Pizza near campus is usually cheap.

There’s Backroom Pizza on Church Street, which sells slices of cheese for a dollar.

New York Pizza Depot’s two locations sell a small pizza and a drink for four dollars after 10 p.m.

And don’t forget the $5 large pizzas sold after Michigan football games from the backs of pick-up trucks.

If you’re trying to break the mold and spend money on your pizza, though, there’s no pricier pizza near campus than the large House Special deep-dish pizza at Pizza House, which costs $23.48 with tax.

Throw in a $3 tip for the delivery guy and the pie costs as much as a plate of veal scallopini at Gratzi on Main Street.

The cost doesn’t deter people, said Pizza House delivery manager Chad Patten. He said the restaurant sells hundreds of deep-dish pizzas each day. The House Special deep-dish pizza has been served at the restaurant since it opened in 1986.

“The deep dish is, in general, probably our most popular,” he said. Patten said the pizza is so expensive because of its size.

“We put a lot more cheese on our pizzas and we put on a lot more toppings,” Patten said. “The quality of the food is a lot higher than it’s going to be at a Marco’s, a Domino’s, a Mr. Pizza.”

The toppings are added generously – perhaps too generously.

Slices fall apart under the weight of the cheese, pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, onions, green peppers and sausage piled onto the crust. On a recent pie, one slice had a piece of ham the size of a playing card hidden beneath the top layer of cheese.

The flaky and crunchy crust had a rich olive oil flavor – though it might be too thin to satisfy some Chicago deep-dish purists. The oily pie soaked through its box and left a spot of shimmering grease on the table.

The House Special isn’t the most popular specialty pizza at the restaurant, though.

Patten said the restaurant’s best-selling specialty pizzas are the Southwestern BBQ pizza – covered in barbecue sauce, mozzarella cheese, chicken, bacon, onions and cheddar cheese – and the Chicken Alfredo Pizza, which is topped with chicken, broccoli, garlic, tomato and alfredo sauce.

Is the pizza worth almost $25?

If you have four friends to share it with – and you’ll need them to finish the pizza’s 10 large slices – the cost isn’t obscene.

If not, you’ll have a couple pounds of cold pizza left for breakfast the next morning.

Things could be worse.

GABE NELSON

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