On my Memorial Day visit to Ithaca - the same one on which I stopped with my family at The Connection, I also grabbed a slice from nearby College Town Pizza.
This is a smallish pizza shop located near the Cornell campus, although a sign in the window indicated that they're soon moving (I didn't have a pen handy so I forget where they're headed, but I don't think it was far away).
The good news was that they had a vast array of slices to choose from. That was also the bad news, though, because most of them appeared to have been sitting there for quite some time on this holiday mid-afternoon.
I wanted a plain cheese slice, in part so I could compare it to the slice I got at The Connection.
The sole available cheese slice, however, was the last slice of the pie whence it came, and didn't look too fresh. And often the last slice is the smallest, since many servers serve up the biggest slices first.
I think I might've been given a break on the price, as I saw the guy whom I took to be the proprietor say something to the cashier/server, and when I asked her what I owed, she replied, "Uh, just a dollar." Maybe I'm misinterpreting it, and I can't be sure, as I didn't see any prices listed anywhere (the only thing I saw written on the walls was graffiti, which is apparently permitted, if not encouraged here), but it just seemed as if I got a price break because this wasn't a prime slice.
Whatever. It was cheap, that's all I know.
The slice was reheated prior to being served to me, and the result - initially, at least - was a pleasant surprise. The thin crust was nicely charred, and quite crisp.
Too crisp, as it turned out. The slice broke in half, sideways, when I started to bit the tip, and the entire crust and the slice as a whole were very dry. I don't know if much of the water from the sauce had evaporated by the time I got it, or if there just wasn't much sauce on the pie to begin with, but this was a very dry slice of pizza. I suspect that evaporation played a role, as a fresh crust, even without sauce, ought to have a certain amount of moisture on the inside. This one didn't.
That said, it tasted OK. Due in part to the paucity of sauce, it was cheese-dominated, and the cheese was acceptable, basic mozzarella. I also noticed a definite presence of oregano.
College Town does have an impressive array of specialty pizzas available, from a minimalist marinara pizza with nothing but sauce and basil to a carnivore's dream, a meat lover's pizza laden with sausage, pepperoni, ground beef, steak, meatballs and bacon. They also offer wings, subs, pasta, wraps, Italian entrees, and sides.
I wasn't crazy about this slice, frankly, but I could tell that the pizza itself had the potential for greatness. I'm really just guessing when I say I think it had been sitting out for too long, but if that is what was going on here, then a fresh slice might've vaulted this pizza into the top tier. Based on what I had, though, the best I can give it is a C. That doesn't mean I didn't like it, only that it was, all things considered, good enough, but no better than good enough.
College Town Pizzeria, 401 College Ave., Ithaca
Thu. - Sat: 11 a.m. - 4 a.m., Sun. - Wed. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
(Delivery until 30 minutes before closing time)