The Clarion

Ian’s, Pizza Di Roma, or Lotsa? Does it matter?

Mario Gasparri, Staff Writer

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When a student first enters college, one of the first realities they face is the absence of mom’s home cooking, and not having their lunch packed for them every day. For students who have never cooked anything more complex than a box of mac n’ cheese, the first instinct is to go to their respective dining hall, and eat the burgers with soggy buns, or salads that have been sitting out for days. After that gets old, they turn to eateries located around campus, where the results vary. It can be too expensive, have poor service, or is a bomb packed with unhealthy fats and carbohydrates that will explode your insides. There is only one constant among this unfortunate food system plaguing college students: pizza. An efficient, but simple way to feed yourself without breaking the bank.

In theory, a pizza should never be poorly done when all it consists of is a crust, sauce, and cheese, maybe some anchovies. Not a hard concept, but somehow many restaurants know how to completely botch this process. We as students aren’t going to a fancy restaurant like Naples 15 or Paisan’s Pizza to catch a slice, so we are led to only a couple options.

You can get your Pizza Hut, Dominoes, or Little Caesar’s whenever, but when it comes to local options here in Madison, I see Ian’s as one of the more popular venues, but I don’t know why, and it bothers me. Truly a hit-or-miss chain, Ian’s can give you cold-slices, a chewy crust, or a marinara sauce that as an Italian, I know I am offending my deceased ancestors as I eat it. Even on Ian’s better days, it’s a risk to order a whole pie. Yes, the slices are huge, and, I see the variety, but no, I don’t want to be surrounded by 1000 drunk people when I order. You can do better than Ian’s and you know it, unless you are getting the mac n’ cheese pizza, that one’s not bad.

A step-up from Ian’s might be State Street favorite since 2000, Pizza Di Roma, a New-York style pizza house that offers better in-house seating and quality slices, as well as an affordable rate. It doesn’t match up perfectly with a true New York pizza, but with PDR, you know what you are getting every time. Not flashy or extraneous, PDR is what college students really want, a consistent joint that stays open until 3 AM every night, perfect for those pulling an all-nighter studying, or coming from a long night out partying. For those who love the New York Slice, this is probably the best quick option out there in Madison.

However, different from both places is Lotsa, on the corner of State and Gilman. Personal pizzas made in front of you and stone-fired for 150 seconds for a filling pizza every time. At $7.99, Lotsa is the best option on State Street. Lotsa combines quality, speed, and hominess into one, making it prime for the student on-the-move or the group who are hungry and need to kill time. These pizzas are about eight inches, split into eight slices.

You can get their signatures, which shows that Lotsa knows how to match up toppings to bring out the best flavors, or you make your own, where if it turns out bad, the problem falls on your shoulders. Go simple, or be adventurous, it doesn’t matter, Lotsa knows how to make a pizza.

Madison also offers Glass Nickel Pizza, Pizza Pit, and more, but in terms of a student-friendly joint with the best pizza, Lotsa reigns supreme. The perfect pizza is almost impossible to come by, especially here in Madison, and as long as our taste buds aren’t tainted by that perfect slice, we will continue to eat the Ian’s and PDR’s of the world, which is okay, because we don’t know any better. Most of the time, we are going to be drunk or starving, so it really doesn’t matter, but we still have to choose our favorite, and my vote goes to Lotsa.

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Ian’s, Pizza Di Roma, or Lotsa? Does it matter?