a steady stream of regulars.

The pizzas luring in these loyal patrons are impressive examples of a locally popular style with a thin-yet-sturdy crust, skillfully baked from daily house-made dough, that’s nearly flat on its audibly crunchy golden-brown edge. (And is not to be confused with another Pasqually’s that appeared on GrubHub as an alternative identity for Chuck E. Cheese.)

Pepperoni — another Columbus favorite — arrives on pies as oven-crisped, zesty disks abundantly layered above all other toppings, including the cheese. This means that diners ordering a pizza with pepperoni are treated to appealingly crisp textures on the pie’s top and bottom.     

Order a pizza with pepperoni, sausage and banana peppers — my go-to pie — and the grease-leaking, flavorful pepperoni will be joined by a pleasantly acidic house sauce, lumps of garlicky, fennel-seeded Italian sausage, plus a comforting blanket of cheese offset by mild pickled chilies. As is customary here, this great-tasting pizza is cut like a pie in 10-inch iterations ($12.95), but sliced into rectangles for 14-inch ($21.95) and enormous 16-inch pizzas ($23.95) .

Eight tempting specialty pizzas are offered (prices for most, in ascending sizes, are $13.95, $20.95 and $22.95). These include the hefty and delicious Supreme (pepperoni, sausage, diced ham, mushrooms, green peppers, onions); and the tomato-sauce-less Founder’s Favorite, an eminently likable chicken pie, which complements tender poultry with plenty of rich-and-tangy dairy plus oven-singed fresh tomatoes. 

I enjoyed those so much that I plan on returning for the brunch-perfect Breakfast Pizza soon (“loads of cheese,” eggs, ham, bacon, onions and peppers), served only before noon and as a 16-inch behemoth ($26.95).

Antipasto salad from Pasquale's Pizza & Pasta House in Westerville on Schrock Road

Pasquale’s ham-heavy, oven-toasted Italian sub ($8.95), presented on a nice glossy bun and with chips, was a winner, too. Avoiding carbs? Most of that sub’s components — plentiful ham, pepperoni, salami, cheese and banana peppers — appear on the shareably large, romaine-based and recommended antipasto salad ($8.95).

Love carbs? Opt for Pasquale’s house-made spaghetti and meatball ($13.95). The entree's elements — texturally pleasing pasta, a big-yet-supple meatball, tart red sauce and a side of garlic-bread twists — are all good and all made in-house. 

Pasquale’s house-made gnocchi and meatball ($13.95) was a similar dish, only assembled with sturdy dumplings. I prefer my gnocchi to be more pillowy and potatoey, but this was still a worthy (and very filling) entree.

So was the mammoth house-made lasagna ($14.95). But if the thought of eating lasagna with a spoon isn’t appealing — mine was a cheesy, meaty and generally amorphous mass covered with so much sauce that it almost resembled a vat of soup — this heavy, homey and comforting meal might not be for you.  

Cannoli from Pasquale's Pizza & Pasta House in Westerville on Schrock Road

Want something meant to be consumed with a spoon? Pasquale’s substantial wedding soup ($6.95, with garlic twists) will fill that bill. The eatery also offers house-baked pastries such as cannoli ($1.50) and a sweet-and-rich, chocolate-drizzled peanut butter bomb called a Frisco ($3).

Bottom line: Pasquale’s is a terrific, scratch-cooking pizzeria that offers solid renditions of some classic Italian-American dishes, too. May this long-running establishment continue on for decades more.  

Pasquale's Pizza & Pasta House

558 W. Schrock Rd., Westerville

614-882-6200

pasqualespastahouse.com

Italian sub, along with a Supreme Pizza and Founder's Favorite pizza, from Pasquale's Pizza & Pasta House in Westerville on Schrock Road