I'll admit to being a bit skeptical that turning the former City Center wasteland into a park would automatically transform it into, well, the city's center. Color me pleasantly surprised, then, that a stellar lineup of programming has me looking forward to hanging out there all summer long--along with the rest of Columbus.

Live music on the new outdoor stage is just starting to ramp up (I'm planning to spend Friday night at the kickoff for Alive's Summer Music Tour!), and the Commons is already quite a popular place for lunching in the sun. I checked out the new Pizza Shack, run by the people behind Cafe Lola, for lunch on this beautiful afternoon.

Here's the Pizza Shack, situated in a squat little building right across from BDF Grille (also operated by the Lola folks). It's open 11-4 Monday-Friday serving a menu of flatbread pizzas and pizza by the slice, plus soft-serve ice cream. On the flatbreads, topping choices are plain cheese, pepperoni, mushroom, sausage, veggie (mushroom, onion and green pepper) or supreme (pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, onion and green pepper).

Pizza by the slice is $3 for cheese or $3.50 for one topping. And a combo option is available, too: a slice of pizza and a garden salad for $5.75 (cheese) or $6.25 (one topping).

I went for the Veggie. At $7, this six-inch-by-12-inch pie is a little pricy, and it could stand some more time in the pizza oven. But it's served quick, topped with fresh veggies, and has a crispy, good crust. Plus, you get to eat it outside in the park, in the sun, next to a carousel. Pretty darn cool. Overall, not a bad option on days when food truck fare is not available.

Pizza Shack by Lola
Columbus Commons
160 S. High St., Downtown
columbuscommons.org