11 Apr 2008 @ 2:38 AM 

I’m sitting here wanting to review The Amazing Pizza Machine with an open heart and mind, but I find myself bashing it over and over again each time I thought about the food.  I have to remember that it’s more than the food, it’s the total experience.  That being said, I will try to be fair and recount my entire experience.

As usual, I was running late at work and my wife and the kids were hungry.  This typically means that I’m not going to be cooking dinner.  The day we visited The Amazing Pizza Machine, the kids were on Spring Break.  We wanted to do something fun and special for them.  Sitting home all week, when my wife took the whole week off of work to be with the kids, we believed, would seriously stink.  So, we tried to plan the entire week for the bunch.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the time off. 

We end up going to The Amazing Pizza Machine at 7:35 PM and get “The Amazing Buffet” for the lot of us. We spend some coin on “credits” for their “Entertainment Center” and head for our seat.  This evening, they only had half of the buffet open as they weren’t pushing the numbers through mid week.  That’s fine.  They typically have the buffet duplicated on the other half  to accommodate the crowds.  So I go up and get a salad and we sit in one of the large rooms.  The Flintstones are on the big screen and we start eating.  I figured we would take our time.  Kids didn’t have school the next day and I wanted to unwind from work.  We sit there for a few minutes, and they announce that the buffet will be closing in 20 minutes.  I look over at my wife: “Uhhhh.  We just got here.  We should complain.”  I wasn’t worried.  I figured that was plenty of time to throw down some pizza then head out into the arcade to blow some stuff up.  HA!  I was wrong.  I went up to get some other food, and there were already in process of breaking down the buffet.  Not that I go to this sad excuse of a Valentino’s grand buffet for the food, but I paid for it, don’t put it up until it’s closed.  So, I quickly grab some macaroni and cheese, a piece of crappy pizza and go back to my chair.  As I sit down the bus-person starts grabbing plates off our table.  Part of which, I was still eating off of.  She leaned over our table as if to hurry us along because SHE wanted to go home.  I’m not happy about this, but wanting to have a fun night with the kids, I just let it roll.  I sent one of the kids for Ice cream (Which they hadn’t torn down yet) and dirtied a few more dishes out of spite.

So, dinner being done, we packed up our coats and went into the “Entertainment Center”.  I can’t tell you how much I blew on their redemption games, but I will tell you that they made their money off of my family and I that night.  One thing I did notice however, is that the staff seemed aloof –OR– like they had the desire to be shot.  You know that feeling: “Just shoot me!”  None of them had any interest in being there.  I have seen that place when it just opened.  Everyone had so much energy and excitement.  Every one of the staff seemed happy and energetic.  It was all crazy and new and they seemed to really care what happened.  Now?  Not so much.

I’m not a Valentino’s fan.  I think that their pizza stinks.  Their sauce is gross and their pasta needs something called flavor.  Don’t get me wrong, because they wouldn’t have as many locations as they do if everyone felt the way I do.  I am GLAD that Valentino’s opened The Amazing Pizza Machine.  It’s a great place for kids and families.  I just think that the food stinks and the service is lousy.  There is no pride in the employees anymore.

Plusses – It’s a great place for kids.  Their Salad Bar is always nice and clean.  They always have a decent variety of foods and the kids really seem to like it.

Minuses – The food stinks, the staff seems to hate life, there were several games that were broken and were run down.  The photo-booth didn’t work and I just didn’t feel it.

Overall Impression – Don’t get me wrong.  The place has character.  I am glad that they opened it in Millard.   I just wish that they would pay more attention to the quality of the food and the experience in general.  I fear that if they don’t, that they will lose the business.

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 11 Apr 2008 @ 02:38 AM

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Responses to this post » (4 Total)

 
  1. You know – it’s sad to say I can already see the place failing. As lacking as their staff is in caring about their guests – why would I spend my money there when I can spend the same at Dave & Buster’s, and get good food, and the kids have just as much of a good time? Oh, and also? I can have a margarita if I so choose!

  2. The Bandaged Artist says:

    Being a former employee of The “Amazing” Pizza Machine, I know exactly the things you are talking about. Granted I started working there a year after they had opened, but it still had the energy from when it first had opened. I think it’s now coming to the fact that no one wants to work for them. From my experience, their management is a shambles, and they don’t treat their employees very well. Most of them after a time of not being able to find anything better would prefer to be shot than to continue shambling about the place like a zombie.

    I tried to keep the energy while I was working. I used the microphone quite more often than the other ride operators did, and I did my best to help the customers with the games.

    But a place like that does where on you and make you jaded after while. It came to the point that customers were really more demanding than the ride operators could handle (But with the outrageous prices you pay coming in with only a couple of people, or an entire party, I completely understand).

    It just is and was a horrible place…

    I recommend some place like Thunder Alley or Dave & busters where you do get your money’s worth.

  3. Rich D says:

    My girl and I took our 3 1/2 yr old to the machine on a saturday night arriving at 5:30 pm. We got our drinks, silverware and napkins and found a seat in the “italian biestro room.” We went out to get our salads and when we returned our drinks, unused silverware, napkins and high chair had been removed (along with our little red tag telling the bus person we would be right back.) While my girlfriend and child waited I went and replaced our drinks, silverware, etc.
    After finishing our salads we went to get our food and while we were gone the bus person cleared away everything once again. By now I had enough and went to the front and asked to speak to a manager. After a wait of appx 10 min. a manager showed up and asked what the problem was.I explained to him that the bus person was clearing our table as fast as we could get our food. He told me that it was because we didnt have the “be right back” tag on the table (you know, the one they cleared away the first time.) Long story short the manager acted as if we were to blame for not having our BRB tag(althouge he did’nt offer to get us anther one) ang in general acted as if my complaint was a petty annoyance to him and his staff.
    We now go to dave and busters instead of Pizza machine and my daughter has just as much fun there.

  4. I have to say, that even since I posted this, they have gone even further downhill. Only under threat of death will I go back to that place. I would actualy suggest going to Thunder Alley. Hmm… I think I need to write a post on them.

    ~TOC

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