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The Fightin’ Tiger at City Slice was too salty, too greasy and too chewy for us. We abandoned it after a couple of slices.

Eating at City Slice Pints & Pizza is like taking a culinary road trip around the United States.

Primarily a pizza joint, City Slice serves a selection of regional American comfort foods — Buffalo wings, Connecticut-style pizza and Chicago hoagies.

The main attraction, the pizza, is advertised as “apizza,” a style originating from New Haven, Connecticut, that Connecticut food writer Amy Kundrat described as “hotter, crispier and dirtier” than traditional Neapolitan pizzas.

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The mozzarella sticks at City Slice were huge — and a little undercooked. 

City Slice, part of the City Pork family of restaurants, opened in August on Chimes Street in the LSU North Gate area. It's entering a crowded market of higher-end pizza joints in Baton Rouge.

Inside, City Slice shares some design elements with the other City Pork establishments: rough-cut, pine-colored wainscoting on one wall and chalk art menus behind the bar. But it’s mixed with quasi-futuristic fixtures, including an amoeba-shaped ceiling structure that holds modern light pendants and a shiny metallic border around the kitchen entrance. Televisions dominate nearly every wall.

My friend and I started lunch last week by asking our waitress which appetizer she preferred. She directed us to the mozzarella sticks ($8). They were huge logs of chewy cheese served with a side of a savory marinara. Each stick had a cold spot or two near the middle. While they were perfectly edible, they were pulled from the fryer or oven a little too quickly.

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One of our favorite dishes at City Slice was the Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich. The juicy sliced steak and pickled Italian vegetables were excellent.

Scanning the list of specialty apizzas, we settled on The Fightin’ Tiger ($18), which is packed with pepperoni, bacon, ham, Italian sausage, hamburger and andouille. It fit what I understand to be the New Haven style of apizza, with plenty of toppings and a hand-shaped crust. That crust was chewier than I expected, and the gobs of cheese took awhile to break down. The spice of the andouille stood out among the other salty meats — it would be a great topping for those who love Tabasco on pizza.

For both of us, The Fightin’ Tiger was too salty, too cheesy and too greasy — just too much. We each tired of it after a slice, and on the way out we gave our leftovers to some college kids at the coffeehouse next door.

Along with the apizza, I tried one of City Slice’s specialty sandwiches, the Italian hot beef sandwich ($12), which was well-executed. A Chicago specialty, the sandwich is packed with juicy sliced steak, mozzarella cheese and giardiniera, an Italian relish made with pickled carrots, celery, bell peppers and other vegetables. Served on a crispy hoagie roll au jus, the sandwich stacked up against some of my favorite po-boys in New Orleans. The hand-cut fries served on the side were as good as fries get — freshly made and golden brown.

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While we were disappointed in our first pizza, the Neapolitan met our expectations. It was crispy and lighter.

Because the pizza on my first visit was disappointing, I wanted to give City Slice another try. I returned for lunch a few days later and ordered the Neapolitan ($15). Because a Neapolitan typically features a thinner, crispier crust with minimal cheese and only fresh tomatoes and basil as toppings, it seemed the antithesis of The Fightin’ Tiger. While City Slice’s version was a little cheesier than expected for a Neapolitan, which typically has minimal mozzarella, I enjoyed this pizza. This time I took the leftovers home for dinner.

Situated just outside of the LSU campus, City Slice is ready to serve pizza and beer to the college crowd, especially the sports bar-loving students. But in Baton Rouge’s crowded high-end pizza market, the restaurant will need to do more to stand out.


City Slice Pints & Pizza

124 W. Chimes St.

11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday-Saturday

(225) 388-5454; cityslicepizza.com

Pros: French fries are outstanding. The Italian hot beef sandwich is excellent.

Cons: The chewy, salty, greasy Fightin’ Tiger pizza was overkill. Mozzarella sticks were a little undercooked.