Located at 401 Tate St. in Greensboro’s College Hill neighborhood, Slices Pizza Co. specializes in gourmet pizza and its variants (stromboli and calzone). The menu also includes soups, salads, pasta dishes, and bakery desserts. Slices offers daily lunch specials, catering, and local delivery.
Location isn’t everything in the restaurant business, but it can certainly play a big role in an establishment’s success or failure. From that standpoint, Slices debuted this past year with the deck stacked against it. It is the fourth restaurant in the past five years to try to make a go of the corner real estate on Tate and Walker. Additionally, Slices entered the scene with established competition: venerable New York Pizza sits just across the street.
Despite these unfavorable odds, early indicators are promising. Though some may dismiss the décor as too corporate, the inside of the restaurant looks the best it ever has. A pseudo-chalkboard that runs above the counter offers an informative blurb about the history of pizza while a wall houses tastefully enlarged photos of fresh ingredients. The long counter, with its parade of pies, lets patrons see before they order. If you’re having trouble making up your mind, ask one of the helpful, Italian-accented countermen. They will be glad to let you know what’s in each pie and can offer personal recommendations to suit your palate.
Slices distinguishes itself in a number of other ways, too. The “gourmet pizza” designation lends itself to topping combinations that range from Italian classics (Caprese, Calabrese, and Margherita) to standard specialties (Buffalo chicken, meat lovers, and veggie lovers) to the downright bizarre (hot dog and fries, mac n cheese). All of the specialty slices that were sampled featured quality ingredients and just the right balance of flavors. The Chicken al Pesto, for instance, was dripping with pesto sauce, but the three-cheese blend kept it from being overpowering. The Mona Lisa played creamy goat cheese and a sweet glaze against crispy zucchini and robust eggplant. The crust, while not spectacular, was even and didn’t work against the toppings.
Though the quality of ingredients suggests Sticks n Stones-level pricing, Slices is surprisingly affordable, even by College Hill standards. Specialty pies are $2.50 a slice ($15-$18 for a large pie). A recent lunch special offered two such slices and a drink for $6. Substitute one of those slices for soup or salad or make them both one-topping slices, and you’re looking at a student-friendly $5 lunch bill.
What few drawbacks there are to Slices are easy enough to overlook. The restaurant does not occupy a large space. There are fewer than a dozen tables, yet the environment, with its constant flow of music and foot traffic, couldn’t rightly be called intimate. Also, you may find pizzas on display that aren’t listed on the menu and visa versa.
All in all, Slices has a lot going for it, but whether or not it can survive among the competition remains to be seen. If you’re the least bit skeptical, come try a pie while you still have the chance.