FINALLY! I’ve been complaining for years that there were no pizza-by-the-slice places near Western Michigan University. I’ve spent a lot of time on a lot of different college campuses and one of my favorite things has always been the ability to get a slice of pizza late in to the night. For some amazing reason, that was never an option near WMU.
That changed last week. After many agonizing years, I’ve finally got that late night place where I can grab a quick slice on my way home from work…..and the drunk kids can get something after the bars close.
Hot Slice is the newest tenet of 2700 West on West Michigan Avenue near Howard Street across from the Campus Pointe Mall. This is the second restaurant that has opened up on the main level retail space. The Old Goat Tavern is the other.
I picked L up from school on Wednesday since I’m still home on paternity leave. J typically takes her for dinner on the way home and L said she wanted Wendy’s. The Wendy’s on West Michigan is not too far out of the way and the closest to our house, so I headed that way to pick her up some chicken nuggets.
As I passed 2700 West, I noticed an open sign for Hot Slice. I had seen signage for the restaurant for several weeks, but this is the first time I had seen that particular sign lit. I didn’t really want Wendy’s anyway, so I drove past it (yes, I did go back for L…I didn’t make her eat pizza with me when she really wanted a “milkshake” (Frosty) and turned in to the parking lot behind the building of the townhouses.
Unlike The Old Goat, there is no rear entrance that I saw for Hot Slice. There’s kind of a common entrance that I assume is for the townhouses that looked like you could get in to the restaurant from, but I didn’t know that at the time. I also wasn’t really sure where to park. A lot of the spots in that parking lot are numbered. Again, I’m guessing that is for residents. I’m sure most of the traffic in to Hot Slice is going to be foot traffic, but it seems a little odd that parking and getting in to the building was so cumbersome.
I eventually parked on the east side of the building near what used to be Lafayette Street and walked back around to the front entrance on Michigan Avenue. The only way to get in to that parking lot from Michigan Avenue is from Euclid Avenue. Lafayette is shut down now at the parking lot for the old 7-Eleven.
The restaurant is very sparsely decorated. There is a large kitchen in the middle then just three tables and a chest high counter to stand at and eat near the windows. It actually feels a little unfinished, but when you’re just serving slices, I guess there’s not a lot of need for tables.
Hot Slice is set up a little different that most pizza by the slice places I’ve been to in the past. Instead of a counter of several pies already made, they have just two large cheese pizzas under warming lamps. There is then a large list of toppings that you can add that are put on before being thrown back in to the oven to warm up.
I thought I was hungry so I ordered myself two slices of the pizza. I got one with just pepperoni and one with pepperoni and bacon. The guy working the kitchen grabbed two slices from the warming area and topped them off with the meats. He then added another layer of cheese and threw them in the pizza oven for a quick warm up before wrapping them up and handing them to me. Since I still had to get L and J dinner, I grabbed the two slices and headed out the door.
When I got home, I started in first with the bacon slice. Guess what. The pizza was good. The slices are large, NY Style slices with a lot of grease and a lot of flavor. It’s exactly the kind of slice you want after a night of drinking (or whatever it is college kids do nowadays…..). The thin slice of pizza was doing everything it could to hang on to the generous portions of meat and cheese that were topping the thin, crispy crust.
The cost of a slice of pizza is $2.75 then $.25 for each topping. My two slices cost $6.50 which I paid cash for.
I cannot begin to explain how excited I am that a slice place has finally made a home in Kalamazoo. I work late and my dinner options are always limited. Hot Slice is open to 4:00 AM every night (except Sunday and Monday when they’re not open at all) which means there is always a time for quick, delicious pizza.