There have been times in my life when I have been tired of Pizza Hut pizza or Papa John’s pizza or even Little Caesar’s pizza. Sometimes, I want something more — something fresh. And local Huntington pizza places, right here near our university, have many delicious choices to offer.In this review, I will compare a medium pepperoni pizza (10-inch or 12-inch depending on the place), and the breadsticks served with the sauces at four local pizza parlors: Z-Place Pizza, PJ Paesan’s Pizza, Jimmy Pop’s Pizza Shop and Pizza Junction Café. All four of them are a four- to eight-minute drive from HU.
Z-Place Pizza had a nice atmosphere. It seemed like a fun hangout area for anyone. There were a few arcade games between the cash register and the dining area. Walking in, the place felt comfortable and relaxing. The first thing that arrived was the breadsticks. There was a reasonable amount of marinara and cheese that came with the breadsticks, which had a little garlic flavoring and had good texture: soft all around, but slightly crisp on the bottom. The cheese was warm but held nothing special. The same could be said for the marinara, but overall, the breadsticks were enjoyable.
Soon after, the pizza arrived. The crust was thin and firm — without the crunchiness. There was not a lot of cheese, but it did cover the entirety of the pizza all the way to the edges. It was not a saucy pizza, which was nice. While there was a sufficient amount of pepperonis, there could have been more. Though it was greasy, the pizza as a whole was delicious and affordable, rounding out to $12.50 for a large pizza and three breadsticks.
PJ Paesan’s Pizza is about seven minutes away from Huntington University. It is a small place, but it only offers take-out or delivery. The food was ready less than 15 minutes after the order was placed. The breadsticks were similar to the ones at Z-Place. While there was butter on them, it did not change the flavor much. Unlike Z-Place, the breadsticks were soft all the way through, and the marinara sauce was less chunky. The pizza had the pepperonis underneath the cheese, and the toppings went all the way to the edge of the pizza. There seemed to be plenty of pepperonis on the pizza. The sauce was sweet but complemented the pizza well. The total for a medium pepperoni pizza and five breadsticks was $12.70, which is a pretty reasonable price. PJ Paesan’s Pizza highlights were the short wait time for the order, the quantity of toppings on the pizza, and the pizza itself.
Jimmy Pop’s Pizza Shop is an interesting little pizza place. It was on the corner of a large building and half of it was a bar. The pizza place was not super kid-friendly, but it was cozy nonetheless. The building itself was older, as was the music, but it was nicely selected for the atmosphere. Jimmy Pop’s breadsticks were by far the best of any other pizza place we visited. It cost $5.00 for eight of them. They were homemade, and they tasted that way. These breadsticks were seasoned and fresh out of the oven. The marinara was the same as the other places. While the cheese was cold, there was something different about it which complemented the breadsticks well.
When the pizza came, it was piping hot with a more traditional look (pepperonis on the top). The crust was fluffy on the inside with a slight crisp coating. There was not a lot of sauce, but there was a good amount of cheese and pepperonis. It was delicious. They also offer a 30-inch pizza, which would be great for a large group. Also on Wednesdays, a large pizza is only $6.00 instead of the usual $10.00.
Pizza Junction Café is probably the most famous local Huntington pizza place. The building used to be a train station, which they changed into a restaurant, but they kept the theme. The feel of the place is similar to that of a train station, which is enhanced every time an actual train travels down the tracks that are right next to the building. It harbored a very authentic vibe. The breadsticks and marinara were quite bland, (like the first two places), but the cheese was warm and a little spicy, which was appreciated.
The pizza that was served was similar to Jimmy Pop’s. It was more traditional with the cheese underneath the toppings. It had unique flavoring and the sauce was slightly sweet. The crust was squishy throughout and similar to the breadsticks, but it went very well with the toppings. There was a good amount of sauce, and the cheese was not overwhelming. The price of a medium pepperoni pizza and breadsticks was $13.67. It was a very satisfying meal with not a crumb leftover.
All four pizza places are fairly reasonably-priced, with Pizza Junction as the most expensive by a small margin. They are all located at very similar distances from Huntington University. They all have delivery and take-out options if you don’t want to leave HU or wait for 15 minutes — very convenient. Each place has its own ambiance and unique style of pizza. If I am able, I will definitely eat at every place again because all of their pizzas were very savory and delicious. For delivery, I would probably choose PJ Paesan’s or Jimmy Pop’s again. If I were going to eat out and sit down for a lower cost, then Z-Place would be the best. With the family, I would suggest Pizza Junction. Finally, for large groups or breadsticks, the chosen one is Jimmy Pop’s.