Hollis’ small population of 7,800 supports the local businesses of the well known Monument Sq. Market, the homely Hollis House of Pizza, and the relatively unknown Pizzeria Zacharia. Pizza has long been a staple food for Friday hangouts, elementary school pizza parties and birthdays. Cheap and easy to eat, pizza is great for all occasions, and is beloved by many. With so many options for a small town, which is worth going to?
The gold standard for all pizza places is the plain cheese pizza. Monument starts off at a disadvantage here, with their small cheese pizza being almost an extra two dollars than the competition. Hollis House is priced in the middle at $8, just over Zacharia, which comes in at $7.60, andpacing emphasis on the following five categories: cheese, sauce, crust, price/value, and store feel.
Starting with Monument,it’s both more expensive, and has less seating, which makes it feel more cramped. However, the pizza itself is the best, and for its value it’s the best option. It has a very sweet sauce, which some prefer compared to a more tangy sauce. “We add sugar,” said one Monument Employee, Lucien Boudreau, ‘19. He says that the “premium ingredient” is why he would rather pay the extra money, and why it’s his favorite pizzeria in the greater Nashua area.
Hollis House is noticeably cheaper, with a greasier pizza. It’s very good at the price point, as well as providing two levels of seating and free wifi. “Its crust is too crispy,” says Michael Gillespie ‘19, Foods II student. Its sauce is better than Monument’s deliberate sweeter sauce, but I prefer the ratio of sauce to cheese from Monument. Eating at Hollis House feels more natural because when at Monument, it feels like the workers watch you eat, but in pure pizza quality it doesn’t match Monument.
Pizzeria Zacharia has ample seating, and a retro store feel with classic space shooters, pacman, and crane games you’d expect to see in an acade. It pales in comparison when it comes to pizza quality, especially when Hollis House is very similarly priced. The pizzeria seems as though it is cutting corners in places where the house doesn’t. It’s always empty; I wouldn’t recommend getting pizza there.
The three pizzerias are able to survive with so few people in the town because of their target audiences, with each place trying to entice different types of customers, and their diversity of products. Hollis House has the best specialty pizzas of any of the three joints, with things like the “Potato Skin” that is served with “Cheddar sauce, topped with fries & sprinkles of bacon served with sour cream for dipping,” from their menu. They also have two different pizzas with barbecue sauce, the “BBQ Chicken” and the “Buff – A – Que,” both for either $11.99 or $17.49. These two pizzas are different takes on how to make a buffalo pizza, and are able to coexist on the same menu. When looking for a new pizza idea or something to impress your friends, Hollis House is the answer.
Monument Square is often a hot spot for middle schoolers. Walking down to Monument after school is a staple of any HBMS student. You can find them buying the pizzas to share with friends othe fresh rolls that are “cheap and delicious” according to Gillespie, who thinks they’re the best part of Monument.
Pizzeria Zacharia has the most diverse menu, the best parts of them being the wings and their fries. I would go so far to say that they have the best fries in all of Hollis and rival all other corporate fries, like McDonalds or Five Guys. They come in the variations of cheesy (with and without bacon), normal fries and cajun. Their menu is the host of everything from steak tips, gyro meat, and subs, to salads, seafood sides, and much more.
Overall where you want to go depends on what you want. If you want to dine-in at a great value, go to Hollis House. If all you’re after is the best pizza, Monument is your best option. Monument uses the the most premium ingredients from tomato sauce to cheese,and it shows in their products.