It’s 6 p.m. on a Monday night. A line — that only a few weeks ago would have consisted of three to four students (myself included) looking for a quiet meal — has now grown to wrap around the entire corridor of Zick’s.
Students in line are visibly eager to try the best thing to happen to Wake Forest dining since the Mag Room’s bruschetta bar: Zick’s Phase 2.
Even though it might take longer than usual to get your food during rush hour (12-1p.m., 6-7:30p.m.), the brand new menu is well worth the wait.
The second phase of the three-step plan to renovate the beloved Upper Quad pizza parlor went into effect last week, and it has been the talk of the entire campus.
The new place to be on a beautiful day is sitting outside Zick’s, soaking in the sunlight, the view of Wait Chapel and the worthwhile calories. I strongly encourage you to try the new items for yourself.
The recent changes include six new flatbreads, three new appetizers (don’t worry — Zicks still offers the classic mozzarella sticks and wings), four new healthy salads and local beer on tap.
All the new items that I’ve tried so far have been incredible, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that everything is cleverly named (i.e. The Thai-Tanic salad, the Ken & Barbie-Q flatbread, the Margherita-ville flatbread).
If you can’t arrive early enough to beat the curious crowds, watching the pizza being made as you wait is thoroughly entertaining, as is chatting with the friendly staff or sitting outside in the sunshine while pondering what to order next time from the extensive new options.
Hunter Honnessy, the current chair of the university dining commission, said the group was able to preview the changes and provide valuable feedback about the new menu.
The Student Government committee is open to all Wake Forest students and meets to discuss dining options with Aramark and Wake Forest employees, often providing inspiration and ideas for the changes made at dining venues around campus.
The commission recently pushed for more diverse options at Zicks, and Honnessy said the changes are proof of how receptive the faculty has been to implementing student ideas.
He added that the student response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Zick’s is the place to be now,” Honessy said. “I love seeing people hanging out, eating and drinking as I walk by on the quad. People used to go because they were in a hurry and didn’t want to wait for their food, but now you have people going who are ready to sit down and actually enjoy the meal, which is what everyone wanted as an outcome of the changes.”
Junior John Idzik says he thinks Phase 2 is a smart move.
“It is being well received by students and should be a model for other campus dining options,” Idzik said.
Will Hargrove, a freshman who was a Zick’s regular before the changes, echoed the same sentiments. He said the new flatbreads have made him a happy customer.
“The new menu accommodates a more diverse crowd, like vegetarians and upperclassmen who enjoy the beer and wine options,” Hargrove said. “The new Puff Daddy flatbread is my favorite.”
The Puff Daddy is truly a unique creation, complete with BBQ Sauce, tater tots, mozzarella and cheddar cheese, bacon and drizzled with ranch dressing.
My two personal favorites, the garlic knots and curly fries, have been retired from the new menu.
But if you’re still craving that sinful garlic butter sauce from the olden days, have no fear — the same sauce is used in the making of the Couch Tomato flatbread.
This new fan-favorite is a beautiful, gourmet personal flatbread that looks like it came straight from your local Italian restaurant. It is complete with its pesto sauce, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
And I definitely can’t complain about my beloved garlic knots and fries, because new appetizers have been added to the menu like ravioli bites, pizza dip and the tater-zone, which is essentially a calzone of tater tots.
Although the original, gigantic Old Gold pizza slices are still available, the demand for the new personal flatbreads has been overwhelming. The usual two, one-topping slices and a fountain beverage are still offered as an Old Gold Swipe in addition to personal flatbreads.
The reinvented menu is only a new and improved Old Gold away.