Short Order: Tyler's Pizzeria & Bakery
Editor’s Note: This article was published before Ohio’s dine-in ban began on March 15, 2020. Tyler’s remains open for carryout. Offerings and hours may be limited.
It’s clear that carbs are king at Tyler’s Pizzeria & Bakery, an inviting storefront where the smell of house-baked bread and pastries mingles with pepperoni pizza. “Without bread, all is misery,” reads a quote on the wall, and I can’t disagree.
This isn’t your typical Columbus pizzeria. The tiny shop was opened 10 years ago by Bryan Tyler, a baker who once worked at Thurn’s Bakery & Deli, Great Harvest Bread Co. and Omega Artisan Bakery. Located in the Olde Reynoldsburg area on East Main Street, the pizzeria and bakery offers scratch-made pizzas, focaccias, calzones, breads such as sourdough and baguettes, and sweets such as scones and apple turnovers—all made with local and organic ingredients when possible. Most are baked in a wood-fired oven that’s visible in the open kitchen.
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Tyler’s is mainly a carryout spot. There are a few outdoor tables for dining or waiting, but it’s best to order ahead as pizzas take at least 15 minutes. Your enjoyment of the pizzas—which are best hot, immediately out of the oven—may be directly related to how soon you can get them home. I recommend against reheating—as I tried once—as the crust becomes dry, chewy and unsatisfying.
The Sunny-Side Up pizza ($10.50 for 12-inch small; $15.50 for 14-inch large) features three eggs atop a complex layering of breakfast foods, including shredded potatoes, bites of ham, cheddar and mozzarella, each in its own layer. With the crisp top, buttery and hearty filling, and unlikely inclusion of potatoes, this specialty is definitely worth trying.
The Pauper’s Pie ($11 for small; $15.25 for large) is marked as Tyler’s premier pizza on its website for good reason. The creamy white sauce, mixed with spinach, red onion, crispy bacon and cairns of fried garlic, make for a well-balanced pizza both in terms of flavor and texture.
The California Chicken ($10.50 for small; $14.50 for large) with an olive oil and butter base has its ups and downs. A balsamic vinegar drizzle complements the mushrooms and spinach atop the pizza, but it’s undermined by dry chicken cubes and a lack of sauce.
The veggie focaccia ($9.75) is far from dry. Loaded with green peppers, red onion and tomato slices, the tangy bread looks like a pizza and elevates the focaccia genre.
An impulse buy during one visit, the pepperoni roll ($5) is a must-have. Thin rings of pepperoni nestled next to cheese are baked into a large dense roll infused with pepperoni grease. It’s quite good served at room temperature.
And from the sweets counter, the 3-inch blueberry chocolate chip bar ($1.25) is a standout, densely packed with chocolate and blueberries, then crowned with a buttery crumble that amazingly ties it all together.
Although the bakery has an artisan feel, Tyler’s is far from pretentious, especially since the staff exude joy and friendliness. Give it a visit, but I hope the drive home is short—otherwise you may be tempted to eat hot pizza and pepperoni rolls in your car.
7516 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg