Picture this: Pizza.
Maybe you’re thinking of Domino’s or SDS. Maybe Little Caesar’s. Pizza to you could be a Chicago deep dish. It could have pineapples or banana peppers or bacon or no toppings at all.
One thing you’re probably not imagining, though, is France.
So imagine my surprise when I learned that Miami University’s own Sundial Pizza was overhauled this summer courtesy of a new dining deal with Aramark, and that Armstrong’s new pizza option is named Eiffel Pizza.
Confusing branding aside, I’m not mourning the loss of Sundial. Sure, the Bosco sticks were good, but I’ve never had a limper slice of pizza than what they served. No amount of cheese-filled bread can make up for the disappointment of a soggy piece of fork-pizza.
After I looked into the new dining website, I had a bit more hope for the new location. The chef, Mohamed, studied at the Ecole Française de Pizzaiolo in Paris, which is literally the French School of Pizza-Making. I don’t like France for personal reasons (thank you, FRE101, FRE102, FRE201 and FRE202), but they have a reputation for knowing food, even if that food is Italian.
With all that in mind, I set out to put Eiffel Pizza through a very strenuous test (read: I ordered a slice of cheese pizza). As someone imminently qualified to review food (I’m not), I can gladly say that this pizza passed.
The first thing that caught my attention was the price. A single slice of plain old cheese pizza costs $3.99, and while I’m sympathetic to inflation and Miami’s desire to squeeze every last penny out of the student body, that’s still steep.
In spite of that, the slice I got was a quarter of a whole pizza, not the standard eighth. I’m not sure if that’ll continue through the semester, but I was impressed.
The real test, though, was the sogginess.
With a comparison point like Sundial, I was optimistic that my meal wouldn’t be nearly as limp as the offerings of past semesters. Thankfully, I was right. The crust was thin but well cooked, not burnt or raw and wet. Another win.
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In terms of taste, the pizza was serviceable. It was miles ahead of the dining halls or Sundial, and I’d put it on par with most delivery places and ahead of Little Caesar’s.
The cheese-to-sauce ratio leaned more toward cheese, which I appreciate. It almost reminded me of those pizzas that get rid of the sauce entirely, and I’m a fan of that concept. There was also hardly any grease, maybe a contributing factor to the rigidity of the slice.
I was also a big fan of the little box my slice came in. Sundial had triangular boxes for individual slices. Those were fun, but Eiffel Pizza has little square boxes for individual slices which are even better. It would’ve been cool, though I’m assuming highly impractical, to have a tiny pizza to match the box instead of an oversized slice, but that’s beside the point.
I can’t speak to the rest of Eiffel Pizza’s menu, which is set to include pastas, salads, wings and cheese bread. But if my slice of cheese pizza is anything to go by, I’m optimistic that it’ll all be a solid option for a Wednesday lunch, just not something I’ll miss when I’m home on winter break.
If Aramark really wants to impress, though, they’d better have a good location in mind to replace Toasted Bagel, and even then I’m not sure if I’ll forgive them for getting rid of it.