Cheap Eating on Mission HillPosted: March 21, 2011
Penguin Pizza on Mission Hill, commonly called Penguin by Northeastern students, is your typical pizza-and-beer college joint, and looks just like one should: There are American and Irish flags lining the walls, beer signs evenly distributed throughout the restaurant and even a string of Christmas lights around the bar area. The lighting is a bit dim, the tables are pretty close together (leaving waitresses asking you to ‘scoot in’ every so often), and maybe 60 people–that might even be stretching it–can fit inside before it reaches capacity.
The pizza (there are 19 kinds) is greasy, delicious and affordable, and there are also appetizer, wrap, sandwich and pasta options. The beer and cider menu takes up a front and back page, and includes Blue Moon, Wachusett Blueberry, Magners Irish Cider and more.
I arrived at Penguin around 6:45pm on Saturday evening with five friends. We were seated right away, which I was pretty excited (and relieved!) about, since I’ve seen Penguin reach capacity a few times, risking a long wait, or even getting turned away!
FYI, we were carded at the door: During the evenings, Penguin is a 21+ venue (it doubles as a bar). Don’t get too upset, though. You can always get take out instead–they deliver!
Our table ordered a round of waters (free!), three beers (priced at $5 each), one large three-tomato pizza ($13.99), two slices of plain cheese ($3 each) and two slices of margarita pizza ($3 each). The bill ended up being a total of $42.81, and we all walked away with full stomachs. I paid $11 for my beer and pizza, and my friend Jaclyn (who didn’t order a beer) was able to pay for her meal, tip and tax with just $5.
Made with cheese, arugula basil pesto sauce, and three different sized tomatoes, the three-tomato pizza really hit the spot. Two slices (decently sized) were almost more than enough for me. The Blue Moon may have helped fill me up since I don’t usually drink beer with dinner.
The service was pretty quick, despite the growing crowd. Right away we were asked what beverages we wanted, got them quickly, and then waited about 10 to 15 minutes for our food. The margarita and plain slices were nearly twice the size of our tomato pizza slices, but luckily, my friends who ordered them were hungry.
Other items on the menu include pasta options that range from $6.99 (Pasta All’aglio e Olio–spaghetti with olive oil, basil, and garlic) to $10.99 (Shrimp Scampi). The wraps are all $6.99 (Chicken Caesar Wrap, Chicken Pesto Wrap, ect), except for the higher priced (by one dollar) Veggie Wrap. Subs and panini sandwiches, which are all served with fries, are also all priced at $7.99 (Meatball Sub, Chicken Pesto Panini, ect), except for the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and Philly Cheese Steak Sub ($8.99).
As I said, Penguin is your typical college bar and pizza joint, and this was really reflected throughout the people inside–it was mostly young adults out for a beer (or a few) and a slice of pizza (or a few) with their friends. My sister Tara, who is 24, was visiting for the weekend, so she had no problem fitting in!
Penguin is located on 735 Huntingon Ave in Boston, Mass. Credit cards are accepted, but there is a $10 minimum, so bring cash if you’re just grabbing one thing! It is wheelchair accessible, however, I’m not sure where there would actually be room for a wheelchair inside–it’s pretty crowded in there! Penguin is open Monday to Friday from 11am to 1am, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 1am. You can reach Penguin at (617) 277-9200 or at their website.