Despite attending The College of New Jersey for almost four years now, never have I made a visit into the heart of Trenton. This changed for me this past Monday as I made a trip to Columbus International Pizza.
One major takeaway from the trip was how different the city was from what I pictured it would look like. I imagined the infrastructure would be old and in desperate need of repair. These illusions were created by the many rumors tossed around the campus of how poor the area may be. To my pleasant surprise the buildings appeared in strong condition and all seemed to be well maintained. Judging simply by the atmosphere, I felt as though I was in a city close to my home in northern New Jersey such as Westfield or North Plainfield. Despite the sense of familiarity, the city still had a historic feel to it. Simply by roaming around, I could feel the tradition of the landscape’s vibe. Without having recently renovating the buildings, they still felt in style due to the retro nature of it.
Nonetheless, the destination of this trip was to Columbus International Pizza on South Warren Street. Similar to my suspicions about Trenton itself, I was skeptical of how good this restaurant would be. Especially upon learning that they do not deliver or take reservations, I was concerned the quality of pizza would be subpar at best.
In a similar manner, the outside of the store had a retro feel to it as well. Not only was the outside of the store somewhat vintage, but the inside was relatively old-fashioned as well. The restaurant was well marked with a red and green sign hanging from the building. In terms of the interior there is a narrow area in front of the counter to order, and a more open section to the side with tables.
The menu consisted of far more than just pizza as it included sandwiches, spaghetti with meatballs or sausage, Buffalo wings, French fries with cheese and even rice balls. This versatility of the menu made me a little more optimistic about the quality of food, considering the chef seems to know more than just pizza. Another thing that made my attitude more positive about the pizza before even tasting it was the many types of pizza they had on display. I was considering chicken parm, plain, pepperoni, and pasta pizza. All of which looked good aesthetically. I ended up selecting a slice of chicken parm and a slice of pepperoni. The pizza was appropriately heated up in the oven before it was served to me.
To my pleasant surprise the pizza tasted pretty good overall. I was most impressed with the red sauce as it had a nice creamy taste to it. By the same token, I enjoyed the warm and soft crust. I also found I enjoyed the peperoni as it was not too heavy. My two minor complaints were in regard to the chicken and the cheese. The chicken on the chicken parm was somewhat dry. Also, the cheese was a tad bit oily in my opinion. Besides those two shortcomings the meal was quite satisfying though. The total experience only cost me $7, as $3.50 for a specialty slice of pizza is relatively inexpensive.
I now comprehend why this place has become a staple in Trenton as they enjoy the pizza enough to come and get it. Perhaps I will be back in the future t try their plain slices or other meals on the menu during my future visits into Trenton as the store and Trenton as a whole has officially wetted my interest.