Why we love pizza picnics in the car

I love date nights with my beloved hubby, but I’m also a huge fan of mom and kiddo dates with Z, aka this sweet child o’ mine.

Z and I do all kinds of things on our dates together: go to the mall, walk around window-shopping, get bubble tea, grab lunch and more.

Our most recent mom and Z date was a pizza picnic in the car outside Gahanna Pizza Plus. It was one of our favorite outings yet!

Gahanna Pizza Plus is a takeout-only pizza place in Gahanna serving delicious, East coast-ish pizza. I say “ish” because it’s certainly not the NY-style pizza I grew up with, but it’s also not your typical midwest thin crust, either. It’s somewhere in the middle.

We had driven down to Gahanna for a visit to our favorite sweet spot, Buckeye Candy Co., but realized we were hungry as we pulled into the shopping center. “How does pizza sound? I asked, eyeing the options before us. “AMAZING!” shrieked Z, and in we went.

I’ll preface this by saying that Z is a creature of habit and pretty set in her ways. She doesn’t like to vary our restaurant routine if she can help it. I must have caught her on a particularly good day because she was happy to try a new pizza place. It helped that it smelled amazing the second we walked through the door. I’m thrilled that we did!

We each ordered a lunch special, which is a personal size pizza with can of pop. They said it would take about 15 minutes to bake, so we walked next door to our favorite candy store to browse and purchase some treats. The timing worked out perfectly; no sooner had we stashed our candy in the car than our pies came out of the oven and were ready to be served.

Some may find us uncouth or savage for eating our pizzas in the car. On the contrary, pizza is the perfect meal for a car picnic! There’s virtually no mess – you simply balance the box on your legs and go to town. Really, the only downside is the risk of burning your mouth if you don’t pause to carefully blow on each bite before jamming it into your gullet.

Everyone knows great pizza should be eaten fresh and hot. Sure, it’s also good the next morning right out of the fridge, but there’s nothing more criminal than taking a perfectly fresh, hot pizza and letting it cool while you drive it all the way home.

In fact, there’s a running joke in my family because my Dad likes to go get a pizza about 4 pm, let it cool down on the kitchen counter while they have their wine from 5 to 6 pm, then re-heat the pizza in their oven so they can eat at the appropriate, civilized time. My brother and I, and the rest of our fam, all find this to be utterly bonkers. To each their own, I suppose.

Anyway, I say all this by way of passionately defending our car pizza parties. We don’t do it every time we get pizza, but I highly recommend it for those times when you are starving and the pizza smells especially good.

If you’ve never broken all the rules and had a pizza party in your car, then it will be an especially fun treat for your kiddos. Ask for paper plates and napkins at the pizza shop, then get back in the car and announce that you’re too hungry to wait until you get home. The kids will be thrilled at the novelty of a pizza picnic in the car!

What can I say, we like to keep it fun around here. Once in a while, you just have to go for it with ice cream for breakfast, pizza picnics in the car and outrageously unhealthy snacks on long roadtrips. These are the fun moments and memories that childhood is made of.

Where do you like to get your pizza, and have you ever devoured it in the car instead of waiting until you get home? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below or over on Facebook.

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat, snake and guinea pig mom. Travel nut. Writer since birth. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.

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