For those of you venturing off campus for that classic college pizza craving, a pair of pizzerias recently opened on campus, Christian’s Pizza and I heart N.Y. Pizza.
Christian’s Pizza, on 404 N. Harrison next to the Village Café, looks like any number of other mid-scale restaurants in the area. You know the type: bar stools by the windows, tables in the middle, and a full counter with the oven-baked pizza on display. There are a dozen other restaurants just like it all on the same street, and nothing about the atmosphere at Christians really stands out.
I ordered a slice of the Pesto and Tomato, a Margherita-style pizza with tomatoes, pesto and mozzarella.
It was good, if a bit pricey – that could be said about most of the menu at Christian’s Pizza however, where anything more complex than a cheese or pepperoni pizza will run you anywhere between $15.00-$22.00, or a little over $4.00-$5.00 a slice.
What killed Christian’s Pizza for me though was the service. The cashier on duty’s tone and treatment of customers could charitably be described as condescending, and certainly as openly rude. I realize that Christian’s Pizza just opened up, but friendly service is Dining 101 – just based on the snide treatment by the staff, I would avoid returning, no matter the quality of the pizza.
I ❤ N.Y. Pizza on the other hand, over on 308 North Laurel Street, offers a stark contrast in atmosphere and décor. True to the name, it looks and feels like a hole-in-the-wall pizza parlor that would look more at home in city than off West Broad. If you’re dining in, all the seating is bar stools by window counters, each with a half-dozen spices next to the napkin dispensers.
In terms of service, it is friendly and fast, but the food and pricing is what really makes I ❤ N.Y. Pizza stand out from Christian’s – you can get two slices and a drink for around the same price of just over what would get you just one slice and a drink at Christian’s, and their late night by-the-slice specials are $0.50 cheaper.
I had a slice of the Little Italy, a similar Margherita-style pizza, which, thanks to the addition of garlic, basil and fresh ricotta cheese, beats the similar slice from Christian’s hands down.
The menu is certainly more expansive at I ❤ N.Y. Pizza as well – they offer subs, Stromboli, calzones, burgers, buffalo wings, pasta and cannoli. Thanks to the number of options with deals and combos, you are almost guaranteed to get more bang for your buck at I ❤ N.Y. Pizza.
What’s more, I heart N.Y. has a certain advantage that could certainly give them an edge over Christian’s Pizza – both are open late, but when it comes to delivery, N.Y. benefits from the location on Laurel, which thanks to better road access and parking, should ensure they are the faster delivery. In the time I was in eating, the driver managed to make two deliveries and come back, so even having just opened, they are dependable for delivery.
In many ways, you have an interesting case study in comparing the two – both are pizza parlors that serve brick oven pies, feature late-night specials, and on paper, should not be much different. It is everything other than the pizza – the service, better delivery, lower prices and bigger menu – that ends up making all the difference in making I heart N.Y. Pizza better than Christian’s. Head on down and grab a slice for yourself.