JT’s Pizza, Pub and Patio gives diners what they want
This Linworth-area pizzeria and sports pub offers tasty thin-crust pizzas, good pub fare, cheap drinks, indoor and outdoor seating, sports-beaming TVs and speedy, friendly service
The bank of TVs above the outdoor bar at JT’s Pizza, Pub and Patio attracted a modest-sized but animated crowd on a recent Sunday afternoon. The jersey-clad assemblage were treated to the Bengals snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in a strange game against Green Bay that featured woeful displays of highly paid athletes unable to make routine kicks.
The football-watching crew then turned to the Browns, who were embroiled in a later-starting struggle with the Los Angeles Chargers rife with back-and-forth offensive fireworks. Rather than feeling tense as a devout Ohio sports fan, though, I was relaxed because I was washing back righteous pizza and wings with a well-priced drink.
JT’s Pizza, Pub and Patio’s very name hints that it’s a great fit for 2021 Midwestern sensibilities. Sure enough, the Linworth-area establishment excels at providing many central Ohioans with what they really want: consistently good pizzeria and pub fare with crispy and zesty notes; abundant indoor and outdoor seating near sports-beaming TVs and Keno screens; “how do they do it?” speedy service; beverage bargains and specials galore; plus enough homemade ranch dressing to soothe legions of disappointed Ohio sports fans.
Open since 2007, JT’s may not garner a lot of media attention, but it has amassed countless loyal patrons who congregate in its spacious, commendably tidy, largely wooden dining room and on its expansive patio. Regulars show up for a breezy good time with a bite and a drink and sometimes to watch sports.
And sometimes droves arrive on Wednesdays to play trivia, as I discovered on a recent bustling evening. Here’s what else I discovered that Wednesday: unbeatable hump-day specials for a made-right Italian sub (toasted roll, broiled cheese, plenty of meat) partnered with crispy, flour-dusted fries (just $6 for the combo); and for a good Manhattan ($7) starring Maker’s Mark 46 bourbon and a Luxardo-style cherry.
An everyday/anytime bargain-basement beer deal is also offered — 32 whopping ounces of Yuengling Flight for $3.50. This special might primarily be designed for fans of cheap-and-light suds, but it’s also handy if you just want something wet to help soak up JT’s big and crisp-edged traditional wings, which aren’t battered (I prefer not battered) and easily outpace JT’s so-so boneless wings.
Currently market-priced due to pandemic-related shortages (I paid $10.95 for six meaty pieces), JT’s bone-in wings are available in numerous flavors. Choosing the tangy-creamy-spicy-sweet “Greg’s style” — an inspired, “suicide-soda”-evoking combo sauce — allows diners to enjoy multiple flavors simultaneously.
Crust and sauce flavoring options abound with pizzas, too. While I was especially fond of the garlic-parmesan crust with a sesame seed add-on, I stuck with JT’s regular — yet lively — pizza sauce.
But you can’t go wrong because JT’s standard pizza is impressive: good, judiciously applied toppings substantially enhanced by a thin-yet-airy, crisp and distinct, flat-edged crust skillfully baked in a pan whose nibs create toasty little bottom-of-the-pizza bumps.
The Big Al ($19.75 for a large) with ample oven-browned cheese, zippy pepperoni, banana peppers plus fennel-seeded and garlicky sausage clumps was terrific. So was the Founder's Favorite ($19.75 for a large), with pepperoni and sausage, plus appealingly oven-darkened onion slivers and fresh mushrooms. Also terrific: the Oktoberfest-inspired beer brat pizza ($24 for a large), a curious-sounding-but-irresistible October special showcasing a serious cheese sauce.
Too often, calzones are overly bready disappointments. Not here. In fact, JT’s crinkly, herb-seasoned, thin-crusted calzones ($11 to $17) are among the best around.
Epilogue: As my tablemates and I watched the Browns lose that aforementioned struggle against the Chargers because of a controversial (read: horrible) pass interference call against Cleveland late in the game, our moans echoed throughout JT’s patio. Cheers erupted shortly thereafter, though, when — as the quarterback of our eating team — I called an audible and ordered another calzone.
JT's Pizza, Pub & Patio
2390 W. Dublin Granville Rd., Northwest Side