I’ve never been to Late Night Slice, which, for all the new students entering Ohio State, is considered a criminal offense in the city of Columbus.
The pizza joint won Ohio State’s best pizza place last year, so I had to investigate for everyone. 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 thing was first, I had to do some research. I investigated the general information first. Cool location? Check. $4 slices? Worth it for the size. Open until 3 a.m.? Even better.
I then opened my reliable Yelp app, because, if you weren’t aware, everyone on Yelp is a professional food critic. I knew I could trust these people. 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 the bar set relatively high and America’s Test Kitchen podcast full volume to get into the foodie mood, I made my way downtown. The uber ride was only $8, which already earned the place major points.
The red brick building and the flashing neon signs 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 the cute dog hanging out there helped me look past its shortcomings in size.
When I got inside my eyes didn’t know where to look first. The eclectic array of paintings and photos on the wall? The “before I die” chalkboard that someone had written “spoon Reese Witherspoon” on? The bar with every bottle of alcohol imaginable? The two children having a pool stick sword fight?
Remaining focused, I checked out the menu. Six different kinds of pizza by the slice or as full pies. Twelve specialty pizzas. A build your own option. Salad options lovingly labeled as “rabbit food.” Breadsticks! Cheezy breadsticks! Cannoli chips?! Something called the Cheezus Crust? My mind was racing.
I approached the counter and was greeted by the staff. I congratulated the employees on winning Ohio State’s best pizza place and they were genuinely psyched about it. I asked my new friends if they knew how to toss pizza dough like a professional and they honored me with a live demonstration. I asked if I could try but the manager said no. In hindsight it was probably for the best.
After thinking way too hard about it, I ordered a slice of mushroom with roasted garlic and a side of breadsticks. I told the man I ordered from it was okay for me to get both because I was carb loading for my workout tomorrow. (I have no intentions of working out tomorrow.)
Pizza and breadsticks in hand, they directed me to the sauce station. Ranch, garlic sauce, a spicy sauce, and something called unicorn sauce. Being the meticulous professional I am, I got all four.
It was time. The moment of truth. I didn’t know where to start. Pizza or breadsticks first? Should I dip my first bite in one of the sauces? Which sauce? All four at once? 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.
I took my first bite, followed by four more dipped in each individual sauce.
I ate the entire slice and every single breadstick in under 11 minutes. (I timed myself.) When I finished, I sat in my booth and reflected on what I had just experienced. It was delicious. The tastes sang sweet melodies to my taste buds. Each sauce brought something different to the table. It was a complete team effort from every ingredient.
I tried to think of one bad thing and all I could come up with was that the bathroom was out of paper towels.
Everything about Late Night Slice had character. The art, the lighting, the seating, the pool table in the corner, the wall of old records, the mural of The Last Supper, the neon graffiti that covered every surface of the place including the trash can. It was alluring.
The staff was fun, the location is perfectly stationed by the downtown bars (and conveniently open until 3 in the morning). And better yet, the food was phenomenally delicious and perfectly greasy.
With my investigation complete, I was satisfied with my results. I could now say I understood why Late Night Slice won Ohio State’s 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 respon