By Jacquie Simone
It’s 2:17 a.m. on a Saturday. While sitting around with your friends, reminiscing about your exploits and shenanigans of earlier in the night, your stomach starts to join in the conversation. It gurgles and squeaks, begging to be fed. If you don’t appease its demands soon, who knows what will happen.
You frantically search for a pizza place that’s still open. Finally, you choose Ameritalia, a relative newcomer to the competitive Ithaca pizza scene. Once you taste the cheesy, crispy, but surprisingly not greasy pizza, you know it’s love at first bite between your stomach and Ameritalia.
This isn’t to say that Ameritalia is exclusively for the post-party palate; this pizza passes the test whether or not your stomach is full of beer. While their menu includes various sandwiches and pasta dishes, it’s best to stick with the pizza instead of the rather lackluster other fare. And with so many pizza varieties, who can complain? I don’t eat meat, but I’ve been told that the gourmet pizzas, like chicken bacon ranch, are worth a try for the omnivores out there. I recommend the white garlic and ricotta pizza. The large mounds of ricotta are delectably smooth, and the garlic flavor is present but not overly powerful. I’m not usually a big fan of crust, but for this pizza the crust has sesame seeds and is particularly crispy.
Of course, pizzerias should really be judged by the quality of their cheese pizza. Ameritalia’s recipe is similar to nearby Sammy’s, but slightly less greasy. The sauce is perfectly sweet, and the crust is thin and light. The portions are large enough that I was full after two slices and a side of garlic knots.
Ameritalia has a bunch of great deals, so you can fill your belly without emptying your wallet. Depending on whether you order online or by calling, a large cheese pizza is around 10 dollars. Don’t miss the garlic knots—you get five for only a dollar plus tax.
If you feel compelled to go out for pizza instead of ordering in, Ameritalia is conveniently located in the Commons, at 111a E. State St. The interior is a typical, no-frills pizza place. Customers order at the counter and sit in booths or at tables while eating off paper plates. The employees are generally helpful if you’re looking for a recommendation. You shouldn’t go to Ameritalia if you’re looking for ambiance; it’s simply a place for cheap, delicious food.
In a college town like Ithaca, where there are more students than permanent residents, pizzerias have to keep their quality up and their prices down in order to stay competitive. It’s time for starving undergrads to celebrate, because Ameritalia looks like it’s here to stay.
Jacquie Simone is a junior journalism and politics major, and the editor of News & Views. E-mail her at [email protected]