As promised in my new ‘tell me where to go‘ review project, I have reviewed the winner of my first poll – Mario’s pizza on Johnston St. I went there on a cold Sunday night and ordered two medium pizzas: a capricciosa (ham, mushrooms, anchovies and olives) and a vulcano (hot salami, olives, capers and chilli).
Mario’s looks very old school and is not trying to be anything but a traditional pizza shop. Family and friends were loitering out the back and a big game in the World Cup was scheduled for later that night. Owner Mario asked if I was planning to watch the football that night and my negative response raised an eyebrow.
I quickly added that I was going to watch the Formula 1, and though I hoped Mark Webber would win I thought that Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso stood a fighting chance on the Valencia harbour street circuit. My reputation salvaged, I picked up my pizzas and walked home very satisfied because I had ordered two mediums but was given two larges and a free garlic bread by the friendly owner.
The verdict? The garlic bread (above) was good, the capricciosa (middle) was average (not bad, just typical of the style) and the vulcano (top) was genuinely excellent. Overall the pizza is good, the crust is relatively thin, the toppings generously are spread and the flavours are authentic. The vulcano in particular was great, with enough chilli to leave my lips burning. Mario’s pizza is good enough to return for on another ‘watching TV on the sofa’ evening.
None of the popular food bloggers have reviewed it, but The Real Melbourne recently did. I think it’s under-appreciated and I’m glad I tried it.