Its across-Broadway cousin may get all the attention, but Famiglia’s has its defenders. Local Cheese-and-Tomatoes Correspondent Liz Naiden makes the case.
Famous Famiglia’s is in a tough spot – pitiable, really. Across the street, Koronet’s catches the drunk and the indiscriminate, while other nearby restaurants often snag the sober remainders with slices that are a bit more expensive and “sophisticated.” All too often, Famiglia’s finds itself caught in between.
But for your own sake, turn away from the light of freshman year nostalgia, and take that step towards the west side of Broadway. Remember what pizza is supposed to be – not an overwhelming greasy inebriated mess, not gluten-free, not expensive, and not freshly reheated for the tenth time to achieve Pinnacle’s signature rock-hard bottom and gelatinous cheese. Pizza should be a simple thing, and Famiglia’s is your local corner pizza place. The pizza is the right size for lunch, does not require sharing, and (most importantly) is perfectly manageable with one hand. And even if you’ve never been to Famiglia’s, no one can argue that Pinnacle’s similarly average-sized slice is better than, well, anything.
And Famiglia’s slice is not to be dismissed for culinary reasons. With whiter, smoother cheese that actually looks and tastes like mozzarella, and a sauce that bears some evidence of coming from a tomato, Famiglia’s slice provides a somewhat cleaner taste than Koronet’s. Famiglia’s also uses noticeably less salt and the pizza produces napkin-provably reduced amounts of grease compared to the jumbo across the street.
Famiglia’s is a chain restaurant, and Starbucks haters may disapprove on those grounds. But you may find it hard to turn the harsh, disapproving frown of yuppie hatred onto the really remarkable kitch and faux-Italian personality of Famiglia’s. It’s trying so, so hard to be an old fashioned Italian pizza joint that it’s hard not to take it at its word.
Unfortunately for Famiglia’s, Columbia students are ill-disposed to pity anything. But then why not think of Famiglia’s as the underdog? Throw your support behind a vigilante fighting against the empire across the street, and remember that anytime you’re less than blackout drunk, the less greasy alternative might just hit the spot. Give the average slice a chance.