Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.
There’s something disarming and charming about a dish that brags up its own effectiveness. The Flavor Explosion pizza at Mama’s Pizza talks a good game, and it delivers: sausage, pepperoni, bacon, banana peppers, and pineapple. The cumulative impact of all this exploding flavor, delivered atop a crispy thin crust covered with a generous melty roof of cheese, is surprisingly… subtle. It succeeds thanks to the heat versus sweet push-and-pull between the hot peppers and pineapple—all the meats and cheese underpin and support the tug-of-war without swamping it.
We got the “mini” sized pizza, which costs $11 and is 10 inches in diameter—miniature, perhaps, if you’re working a full morning hanging drywall but otherwise enough for two regularly hungry civilians to split for lunch, particularly when backed up by some cheesy bread.
If you’ve never been to Mama’s Pizza, it’s worth a visit regardless of your feelings about explosively flavored pizzas—everything from the old-school murals to the veteran waitstaff to the throngs of regulars to the complimentary miniature ice creams that arrive after your meal is expertly designed to win your heart. And if that’s not enough: there are plentiful (huge and affordable) Italian-American classics studding the menu beyond pizzas.
The Dish: 10-inch “Mini” Flavor Explosion Pizza, $11
The Place: Mama’s Pizza, 961 Rice St., St. Paul
The Reason: A lot of flavor on a lot of pizza for a small amount of cash.