A word of advice for any of you who eventually decide to venture off into Charlottesville, VA. Don’t ever eat at a Pizzeria called Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie. It isn’t as humble as they advertise it to be.

Dr. Ho's Humble Pie

An ad for Dr. Ho's Humble Pie found on Flickr. It's so appropriate, because the pizza sends you to where this photo was taken: an outhouse. 

As a summer intern for the Kappa Sigma fraternity headquarters, I get reimbursed for all of my meals by the fraternity. That basically means free food for me. Good deal, right?

Well, not when the food makes you sick.

Since I was here, I started making a list of places I needed to visit before I left Charlottesville. One of those places was a Pizzeria called Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie, which was 20 minutes southwest of Charlottesville. Considering my family is from Chicago and I’ve had some of the best deep dish and pan pizzas from the city, I consider myself a little bit of a Pizza aficionado. I had to try some of the local Pizzerias and see how Charlottesville held up.

I should have realized something was wrong the minute I pulled up to the restaurant, because it wasn’t a restaurant: It was a gas station. A busy gas station, but a gas station nonetheless.

I brushed this off and headed inside. After all, one of my favorite eateries in Fort Worth, Chef Point Café, is also a gas station, and almost all of their food there is high quality. When I walked inside Dr. Ho’s, however, I continued to notice the warning signs. The restaurant was dimly lit, almost like a ghetto biker gang’s late-night bar. The tables and chairs were about as clean as one too, with a light layer of dust coming off as you brush your hand over it. And the kitchen. Good Lord. It was so messy and disorganized that chef Gordon Ramsay would be screaming louder than the ambiance music if he saw it. This was definitely not a high-quality place.

I should have just left. I should have just gotten into my car, drove off and picked up Chinese food or something. I didn’t. I paid for my meat lover’s pizza, drove back to my place and ate the whole thing while watching “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.” An hour later, I was feeling the magic alright, as my stomach cramped up like a kidney stone. The pain was so severe that antacids weren’t even helping. I tossed and turned in my bed for eight hours, getting about two hours of sleep total from the ordeal.

Why am I writing about this for my blog? Because Dr. Ho affected my work life. For four hours I sat at my desk, sleep deprived, aimless and sick, looking more like the undead rather than my regular self. My work efficiency was at about 25 percent instead of my regular 100. I had to go to the bathroom every 40 minutes just to be sure I didn’t defecate at my desk. It was noon when my director finally told me to go home and take the rest of the day off. I took his dismissal as a blessing and got some much needed sleep.

Moral of the story: If you’re seeing warning signs, heed them. Needless to say, I won’t be going back there any time soon. That’s one Ho I can do without.



David Dunn is an aspiring filmmaker, critic, and analyst currently attending the University of Texas at Arlington, and writes for the newspaper, The Shorthorn.

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