One of the most famous foods to exist, pizza, is a staple for every American college student (lactose-intolerant individuals aside). And being in New Jersey, Montclair State University students are no strangers to good pizza, whether from the Big Apple itself or their local hometown pizzeria.
So Gourmet Dining, the new dining vendor on campus, already had some tough expectations to fulfill when making their spin on a campus pizzeria. The result is 1908 Pizzeria, an update to the old pizzeria that used to be on campus.
Still located in the Rathskeller of the Student Center, 1908 Pizzeria offers pizza by the slice. This is different than the pizzeria of last year, which served personal pies. Students can choose to get a plain slice, a white slice or one with pepperoni, meatballs or eggplant and onion. 1908 also serves wings, tenders, sandwiches and more.
Let’s start with the prices, which are similar to what off-campus pizzerias offer. Slices are $3.20 to start, plus a few additional cents depending on what toppings you get. The price for wings, while expensive, is also on par with what off-campus pizzerias have to offer. For six wings, students pay $9.10. It makes more sense to buy 12 wings for just under four bucks extra. Sandwiches are around the $10 mark.
To its credit, 1908 does a decent job when it comes to the taste of the pizza. Sure, Dave Portnoy probably would not give a slice from here a very high rating, but for college pizza, it certainly gets the job done. There is no shortage of cheese on the slice, and the crust tastes more pizzeria-style than the personal pies did last year. Plus, there are red pepper flakes and oregano at the counter, which is nice to see.
However, it is missing a little something. Maybe it is the Italian in me, but it just does not match what you get in your local Italian pizzeria. It is lacking that extra bit of love.
The integrity of the pizza was not award-winning either. The pizza sadly flops when you pick it up, which is disappointing to see.
The pizza was greasy as well, especially the pepperoni slice I got. I would recommend blotting your slice with a napkin to remove excess grease. Between stomach issues and acne, oil is the last thing college students need.
The wings were not as impressive. They got the job done, I suppose, but they were small and on one occasion, the meat was hard to get through the amount of bone and cartilage, which was a major detriment to my eating experience.
I never got a chance to try the sandwiches, as every time I tried to order them they were listed as “sold out.” I am not sure if this was due to a supply issue or a technical glitch, but definitely, something to be aware of when ordering.
Speaking of which, that brings me to my next point. The only way that students can order is through Grubhub, which prevents 1908 from having the charm of a normal pizzeria. There’s something special about going up to the counter and ordering a slice. Instead, everything is done through the phone, which is a major vibe kill.
1908 Pizzeria is open from Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For the weekdays, those are very convenient hours for students, although an early morning slice sure would be nice to have. However, being closed on the weekends is a huge disappointment for resident students in particular.
The environment has not changed much from last year. During the day, the Rathskeller is a vibrant hub of student activities and voices. During the later hours, however, the opposite comes true, with only a handful of students in the area.
However, things could totally change in the coming months in terms of appearance. There is a sign in the Rathskeller teasing a renovation, where the area would be modeled after a pub. This would bring a whole different vibe to 1908, but we’ll have to wait and see when that comes about.
Overall, the 1908 Pizzeria is not a half-bad option for students looking for a bite to eat. With decent taste and comparable prices, you certainly could do worse.
One last word from your friendly Italian: pineapple DOES NOT belong on pizza.