Note: I will apologize, in advance, for dark, hotel-room, food photos--but, I wanted to share the review of the restaurant!
The Imo's Pizza location in Columbia, Illinois offered easy access and friendly service. After experiencing some GPS issues in downtown St. Louis during fairly heavy, Saturday evening traffic--we needed an easy drive for dinner! Instead of ordering delivery to the hotel--which we did in Minneapolis at Pizza Luce--we decided to actually visit Imo's Pizza in person. The restaurant is visible from the "main road"--back a little access road--with a stoplight for easy access--and this Imo's Pizza has a "drive up" window. The weather had turned cold and we were running nearly late to pick up our dinner--so we opted to "drive thru". The drive thru employee was really friendly. The restaurant was extremely busy and our order wasn't quite ready--but, she offered to have someone bring it to our car in the parking lot when it was done. She wrote down our vehicle color and description and sent us around the building to a parking space. In a few minutes, our order was carried to our car--and off we went.
The Food at Imo's Pizza. As I mentioned, we were starving. We were tired. It was cold outside and the day and been a long one. My husband had hurriedly placed an order for a couple of appetizers and a couple of 2-topping pizzas--with the plan to pack up leftovers for our next day's adventures!
Provel Bites with Meat Sauce
First of all--not one of us had any clue what a Provel Bite was. We assumed it was like a "mozzarella" bite or stick--but, we didn't know. And we probably wouldn't have tried them if it had not been our "free offer" for signing up on the restaurant's website. We tried it--and it was an interesting twist on our usual "mozzarella" bites! Provel cheese reminded me a bit of a blended cream cheese in these bites. (I have since learned that it is a blend of Cheddar, Swiss and Provolone...but, you wouldn't really pick out any of those flavors in the cheese!) I wasn't sure if I liked it after the first bite--but, let me tell you about Imo's Meat Sauce! It is wonderful! There are bits of meatballs and the sauce's seasonings blended perfectly with the Provel Bites--and even our pickiest eater devoured her share of the Provel Bites with the sauce.
Toasted Ravioli with Meat Sauce
There were so many ways in which these could have been awful...but, they weren't. They weren't over-fried, they had a flavorful filling--and they were served with the Imo's meat sauce that I had already learned to love. (I don't know if the sauce is made by Imo's or for Imo's--but, it would be truly worth ordering extra!)
St. Louis Style Pizza
We ordered the "traditional", thin crust--and it did have a crispy, cracker-like texture as we were told to expect from a St. Louis Style pizza. The crust would not work with our Central Ohio sauces and cheeses--but, Imo's sauce and the Provel cheese pulled it all together. So much so--that I think we only had a few pieces of leftovers for our next day!
Would I recommend Imo's Pizza in Columbia, Illinois? We ordered online (as out-of-towners), we redeemed coupons (as out-of-towners), we had great customer service and we all enjoyed the food. This was my family's first experience with St. Louis Style Pizza--but, we would not hesitate to order from Imo's again the next time we visit St. Louis or Columbia, Illinois. Imo's Pizza is a chain with 90+ locations throughout the St. Louis area. If the other locations are on par with this one--we wouldn't hesitate to recommend them for a quick and easy, family dinner!
Learn more about Imo's Pizza...