After a long hiatus and having a professional logo designed, Dive Bars 2 Five Stars is back. To celebrate, this will be the first blog to introduce the new Dive 2 Five scale!
Last Saturday, I followed a friend’s recommendation and tried Mario’s Pizza in Florissant. When driving up to the place, it’s a little hard to see tucked back in an older strip mall. Since we had traveled 20 minutes just to get there, we weren’t going to let the fact that the strip mall was a little rundown scare us away.
Inside you find a very small space with only a few tables. You can tell that this is mainly a delivery / takeout establishment. After scoping out the menu, we had narrowed down the list to 2 potential candidates. Out of those two, the staff recommended the Napoli as being their most popular. The Napoli is mozzarella cheese, sausage, meatballs, pepperoni, peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
While we were waiting they brought bread sticks to the table. They were hot, slightly chewy with a crispy exterior. The garlic was the key flavor. Nothing really stood out about them, but we did finish them all. :)
After a short wait, the Napoli arrived. From my research on Mario’s before arriving, a few people called it the best NY style pizza in St. Louis. Mario’s website advertises that it is baked “the way it is done in Italy”. Here is my take after sampling the first slice.
I wouldn’t call it a typical NY style pizza. For NY style pizza, I picture the type you fold in half and watch the grease drip down from the slice. This wasn’t that thin. To me, this just reminded me a an old-fashioned mom-and-pop shop hand-tossed pizza. When the server was plating our slices, the cheese was stretching from the pan to the plate. The crust was crispy on the bottom, but not burnt. It stood up well to the amount of toppings on the pizza. The sauce had a sweet flavor. The peppers were sweet as well and the onions were not overpowering. They wouldn’t have you running for something for heartburn after eating it. In general the proportions of the toppings were perfect.
If you are looking for fresh ingredients combined to make a good quality pizza, Mario’s is a great choice. If you are looking for a typical St. Louis style, pizza, this should not be your choice. Now on to the Dive 2 Five scale.
Dive 2 Five scale – this comes in as a 2. Remember, this isn’t about the quality of the food, this is about the experience, location, ambiance, etc. It is a 2 for the following reasons. This is a pretty old strip mall. I’m pretty sure if I went into the bar next door, “Pirates Cove”, they are likely a true dive bar and would score a 1. Mario’s is mainly a takeout / delivery restaurant. However, you can tell they did put some effort into painting and decorating the space they have. All that being said, going here was all about getting a good quality pizza. In that respect, they hit it out of the park.