When one is inebriated, many things come to mind. What’s the fastest way home? Can I pee here and not get a public indecency citation? Do I have a shot with that girl at the party?
However, no question is more important than “what should I eat now?”
In a small college town like State College, we have the benefit of choosing from a variety of restaurants. There are local favorites like Billy O’s and Grillers, small chains like D.P. Dough and Are U Hungry as well as bigger chains like McDonald’s and Five Guys.
Despite the many options, more often than not, the choice of the intoxicated masses is pizza.
Every college student agrees that pizza is convenient, cheap, and delicious. Not to mention it makes for a great drunk food. So earlier this weekend, I traveled around State College to do a little “personal research” of my own and answer the burning question on everyone’s mind — “What is the best drunk pizza in State College?”
I established some guidelines:
- Only local pizzerias qualified, no chains. If they have a couple locations (i.e. Gumby’s) that is acceptable.
- The limited area includes The Meridian to Atherton, and Beaver to College (the only exception was Gumby’s).
- Pizza only, no D.P. Dough. I love the place, but this is for science, not pleasure.
- Only places that are open during primetime (1 a.m. or later) will be considered.
- Plain slices only. While many places have great specialty pizzas (shout out to Bell’s), to have a fair competition, everything was based on the original slice. I am no where near being close to a professional food critic, so I went solely off of what my plebeian taste buds relayed to my inebriated brain.
- Judgement is based off of four factors:
1. Time it takes to receive a slice
2. Whether or not they take Lioncash
3. Specials that would be appealing if I was drunk
- Bonus points could be added for small things such as atmosphere or public bathrooms.
After having established how I will judge this I had to figure out how I will indulge in the affairs. My logic decided I needed something to get me drunk quick (not beer), but something that would make me too incapacitated (not liquor). Naturally I settled for a Hurricane High Grav, only the finest of Malt liquors. After forty-five minutes on an empty stomach and a mid-term later (don’t worry, I got a 97), I was ready to begin the Pizza Tour of State College. (Note: these notes were taken while I was under the influence, so bare with me)
- Corinado’s – I love this place. I was first introduced to it last year predominately because my friends live at Hetzel. I knew right away that this would be a tough place to beat. Not only is it one of my favorite drunk places, but also one of my favorite places to go sober. Corinado’s is a quaint (using the term loosely) little shack located at the tip of Hetzel and College. The people who work there are a little out there, but they make damn good pizza, whatever they’re pushing on the side is clearly baked into the crust. This slice was nothing special, but it had the same Corinando’s trademark. Not a lot of sauce, but what is there is sweet and mixes in nicely with a fantastic cheese, all on top of a delicious, almost pretzel like, dough. I really love their crust. From what my eyes were able to make out, the price was $1.79/slice. they do take Lioncash again, and they have daily specials (my drunken memory recalls something about a $6 large pizza at some point, but I have been wrong before), and this all happened within 53 seconds. Bonus points were awarded for arcade games to kill time on busy nights. Also, for those who are allergic to gluten and cannot indulge in the majesty that is pizza, they have gluten free dough so you can enjoy food just like everyone else.
- Lil Mama’s (a.k.a. Brother’s East ) – They have really good daily specials which vary from slice combos to full meals which include salads and drinks. This pizzeria recently bought out the previous Brother’s and has a very homely feel to it, but being drunk I didn’t care about that. All I wanted was a bathroom, which they had, so bonus points. The only way I can explain this pizza is full and delicious. It’s $1.59/slice, and while they do not take Lioncash yet, it only took 58 seconds to get a slice of solid Italian pizza.
- Canyon – Let me start off by saying I hate Canyon. We’re all familiar with this low-class pizza. For most of us, it’s a major part of our lives. I contemplate how this place is consistently packed night in and night out. It has premier location and of course, it’s $1 a slice — which is the cheapest (and I’m referring to it’s quality as well) slice of pizza on my journey. That being said, Canyon did not disappoint. It’s so disgustingly cheesy, if it were not for the marinara and/or ranch, it would be unbearable. For how fast Canyon is too, they took a surprising 1:30 to get the Lioncash minimum of 3 slices to ring up. Not only was this a disappointing trip, but came the aftertaste that you have to experience to describe.
- College Pizza – I have a soft spot for this place because it was the first pizza place I ever went to in State College as a kid. That being said, I was really tempted to get the $3.50 special (2 slices plain, 1 breadstick, and a refillable drink) but i realized I had to eat a lot more pizza. After a quick bathroom stop (10 points for Ravenclaw) I got a slice of plain with Lioncash for $1.24 (the second least expensive so far) in just 1 minute. The pizza itself is nothing special. It was light on the sauce and very plain. However they do have hot and mild sauces to add a little spice to the otherwise bland pizza. For how much I love this place, it’s hard to admit it’s flavor is disappointing. However; I am drunk and don’t really care. The taste of Canyon is still in my mouth too.
- Bell’s Greek – I have been on a constant binge of this place recently. They have the best specialty pizzas (I’m a Hawaiian fan myself) in State College. They also have great deals on plain slices Monday through Wednesday. However, tonight’s trip cost $1.25, courtesy of Lioncash, and was ready in just 20 seconds. The traditionally thick Greek pizza is ridiculously cheesy, but where Canyon is flawed, Bell’s picks it up. The greasy pizza is fantastic, however, as a drunk pizza, not that great. Canyon is still going strong, in and around my mouth.
- Brother’s (West) – This pizzeria is hidden right next to the Snappy’s on College Ave. For $1.97, I expected it to be the best pizza I’ve ever tasted in State College. So after a swipe of my handy-dandy Lioncash and 1 minute and 5 seconds later, I got my slice of pizza. It was good, just not $2 good. It may be a weird thing to say, but it was very well combined. The cheese, to sauce, to crust ratio was spot on. They also have daily specials which I am starting to learn is a trending thing at pizza places.
- Gumby’s – After a quick half-a-forty break, I made my way to Pugh St. I had a childhood love for Gumby, as most people do. When I first found out that there was a place called Gumby’s, I thought it was a mistake. Then I heard they make Pokey Stix. So I thought to myself, this may be the coolest place ever. However, I was not getting Pokey Stix this time. This is a Pizza Tour. And they do make pizza. It resembles College Pizza a lot in my humble opinion. Luckily I got their when they started serving slices, which are $1.50, and it only took 50 seconds to prepare. I didn’t focus on specials here, because I was more focused on finding a bathroom, which they don’t have. Overall it made me realize that I miss Gumby. Not that taste in my mouth from Canyon, it’s finally gone. But the green clay figure of my youth.
- Mama Mia’s – My final stop for the night was the snug little spot on College Ave. that anyone could miss if they aren’t looking hard enough. I heard nothing but rave reviews of this location, so I was thoroughly intrigued to try it. After completely walking by it the first time, I doubled back to literally the nicest, and most Italian looking pizza place in State College. Thankfully they took Lioncash, because this pizza was $2 even. I was served in 1 minute and 41 seconds and sat done with the best looking slice of the night. I wasn’t paying attention to their specials, but they did have a bathroom which is all that mattered at this point. Aside from that they have legitimately delicious looking food served on real plates not the paper one’s that litter the street in front of Canyon Ew, Canyon. Distractions aside, I took my first bite of this particular pizza and it’s flavor was particularly hard to explain. This pizza was almost too good for its own being. I can’t even categorize it as drunk pizza because literally everything about it was perfect. From the homemade sauce to the special dough with the slightest hint of sweetness, Mama Mia’s is just fantastic.
Based on these findings, I believe this to be the order of the Best Drunken Pizza in State College:
- Mama Mia’s
- Lil Mama’s
- Bell’s Greek
Did we leave out your favorite late night pizza spot? Do you disagree with any of our findings? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.