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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mama's Pizza Kitchen, Lake Ave.

Mama's Pizza Kitchen recently opened in the space formerly occupied by Little D's, on Lake Ave. in Charlotte, and Charlotte Pizzeria before that. It's always seemed particularly risky to me to open a business in a location where several others have tried the same thing and failed, but maybe Mama's will be the one that breaks the pattern.
I stopped in for a slice around lunchtime. There were a few cheese and some pepperoni slices available. The pie from which they had been cut had been unevenly sliced, so that some slices were noticeably bigger than others. I got one of the larger cheese slices.
It had a thin crust, with a golden brown, screen-baked underside. The exterior of the crust was firm but not crisp, and easily foldable. The interior was soft and a little chewy, and the outer edge was formed into a thin, narrow lip with a crunchy texture.
The slice was topped with a thin, uniform layer of well-browned cheese, which had exuded some of its fat, creating a somewhat oily surface. Dried herbs were visible atop the cheese, and added some flavor and aroma.
The sauce, on the other hand, was hardly to be seen. Peeling away the cheese, I could see a bit of sauce here and there, but not much, nor was it very evident on the palate. Flavorwise, this was almost like eating a white pizza, with the crust, cheese and herbs all sharing the spotlight, while the sauce remained very much behind the scenes.
Mama's has quite an extensive menu, with 28 pizza toppings, five specialty pizzas, calzones, wings, a long list of "bomber" sandwiches, wraps, melts, subs, salads and sides. There's a little room to eat in if you choose, but it's mostly a takeout place.
So will Mama's Pizza Kitchen succeed where others have failed? Time will tell. Based on this one slice, though, I think the pizza needs a little work. More balance, for one thing. This really needed some of the acidity and sweetness of tomato sauce to balance out the oily, congealed cheese. And the crust was passable, but a bit lifeless, without the crackly crispness or bready aroma and texture of a great pizza crust. So while this wasn't all that bad, it was a notch below average, and I'll give it a C-, with a mental note to go back sometime and see how things are coming along.
Mama's Pizza Kitchen, 4410 Lake Ave., Rochester 14612, 581-0222
Tue. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m. - 2 a.m., Sat. noon - 2 a.m., Sun. noon - 10 p.m. Closed Mon.

21 comments:

  1. We seem to order from this place at least weekly. The freshly made pizza doesn't taste like what was described here, it is really very good. The wings are great and the bombers are insanely good! As a matter of fact, I'm eating one right now! :o) I do hope you give Mama's another try, it is the "go to" place for pizza, wings and sandwiches for our family!

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    1. Your eating rat droppings and thick dirt that place is sickly dirty and so is Arthur

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  2. OK, I appreciate the input. I will try it again.

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  3. The last two times I ordered from mama's my food wasn't ready and I was the only person in the restaurant! The last time being 2/18/11 I walked in and seemed to "bother" the guy watching tv behind the counter. I will never go here again based on service, and the food quality never really seemed to be a part of the business either.

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  4. I personally liked their pizza..not the best but its above a lot of other places. I like that they have a full menu too..I know this is a pizza blog site but there other food is really good..ive tried the garbage plates and the subs..very good. If i could sum up what their food taste like in a nut shell i would say "like mom used to make". Very homemade tasting.

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  5. Sounds like people have had good and bad experiences there. Since they haven't been around all that long, if I lived in the neighborhood I wouldn't write them off too quickly. And if you've been less than satisfied you could always speak to the owner. If they want to please their customers they should be receptive.

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    1. Don't count on it! They are rude and would not welcome any comments.

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  6. My sister and I frequent this establishment VERY often (6+ times a week). The Pizza is Fantastic, as is the Rest of the food. The two people who work there are another big reason we visit. Hometown businesses are a wonderful thing and Hatty and Arthur just make the experience all the more enjoyable. I recommend them to anyone who will listen, and trust me, it's worth giving them a chance!

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  7. I've eaten here before, and I can say that the pizza was quite good. You must have been unlucky enough to catch them on a bad day.

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  8. OK, I will get back up there and give them another try, promise.

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  9. Not sure about the pizza and wing quality but the owners could use some lessons in customer service and basic human kindness. Supremely rude, they are! If I was starving and free Mama's Pizza Kitchen food was offered to me, I'd choose to wither away! There are so many other pizza joints in this town and within a reasonable driving/walking distance that are probably just as tasty and of comparable quality with a much more friendly family feeling. Patronize them instead!

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  10. from the last inspection,beware: •Floors, walls, ceilings, not smooth, properly constructed, in disrepair, dirty surfaces

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  11. Can you be more specific than just "rude"? Or offer a link or some proof regarding the inspection?

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    1. http://rocdocs.democratandchronicle.com/map/restaurant-inspections

      that's the link for any restaurant inspection. search by name.

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  12. Thank you. That's a helpful link.
    Incidentally, a search for "pizza" or "pizzeria" yields quite a few results. But I think you have to look at each one and judge it for what it's worth. Some violations sound kind of nitpicky, others more serious. And although "dirty surfaces" doesn't sound good (though I'm not sure if those are surfaces where food is prepared), the condition of the floors, walls and ceiling wouldn't concern me too much. I'm not trying to defend Mama's, just giving my honest opinion.

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  13. Mamas is very picky on where you park your car They towed us!!

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  15. Sorry, "Jizzle," but I can't allow potentially defamatory comments here. If you have serious complaints as you described, I'd suggest you take them to the proper authorities.

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  16. If you'd care to use your actual name and some contact information I'd consider posting your accusations.

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