Five dollars doesn't go quite as far as it used to, but those hungry for pizza will find Abraham Lincoln fits the bill at Bobbio's.
It's hard to miss the new Medford Bobbio's location at 1211 S. Riverside and its sign boasting a $5 slice-and-soda special, but only recently have I learned just how much pizza your money can buy there. The locally-owned chain had locations in Central Point and White City before taking over the vacant former Medford Pizza Hut in July.
I made my way to the new south Medford location midday Wednesday for the lunch special, served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week. I ended up with a quarter of a pie fresh out the oven and large enough to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites.
My slice, delightfully presented atop red and white checkered paper that highlighted the pizza's colors, was larger than the plate. I was several bites in before I realized just how easy it was to fold the fluffy, fresh-baked pizza slice — making it pretty darn close to an on-the-go calzone. It's definitely enough for many appetites to save some for dinner later or for parents to split between two kids.
The crust at Bobbio's is fluffier than its closest Medford competitor — the equally easy-to-recommend Paisan's Pizzeria & Bistro in downtown Medford. It's worth noting that Paisan's has its own Huge Cheese Slice & Soda special for $4.95. Other single-slice toppings are available at Paisans, but the soda's sold separately.
At Bobbio's, thirsty bargain pizza-lovers have choices: cheese, pepperoni or Italian sausage for their one-topping slice. I'd tried their sausage at an earlier visit and found it to be fresh-tasting, as well as the meatiest of the three options. It's easy to recommend for those who've somehow had enough cheese and pepperoni pizza.
A fair price and a hearty portion were pleasant surprises, but speedy service knocked my visit out of the park. I showed up at noon bracing myself for a lunch-hour rush. There were a handful of people ahead of me occupying the friendly cashier for slices outside the lunch special. I overheard one woman who was charged $5 for a slice with Canadian bacon and fresh tomatoes, no soda.
I braced myself for a wait after the cashier took my order, but my slice was ready in literally no time — I hadn't even filled my Pepsi or picked a table. I'd hesitate to call service that rapid typical, as I waited a few minutes during my visit last month. Those truly pressed for time should call in their order at 541-500-1935 or online at bobbios.com.
Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Bobbio's also makes a good place for dinner. Pizza is not the only thing on the menu. There's a selection of sandwiches that typically cost between $7.50 and $7.95, salads for $8.95 and appetizers such as Garlic & Cheese Sticks, Taters, Chicken Wings and Pig Wings.
The Pepsi fountain is one of the more deluxe models with the "flavor shot" feature near the ice dispenser: choices include vanilla, cherry and raspberry. It's not quite as fancy as the touchscreen Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, but it does let me mix raspberry and Pepsi so I can close my eyes and pretend I'm drinking Pepsi Blue, that gone but never forgotten berry-cola fusion discontinued in the early 2000s.
The Medford location has a similar layout to the Pizza Hut restaurant that was there before it. Although it's got the same layout, it's freshened, albeit no-frills, inside. The closest things to frill" are a couple arcade video games and a flat-screen TV with ESPN. But the walls appear to be freshly painted, and the table surfaces and floors are clean and shiny and everything's light-colored and clean.
In short, it's a fresh pizza parlor serving the needs of a wide variety of folks. Be it families needing a spot to celebrate or working stiffs just out for an affordable lunch, Bobbio's fits nicely.