To go or not to go? We reviewed the new Gordon Street pizza place
Despite Stone Willy’s funny name their pizzas are not to be scoffed at
With the start of a new year comes a brand new takeaway pizza place for UCL students. Found on the same floor as Gordon's Cafe, Stone Willy's Pizza is situated just to the left of the door, and it's proving popular.
When I arrived with my friends at lunch hour, the takeaway was at peak capacity. A long queue stretched from the counter to the door, spilling into the Gordon's Cafe section of the floor. An enticing aroma was heavy in the air, which made for a promising start.
Initially, we were nervous about the length of the queue, but the service was surprisingly quick and it took no more than few minutes before we were at the counter.
The menu offered a small but comfortable range of items, including pizzas, melts, and wraps – basically all the same ingredients but in pizza, melt, or wrap form.
The prices were also good; £3 for a melt, a little extra for the wraps, and £6.50 for a 12-inch pizza. The menu also included at least one vegetarian/vegan wrap, melt or pizza. It's not a wealth of choices, but it's enough for a quick stop-by and snack.
My friends and I covered the main meat options, and ordered a Double Pepperoni, Meat Supreme and BBQ chicken to share between the three of us.
One big down side of Stone Willy's is that after paying, the queue fell into a bit of disarray. You're not given any receipts with any indication of your order. You just wait in a huddled clump, inconveniently in front of the drinks shelf, and you wait for someone to shout a food item you recognise before squeezing your way to the counter to grab it.
Unfortunately, there was no discernable method to this madness. When our BBQ Chicken Pizza order came through, a split-second's hesitation saw the pizza carried away in the hands of another girl who had most definitely not been waiting there as long as we had. When my friend complained, we were simply told to wait closer to the cashier.
Aside from that little 'incident' however, the service time was relatively quick and there wasn't a lot of waiting around.
The pizzas were surprisingly good. I had expected something along the lines of a Sainsbury's oven pizza, but the pizzas were really tasty considering their price and the speed at which they came out. In the spirit of this review, I of course tried a slice of all three pizzas!
The Taste Test: Double Pepperoni
The Good: Double Pepperoni is a classic, and the Stone Willy's version was extremely generous with its cheese and toppings. The dough was well baked, the perfect balance of crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside, and there was, as my friend was eager to point out, no sogginess. The pepperonis too, were baked to perfection, with just a hint of crispiness to add to the icing on the cake. (Or the pepperoni to the pizza? No? OK.)
The Bad: Despite how good it tasted, this was also an extremely greasy pizza, with oil oozing out of every slice of pepperoni. It's not a bad thing if that's what you're after, but if you want to feel a bit better about having pizza, then you should maybe choose something else (or not have pizza in the first place, but there we are…)
The Taste Test: Meat Supreme
The Great: Sometimes, the meaty pizza is literally just a normal pepperoni pizza with some chicken and bacon thrown on top. Stone Willy's Meat Supreme actually uses turkey ham – not that I could tell the difference. It did have a more distinctive, 'wild' flavour though, which was great to taste.
The Bad: I'd say this is actually a pretty decent pizza. Not perfect, as the slices were kinda uneven. (But that DOES mean you could give your friends the smallest slices if you're 'sharing'). The meat was also quite badly distributed. Apart from that though, it was awesome.
The Taste Test: BBQ Chicken
The Great: OK. First, I have to confess that I'm not usually a big fan of BBQ pizzas. But actually, out of all three, this one ended up being my favourite. The BBQ sauce wasn't overwhelmingly sweet. Instead, there was a perfect balance between the standard pizza sauce and the BBQ sauce. Top this with perfect, oozing cheese and succulent chicken chunks… Perfect.
The Bad: I mean, it's kind of a good thing in a way. Because there was so much topping on the pizza, a lot of it just ended up falling off the slices. But then again, it's not like I came here for gourmet.
The Final Call
Overall, we enjoyed our experience at Stone Willy's (no puns or innuendos intended). Prices were good, pizzas were tasty, service was quick. It's easy to see why this place fills up so quickly during lunch times! So if you're feeling a bit peckish and fancy a hot bite to eat near Gordon Square, we would really recommend stopping off here and checking this place out!