The Pizza Snob panned Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria & Neighborhood Pub big-time back in an earlier story I wrote on pizza in Music City. I caught some heat about this from a few friends and fans, so since I based this opinion on a bad birthday experience several years back, I decided to give it another try. So, on a cold winter’s night just before Christmas, I reconvened the Snob Squad for backup, reinforced by our guitar-slinging buddy, known in his inner circle as “#64.”
Located on trendy “12-South” (they also have a joint down in Birmingham, AL), Mafiaoza’s got a rep as a hipster joint—a place for the cool folks to look nice, hang out, and drink at the end of the work day until the wee hours. As a result, it had ranked high on the Nashville Scene Reader’s Poll only to be knocked off this year by Five Points Pizza, a new place in the even hipper East Nashville. The Snob feels the readers finally got it right since, as our tale will tell, the Snob Squad reconfirmed my earlier rant that Mafiaoza’s has some serious pizza-making flaws.
This nice, somewhat indiscreet full service bar and dining spot offers a cozy enclosed heated patio as well as a main dining area that offers a view of the pizza ovens. The Squad ordered up a large cheese pie plus another one with some toppings and proceeded to get caught up on its normal discussion of things mostly musical. The pies arrived together after some choice salads, and they surprisingly looked quite promising. That was until you picked up a slice only to have it droop and flop right in front of your face!
It was a mystery how the pies were so black and burnt on the bottom without having any body to them whatsoever. And, like at my earlier visit, they were quite greasy. The Kid expressed his shock about how cold they were when they arrived, and how the overdone cheese was rubbery. I agreed on all counts giving favorable nods to the sauce and, surprisingly, the end crust. The Kid, however, said the tomato sauce tasted weird and had a bad aftertaste.
But ole #64 got to the heart of the matter: It got much worse as time passed, quickly getting colder and becoming cardboard-like. We all agreed on the sub-Domino’s rating to which #64 replied “I’d rather go on a hunger strike than eat at Dominos!” I guess Mafiaozo’s won’t be seeing him again–or me for that matter.
P.S. I got a phone call from an old friend yesterday. We got around to discussing my new life as the Snob. When we started talking about Nashville pizza, he mentioned how he loved Mafiaoza’s. When I told him that I thought the pizza was bad, he agreed saying “I know that, but I sure like watching the pretty girls!” Sums it up pretty well!
PIZZA SNOB RATING **1/2 Perhaps Not a Total Waste
Mafiaozo’s Pizzeria & Neighborhood Pub
2400 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204