Benny Sorrentino’s “Home of the Virginia Slice,” has hit Harrisonburg. At 14 inches, its colossal slices have become the talk of the town. Located at 64 S. Mason St., below the Urban Exchange apartments, it is an easy walk for students who live on campus.
Benny’s, which already has locations in Radford, Blacksburg and Roanoke, has added Harrisonburg as its newest.
“We try to go into smaller downtown areas, and downtown Harrisonburg is thriving,” Jon Durham, a Bridgewater graduate (’09) and the manager of Benny Sorrentino’s said. “And the JMU student body is pretty big.”
Outside of the restaurant, you are greeted by an outdoor patio with picnic benches — a perfect seating arrangement as the weather starts to warm up. Customers can enjoy a unique and eclectic decor that meshes old and new furniture, creating a cool, urban environment. Seating is available both inside and outside.
Benny’s offers free two-hour parking across the street, which should be enough time to finish a single, enormous slice. However, finding a spot is not guaranteed.
The restaurant has been sweeping across social media sites, garnering over 1,000 likes on its Facebook page in a matter of months. Additionally, its hashtag has been taking over Instagram, with students posing with slices bigger than their own heads. This marketing has been crucial in drawing customers in, with its gigantic pizza keeping the customers coming back.
Janey Goodman, a freshman kinesiology major, had rave reviews after ordering a cheese slice.
“The pizzas are such a sight and they’re so good too,” Goodman said. “It’s different than the normal old carry out like Dominos and Papa Johns cause it’s just original baked pizza.”
According to Durham, the difference in taste comes from the freshness of the ingredients and care that goes into the making of each pie.
“We make our own dough and sauce so our pizzas are really good quality,” Durham said.
Cheese slices are $4 and pepperoni are $5, which is inexpensive considering their massiveness. For a cheese pie, you’re looking at $28, and $35 for a pie with any toppings. Customers even have the option of customizing the toppings for each slice.
However, those toppings are not the only ones available. Benny’s offers monthly pizza specials. This month, its specials include Hawaiian, Spinach and Feta. Benny’s will also be adding beer to its menu in the near future.
Unlike other pizzerias, Benny’s take is simple and delicious with no fuss.
Kelsey McCamey, a senior international affairs major, headed over to Benny’s before spring break for a relaxing and laid-back dinner with her roommates. Instead of ordering a plain, cheese slice, she decided to be adventurous.
“It just so happened that I was craving buffalo chicken and the special was buffalo chicken pizza so I ordered a slice of that which was a really good choice,” McCamey said.
McCamey also enjoyed the general atmosphere that Benny’s offered. “The vibe was just a college town vibe. Everyone seemed to be college students in there and there was some cool art on the walls,” she said.
Morgan Leary, also a senior international affairs major, shared similar sentiments. “Benny’s is different from other pizza places in a big way, literally; the slices of pizza there are huge,” Leary said.
“The size of our slices is definitely a novelty,” Durham said.
Leary plans on heading back to Benny’s the next chance she gets. “I think that is a part of the success they have had because really, who doesn’t want to eat a slice of pizza that is bigger than size of their head?” Leary said.
Goodman agreed. “I would definitely suggest it to a friend, it’s amazing!” she said.
Benny’s is open not only during the day, opening at 11 a.m., but also when college students are craving pizza the most: late night.
During the week, Benny’s closes at midnight, on Thursdays, 2 a.m., and on Friday and Saturday, you can score a pizza until 3 a.m. They are open every day of the week for dine in or carry out only. More information can be found at bennysva.com or by phone at 540-432-6400. Get to Benny’s soon for a monster slice of tasty and original pizza.
Contact Lauren Hunt and Gillian Dukoff at firstname.lastname@example.org.