Until recently, I had never been to Mikey’s Late Night Slice, which I’ve come to understand is considered a criminal offense in the city of Columbus. When I learned it won Best of OSU’s vote for best Columbus pizza joint, I had to investigate. What made this particular pizza place the best? Was I insane for never experiencing this supposedly magical pizza? Was it even that good? Am I dumb for asking that question?
First things first, I had to do some research. I opened my trusty Yelp app and got down to business. I investigated the general information first. Cool location? Check. Four-dollar slices? Incredible. Open until 3 a.m.? Even better.
I then ventured into the written reviews. Sarah S. said it was “REALLY” good pizza. Mike D. said it was his favorite pizza place in town. Julia J. said the staff was super friendly and fast. Gettin M. (cool name) said “Ayo, I like this joint man.” My personal favorite was Jake D., who said “Anyone that Yelps this restaurant at less than five stars is an actual zombie.”
James W. said it gave him food poisoning, but I ignored that one.
With high expectations, I made my way to the downtown location at 268 S. Fourth St. and only got lost twice –– not too bad. There were a ton of parking spots. Granted, it was a Wednesday afternoon, but the amount of space was still impressive.
The red brick building and the flashing neon “Booze” and “Pizza” signs in the window made the restaurant stick out like a journalism major walking through the engineering building. I took note of the outdoor patio; it was small but cozy.
When I got inside I had no idea where to look first. The eclectic array of paintings and photos on the wall? The “Before I die” chalkboard on which someone had written “Spoon Reese Witherspoon?” The fully stocked bar? The two children running around with pool sticks in their hands?
Then my eyes landed on the menu. My jaw dropped. Six different kinds of pizza by the slice or as full pies. Twelve specialty pizzas. A build-your-own option. Salad options they lovingly labeled as “Rabbit food.” Breadsticks. Cheezy breadsticks! Cannoli chips?! Something called the Cheezus Crust? My mind was racing.
After much deliberation, I ordered a slice of mushroom with roasted garlic and a side of cheezy breadsticks. I convinced myself it was OK to get both because I was carb-loading for my workout tomorrow (I have no intention of working out tomorrow).
Pizza and breadsticks in hand, I thought the hard part was over until they directed me to the sauce station –– ranch, garlic sauce, a spicy sauce, and something called unicorn sauce. I decided to make it easy on myself and got all four.
The dining area had a ton of tables positioned under hazy, multicolored light fixtures. It had a dive-bar feel to it. I needed the most space possible so I chose a comfy booth that probably fit about six people at once.
It was time. The moment of truth. I didn’t know where to start. Pizza or breadsticks? Should I dip my first bite in one of the sauces? Am I in over my head?
I figured the best first impression would be the pizza by itself. The slice was bigger than my face and longer than my forearm. The thin crust was crisp but not burnt. The mushrooms were perfectly scattered, and the garlic was seamlessly roasted. It was so beautiful I almost didn’t want to eat it. Almost.
I took my first bite and before I even started chewing my immediate thoughts were “This is amazing” and “This is my new favorite pizza place.”
I ate the entire slice and every single breadstick in less than 11 minutes –– I timed myself. When I finished, I sat in my booth and reflected on what I had just experienced. I tried to think of one bad thing and all I could come up with was that the bathroom was out of paper towels.
With my investigation complete, I was satisfied with my results. I could now say I understood why Late Night Slice won Columbus’ best, and I completely agreed with the outcome. I said goodbye to the staff and told them I’d be returning shortly. They laughed and responded, “most people do.”