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Paulie Gee’s – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series

For many moons we had discussed getting Paulie Gee’s, but it was a case where when we wanted pizza we weren’t in the area.

This week we finally managed to make everything align and were able to snag two pizzas, one of which had an intriguingly spicy name.

With a cozy interior, a solid bar area and New York-style pizzas, Paulie Gee’s has been making ‘za since 2016 in their Short North location. Want something other than pizza? Tough luck bucko, because all they do is pizza. Regular, vegan and square pizzas adorn the menu, with pizzas ranging from $16 to $21 or even more if you select every topping while creating your own. In total there are 24 pizzas on the menu, including a “Trustfall” which is a custom-made “maker’s choice” pizza. Definitely not on to choose if you’ve get any food allergies.

The Lady of the Farm selected the Cherry Jones, a smart move because she knows I don’t eat cherries, so I wouldn’t be stealing any of hers. Featuring Fresh Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Speck, Dried Bing Cherries, and Orange Blossom Honey, it’s a summery pizza (never thought I’d use that phrase) and the orange blossom honey has some fun with the cherries, which aren’t overpowering. You may look at the above and say oh, they forgot to name prosciutto as an ingredient, but nope, that’s Speck. No worries, I too had to look up the difference and via Bon Appetit, speck is “rubbed down with a cure laced with spices like juniper and bay leaves. Then it is smoked and aged. That spiced cure gives speck a deeper taste that’s more intense than prosciutto di Parma.” The more you know.

Hellified-do Hellified-don’t

We’d had this ‘za circled for a while. The Hellified Porkpie White, with Fresh Mozzarella, Hot Sopressata, Sweet Italian Fennel Sausage, Basil, Red Onion, Sliced Garlic, Mike’s Hot Honey Drizzle. Name sounds scary, the ingredient list not so much. The first thing to note is that this is a sticky pizza. Something happens with the “Mike’s Hot Honey” and it gets on all sides of the pizza. Top, back, underside, it’s all over, so no need to be dainty with it.

One bite in, I knew the name was a lie. I’d gone for this biggest bite of hot sopressata and felt the lightest heat of any of the spicy pizzas I’d tried in Columbus. Hot sopressata typically contains crushed red pepper and/or other spices, giving it somewhat of a kick, but even defying the pizza gods and stacking three big slices of sopressata on top of each other there was next to no heat. To check that I wasn’t crazy, I heaved a slice over to The Lady of the Farm. One raised eyebrow and a scared look, she thought the heat may creep up as she didn’t feel anything on the initial bite, but no creeping here.

The honey itself is noticeable, but if you’ve had Mike’s Hot Honey you know it registers on the lower end of the Scoville scale. Mike’s does have an “extra hot” version which would have boosted this in ranking slightly, but as is, a whole pizza in (because all pizzas are personal pizzas if you believe in yourself) there were no spicy tingles to be had. While it’s not the least spicy item on our list, it is the lowest in terms of spicy-titled pizzas. Paulie Gee’s heads to the bottom to #112, just below Siam Orchid’s Crazy Noodles and above Borgata’s Spicy Sausage Stuffed Peppers. Does every pizza need to be spicy? Absolutely not, but you toss “Hellified” in the title, my expectations go up.

You can find Paulie Gee’s in Columbus at 1195 North High Street.

Look below for more in our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!

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