Flyby Tries: Joe’s Pizza
While the world is reckoning with “It’s Joever,” for Harvard Square, it’s the opposite. This fall, Harvard Square welcomed New York-chained Joe’s Pizza at 3 Brattle Street, where &Pizza and the Milk Bar (rip) used to stand valiantly. With its central location and late opening hours (past midnight!), Joe’s Pizza has all the ingredients of a new campus favorite. However, let’s see if it can pass the most difficult test of all — Flyby’s vibe check.
I must admit, as a non-New Yorker, I have no opinion or knowledge of Joe’s Pizza prior to its arrival at Harvard Square. While personally, I will forever long for a day when we have a true fast food restaurant in the Square (McDonald’s, if you’re reading this, please, I’m begging), I also don’t object to more pizza places on campus at the moment.
Vibe checker’s neutrality: solid
Joe’s Pizza definitely gives off a busy urban city vibe, with its small and compact size, fast-paced services, and pop music that I couldn’t really hear given the amount of people talking and enjoying themselves. Thankfully, it has indoor seating and I was able to grab a seat on the counter with a direct view of the busy intersection in front of CVS and the new Starbucks (yes, it will always be the NEW Starbucks to me). The actual view is okay, but the feeling of sitting there makes it immaculate. There is something very cathartic about having a direct view of the Square’s busyness while contently savoring a cheese pizza slice.
The Wall of Celebrities
Like that one annoying tryhard, Final Club member wannabe in your Econ section, Joe’s Pizza does not hesitate to namedrop its various famous patrons, such as Bill Murray, Kim K., and “Joever” club member Joe Jonas. Of course, they do it in a more low-key way with just a wall of photos of all the celebrities that have visited the various Joe’s Pizza locations around the country. This, I realize, is a fun game to play while waiting for the long line of customers to move forward before you can place your order.
I was intimidated by the line inside Joe’s Pizza the first time I visited it. As a new establishment with a well-known brand name, it is no surprise that its opening brings forth a long line of customers, eager to check it out even on a school night. However, despite the amount of waiting customers, ordering, paying, and getting my pizza slices took less than a minute. Yay!
Of course, my visit to Joe’s Pizza isn’t solely about the vibe. I was also dying to taste the pizza. I got two slices: a classic cheese pizza and a supreme pizza. The portion was big which made the price a little less painful and the taste was amazing. While I definitely preferred the cheese pizza, I gotta admit that the mushroom and pepperoni on the supreme slice were super well-done. Even a certified mushroom hater like myself enjoys it! And for all your crust lovers out there, you’re gonna have a wonderful time with the thin crispy crust that Joe’s offers.
Like all Harvard Square establishments, however, Joe’s Pizza lacks the one thing that Harvard students desperately need: cheaper price. For two slices of pizza (though, admittedly, they were huge slices of pizza), it cost $10. While I did enjoy my brief visit to Joe’s Pizza, for the sake of my wallet, I regrettably will not make this a regular thing.
Joe’s Pizza is a welcoming addition to Harvard Square, and I definitely recommend checking it out (especially if you do not personally have to pay for it *cough* get Harvard to pay for it *cough*!) Only time will tell if this can become a new hub for students, for now, I’ll enjoy some overpriced but delish pizza with friends before midterms have us all locked in the library in just a few weeks.