It is a Syracuse University institution. Ask anyone around this town and they have either have a story about Varsity Pizza or at the very least know what it is and where it is. Elli Darmoyslis has been making piza at Varsity for 50 years.
Varsity is one of those places you need to not judge based upon appearance. The restruant, with a pizza counter in the fron and hot and cold line in the back, is cramped. There are rows of communal tables and a few smaller boothes scattered around. Lines from the back hot and cold lines as well as the pizza counter all spill into the center of the establishment crowding it even more. The walls are cluttered with a visual history of SU Sports. It looks dirty, it is dated and it is perfect.
Varsity is truly an amazing establishment. While it looks like a place you should only go into if all of your shots are up to date, the food it top notch. The hot line is a constant chorus of orders, and food is flowing out out at a steady pace. The pizza counter is always full, and always fresh. For me, the most important thing about Varsity is that it is always consistent. Everytime I have been, the food is the same.
So where does Varsity Pizza rank on my list? Overall, it is an acceptable slice of pizza, if you are in the area and in the mood. Is it something I will go out of my way for? Absolutely not. Varsity pizza is a greasy mess stacked on top of a dough that is stretched too thin. The perfect slice after a night of drinking or the morning after. The dough is varied through out the crust. Very thick on the out edge, becoming thinner and thinner towards the sent and tip of the slice. When held the slice will not hold, it will flop over making its walkability practicly zero. The sauce is a sweet sauce with more of a store bought flavor then something made fresh. The salty flavor of the cheese tells me right away that it pre-shredded, the pool of grease further confirms this idea. However the sauce to cheese ratio is damn near perfect every time. The sauce is never too light or too thick and the amount of cheese comes right to the edge of the sauce therefore not creating spots of over cooked sauce. Lastly, despite all of its short comings, a slice of pizza from Varsity Pizza looks good every single time.
Now for the scores:
- Crust – 2.5
- Cheese – 2
- Sauce – 2
- Cheese to sauce ratio – 3.5
- Appearance – 3.5
Overall – 2.7