Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Road Trip Review: Bell Mell Pizza in Port Clinton, OH

Today's Choice off the Breakfast Menu was Bell Mell Pizza in Port Clinton, OH

Every year my father and his brothers go to Port Clinton Ohio to fish and pal around. I usually have to work and so I miss the fun but this year I had one day to make the trip. Port Clinton is  a sleepy little town so there are few restaurant options and only one restaurant option after 10pm, and that was Bell Mell Pizza. Bell Mell is a tavern that also has a carryout pizza shop inside. It was a pretty good pizza and definitely better than most chains.


According to their website Bell Mell Tavern was established in 1935 at is current address by Bella and Mel Russell. The Tavern was originally a passenger train station where passengers going to and from Cleveland, Pittsburg, Chicago and Toledo could have a bite and a pint before boarding the train. The building has been there since 1905 and at one point housed an ice cream parlor, a shore repair shop, and a barber shop as well. The tavern was purchased by Jimmy Russell (no relation to Mel Russell) in 1979. Jimmy inherited the dough and sauce recipe that the tavern still uses today. Bell Mell considers itself the favorite neighborhood bar for locals and visitors. There were several big screen tvs and an outdoor deck area that is available year round. 

When I attended the place wasn’t too lively, but it was 11:30 on a Tuesday night. The bar was dark and there was one guy manning the pizza window. The service was prompt and the guy was courteous. We were his last order for the night and he served us up and provided us with utensils and napkins. Their menu is standard pizza place and tavern food. They offer salads, subs, burgers, wings, onion rings and more. They have a decent selection of draft beers. The most interesting item is a PizzaBella, which is like a quessadilla pizza with toppings and pizza sauce on a 12 inch flour shell.

The Verdict:

We ordered the works, with Pepperoni, Onion, Green Pepper, Sausage, Mushroom. It was definitely marvelous pizza. The sauce was spicy and delicious and did not taste like sauce I would have had from dominoes or Larosa's. The pizza was well cooked and the toppings were great. I picked off most of the sausage. Typically it gives me heart burn something awful but the little bit I did eat was not too salty or spicy and didn't come back on me like I expected. At that time of night we might have eaten anything but this food was a pleasant surprise.

We also got an order of their BBQ wings. these were also excellent. They had a sweet barbeque sauce that I couldn't get enough of. The wings were well cooked and not over or under cooked like I have had before. Overall it was a great take home dining experience.

Service:              3
Food:                  4

Overall Experience:
I give the whole experience 4 out of 5 pepperoni:
(egg photos will stand in until I get a good image for here.)

The Pizza was delicious and the service was prompt and courteous. Like I said before, there are few late night food options in Port Clinton Ohio but I would have to recommend that Bell Mell Pizza be a first option any time of day. I believe it earned its reputation as the “Best Pizza in Ottowa county.”

For more information on the location:

Bell Mell Pizza on Urbanspoon

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