Tuesday, September 4, 2007

How has this place been open for 50 years?

I've got a soft spot for privately owned restaurants that have a rich history and a lot of character, and there isn't a better example of this in the Arlington area than Mario's Pizza. Located on Wilson Blvd, it is perched in a near perfect location between Ballston and Clarendon and is always, always, packed with cars and people sitting outside eating.

I've only ordered out (via Dr. Delivery) for Mario's and had never been impressed - I had also never been sober while eating Mario's. So, after a couple years of sobering up, Jill and I decided to give Mario's a shot late Friday night, in need of good late night food.

There are reminders everywhere that Mario's has been around for a while. From the customers and staff who have been there long before I was born, to the self-congratulatory signs announcing the anniversary, it's a number and an accomplishment to be proud of.

You know what's not an accomplishment to be proud of though? Their pizza. I guess I wasn't that drunk the other couple times I had it, because it was just as bad as I remembered it.

On par with elementary school pizza, the crust was bland, the sauce was too sweet and the cheese...well, didn't seem real. I ordered a slice of sausage pizza, and had a hunk of sausage just placed on top of my cheese pizza. Make an actual slice of sausage pizza! It's not that hard.

I can't understate how disappointed I was by Mario's. I would still prefer its presence in the neighborhood to another Cosi's or McDonald's or some other mass produced no taste fat factory, but I'll never eat there again. I just don't understand how my neighbors can.


Anonymous said...

Gordo and I had dinner at Il Radicchio last night - very good, crispy pizza with arugula, prosciutto, parmesan and tomatoes. It was a nice way to transition from San Francisco gluttony, which btw was absolutely fantastic.

Honeybee said...

Some places just have a reputation for being special it strangely never goes away, no matter how unspectacular, overpriced, bad even the food is. The phenomenon seems to exist all over the world. It annoys me, too.