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Introducing: Ram's Pizza

food and-drink

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Fordham University

culture

Introducing: Ram's Pizza

Out with the Old, in with the RAMS

Keith Rose

2.4.18

Read time: 5 minutes
Photography by Katie Mays

I truly felt like the most important individual in the entire Belmont neighborhood when Mahdi, one of the night shift workers at Ram's Deli Plus, confided in me about Rams’ emerging endeavor this past fall. “Don’t tell anyone yet,” Mahdi whispered over the counter. “We’re still in the process of finalizing everything. You’re the only one who knows.” How special it was to be trusted with such valuable intelligence. And now, months later, this once sacred prophecy that was bestowed upon me that magical evening is a reality – Ram's Pizza Plus, the newest venture of the Ram’s Deli Plus empire.
At Ram's, the temple for all collegiate sustenance, you can get: your dinner, your late-night snack, your alcoholic libations, your produce (bananas, apples, limes, lemons), water with vitamins (Vitamin Water), water without vitamins (regular water), and just about any other life necessity. Also, lots of happiness, which comes free with every purchase of a Badgirls sandwich. You failed an exam? Badgirls. You got rejected at the bar? Badgirls. Your boyfriend broke up with you? Badgirls and Floko. At the Ram's Smoke Shop, located just a couple store fronts east of the deli, you can buy your Juul pods, your smoking paraphernalia, your incense (for the hippies), and miscellaneous trinkets to feed your vices. Look no further for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift, just stop into Ram’s and get your girl that AK-47 shaped hookah she is always going on about.

Mother Ram's Deli always treats us right. She stays awake for us all hours of the night, serving as a saving grace when we stumble up the little slant that leads to the swinging door at 3am on a Tuesday (or a Wednesday?). She welcomes us with her non-judgmental, loving gaze when we return eight hours later for breakfast. And the Smoke Shop, you ask? That’s her badass son. He introduced us to the dark side, and now we’re fully addicted to nicotine. I’m in college, I’ll just Juul for a few more years, then break the habit, you think as you excuse yourself from Christmas dinner to take a rip. It’s OK, the humming aura of the Smoke Shop whispers as you stare at your reflection in the cases of neon bongs. You’re only young once.
As University Pizza fades into the section of our brain that hosts only our most fond, sincere memories, like The Blend Cafe and that little liquor store next to Autozone, we prepare for the most pristine element of the RDP Trifecta. Ram’s Pizza Plus will be... the daughter? Or maybe the doting and agreeable new step-father? In order to truly know, in order to discover what kind of role Ram’s Pizza Plus is going to play in your life, you must patiently wait until the moment of realization. And It will probably transpire like so: You are aching from a long night out, a fuzzy odyssey in which you remember being inside every Fordham bar at one point in the night. You remember a WooWoo or two and a Migos song or 10, and you just realized you remembered to retrieve your debit card from the bartender. Behind the air-pollution and smog that coats the Bronx night sky, aligned stars shine over you as you trudge past 7/11. Everything is right. Just as you contemplate whether waiting in the winding line at the Deli is worth it (it always is), you notice something.
The blank space, call it a void, that occupied University’s posthumous storefront has been replaced by a new, welcoming sign. The moment of realization. Time slows to a crawl, your palms are sweaty, mouth agape. But wait! Will RPP match the decidedly fantastic experience offered to you at Ram’s Deli? I mean, sometimes branch-outs, add-ons, sequels and what-have-you’s just don’t work; for Christ’s sake you saw Zoolander 2. But its 3 a.m., and you muster up all the courage you didn’t have just moments ago in the bar and walk inside.

Seated at the tables is a familiar Fordham crowd. You got your bros, sitting comfortably yet territorially at their troughs, shouting Super Bowl predictions and spitting pizza all over themselves. You got your girls in line, faces pressed to the glass barrier separating themselves from the myriad of slice choices. You got your far too drunk girl jamming her debit card into the ATM machine – wait, is she inserting her Fordham ID card? Whatever, this is her journey, she must trek it alone. You got a couple dudes sitting closest to the kitchen, they- OH MY GOD THEY ARE EATING CHICKEN OVER RICE, THEY SERVE HALAL HERE TOO!? Everything feels right; The universe is in order. The moment of realization.

(Disclaimer: RPP plans on serving halal by mid-February)
Why would you ever doubt an establishment under the Ram’s dynasty? You are an idiot. No, seriously, what’d you say, what the fuck dude, step the FUCK up, Kyle. Wow, Vine was sick. I like to imagine that Vine and University Pizza are still out there somewhere, ya know, frolicking in green grass, servin’ up hot slices and uploading 6-second videos of hauntingly white kids welcoming you to Chili’s.

The point is: don’t disrespect the Ram’s empire, which has now subsumed most of the street. And who knows, maybe that is only the beginning. Deli, smoke shop, pizza place, maybe a Ram’s liquor store, a dentistry? I’m just spitballing – oh, and Pete’s Cafe? Please, Pete and his little cafe may remain at the corner spot, defying the Ram’s order, but Pete is one burnt omelet away from being smited and vanquished from the block. I actually think Pete’s Cafe would be a perfect location for a new Ram’s Movie Theatre or Ram’s Roller Rink. Yeah, watch your fucking back, Pete.
Anyways, if you love Ram’s Deli, i.e., if you breathe air or abide by the laws of physics, then you should give Ram’s Pizza Plus a try. Mahdi knows what the people want:

“The thing is, we really want to make it the same thing as Ram’s Deli. Ram’s Pizza Plus will be for the Fordham University students who want to come here and enjoy their favorite slice. It’s the same thing here at the Deli. We come up with a variety of different sandwiches that we think you guys will like. And we’re going to try and do the same exact thing with the pizza.”