CiCi’s Pizza, for those unfamiliar with the place, is a pizza buffet restaurant. For a set price – around $6 or $7, depending on the CiCi’s you go to – you can eat as much as you want of their many varieties of pizza, macaroni with a red gravy or an alfredo sauce, and two or three kinds of pasta. They also have a small selection of desserts – a dessert pizza, that is kind of like an apple pie on a pizza crust; cinnamon buns; and chocolate brownies.
In terms of the gastric bypass patient, CiCi’s might not be your first choice. Pizza is high in fat, after all, and fat is one of those foods we should avoid. Pizza rests on pizza crust, and that is another thing that for many gastric bypass patients is not a safe food. But I say go, my fellow WLS buddies! Enjoy the pizza, have some salad, skip the pasta, and you’ll come away happy.
The pizza at CiCi’s is mostly thin crusted (although you will see one or two Sicilian varieties), and if you don’t eat the back of the crust, you really shouldn’t have any trouble at all with the bread part of the pizza. You can skip the pizza with tomato sauce (although I do not know if CiCi’s uses sugar in their sauce, I always assume that any place that serves red sauce uses sugar), because you will find many options without red sauce. But even the pizza with the red sauce doesn’t overload the crust with the sauce, and for most of you, it should still be a safe bet.
The cheese, as we all know, is chock full of protein, and some of the CiCi’s toppings are added protein. There is a ham and cheddar, chicken, BBQ chicken, as well as the more traditional pepperoni, sausage, beef, and ham and pineapple pizzas. You can make a good choice even at the pizza buffet, and they are really very accomodating, so if you want them to make you something, they will.
The salad bar varies from restaurant to restaurant. Some of them have two or three pre-made, pre-dressed salads, usually including a pasta salad, a caesar salad, and a mixed green salad. Other CiCi’s have a regular salad bar. This one we went to had the pre-made, pre-dressed salads, and I stuck with the mixed green salad with an Italian type dressing. You can certainly skip the salad if you fear the fat content in the pre-dressed salads, but I had no trouble with it. I even had a little bit of a bacon ranch salad that was offered – a mixed green vegetable salad with bacon, a little cheese, and ranch dressing. It tasted good and I didn’t dump, so I was pleased with that.
If you’re craving dessert, this is not the place to find happiness. Your options on the dessert buffet are limited to ooey gooey chocolately delicious looking brownies; ooey gooey sticky sweet cinnamon buns; and ooey gooey caramely delicious apple pie type pizza. I would guess that the sugar content in any of the desserts is enough to send you into some kind of serious, laying on the floor, begging for mercy dumping situation, and if the sugar doesn’t bother you, the fat likely will. But if you are the kind of WLS patient that can handle that stuff, they do cut the brownie pieces into small squares, and the apple pie pizza thing into thin slices, so you may be able to get away with a taste of either of those. The cinnamon buns are much smaller than those you would get at the mall Cinna-Bon store, but they are the most generously sized dessert, so you might want to skip those.
You can add whatever kind of drink you want to the buffet, and they do have water at no additional cost. I stick with unsweetened iced tea.
CiCi’s is certainly not gourmet pizza, but it is good tasting pizza, and it’s a great restaurant to take a family with kids. For those of you who hesitate to go to a buffet with your family because you know you can no longer eat your money’s worth, CiCi’s is a reasonably priced enough option that even if you can only eat one or two slices and a bit of salad, you won’t feel you’ve wasted money.
I highly recommend CiCi’s pizza to those of you who have had Gastric Bypass surgery – and to those who haven’t. It’s enjoyable for the whole family.