Although Williamstown might not be the place where you would expect legendary pizzerias, surprisingly we do have a dynamic pizza scene in this small town. Newcomers are eager to establish a foothold with their creative menus, and old businesses that have been around for years maintain their standard while trying to improve with new items. Instead of tasting the “big three” – your everyday cheese, pepperoni, and BBQ chicken pizzas – I reached out beyond my comfort zone to try some less conventional slices from area pizzerias. No longer do you need to run to the ’82 Grill at 12:45 a.m. to satisfy your late night pizza craving. Next time you are struggling after burning off all your daily calories on the dance floor, don’t forget to give these pizzerias a try.
A newbie entering Williamstown’s pizzeria scene, Spring Street Pizza makes itself a strong competitor with a solid specialty pizza menu. Although the regular cheese slice costs less, it’s totally worth an extra 50 cents paying for a daily specialty slice ($3) that is jumbo size. During a recent visit, I enjoyed a slice of barbeque Pulled Pork pizza ($12.95 for a medium pie), which stands out with its striking flavor combinations. Their wood stone oven crafts the perfect pizza crusts, golden and crispy. Strewn generously on top of the slice, the pulled pork is tender, flavorful and moist, thanks to hours of braising in their homemade sauce. While some perfectly caramelized mushrooms bring out the mellow taste, the pickled jalapeno adds a sharp, spicy accent.
This pizzeria is definitely the most veggie friendly one around campus, since nearly half of the pizza items on their menu are meatless. With that being said, it may seem counter-intuitive that we listened to the owner’s recommendation and ordered the Meat Lovers pizza ($14.95 for a medium pie) instead. So for our more carnivorous readers, there are plenty of options for you too. Loaded with all sorts of meat, including crispy bacon bits, ham, meatballs, pepperoni and sausages, the pizza is the way to go if you crave for nothing but meat. Although some might find the crunchy, cracker-like texture of the crust a bit odd, the copious amount of meat toppings definitely redeems it. Smeared with salsa sauce and topped with grilled chicken, onions, and peppers, the Chicken Fajita pizza looked good as well – I’ll be back for you.
Some people sneer at Hot Tomatoes as a wanna-be Neapolitan-style pizzeria, but the place maintains its popularity among locals for a reason: They unquestionably have the freshest ingredients. The crust stays true to the classic Neapolitan pizza with its thin, soft but chewy texture. According to the owner, Shrimp and Goat Cheese pizza ($14.95) is in great demand these days and is almost as popular as barbeque chicken. A good amount of fresh baby shrimps are embedded in layers of goat cheese that smells more pungent than it tastes. Spiced with garlic and dried oregano, the pizza actually tastes quite mild, or even bland for those who are used to pizzas with heavy, salty tomato sauce. Drizzles of olive oil add a more delicate flavor to the slice, and those beautiful charred spots at the bottom are just another sign of good Neapolitan pizzas.