Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity of visiting MAFIAoZA’s in Nashville again. The last time I visited was back in July, just weeks before I started HyoungryMan.com. It’s been on my “to do” list since then to do an actual review and thanks to the arrangements of Haley and her friend Neena, it was decided to have a group dinner at this popular Nashville Italian eatery.
Upon arrival, I was actually surprised at the lack of available parking spots as well as the bumbling crowd of people inside. Luckily Haley and her coworker Megan already had a table for us when I arrived. I later learned that part of the reason for the amount of customers was due to MAFIAoZA’s Tuesday specials: “2 for 1 Drinks” the entire day and “2 for 1 Pizza Slices” until 9 PM. This combination is a surefire way to bring in the crowd (as shown from the pictures).
MAFIAoZA’s has been a Nashville establishment since 2003 with an additional location in Birmingham, AL. Their menu is comprised of a variety of made-from-scratch appetizers, soups, salads, New York-style pizzas, and Italian dishes. Equally impressive is their large list of available beers, spirits, and a 100+ count of wines from all over the world.
We started off with the very popular Fried Cheese Ravioli Sticks ($7.50). These seasoned tubes of ravioli are stuffed with an assortment of fresh cheeses and fried to a golden brown. Served with flavorful & chunky marinara sauce, these sticks with their crispy shells and gooey, flowing cheeses are to die for.
Despite the current “2 for 1″ pizza slices, I had to opt for a whole pizza because 1) I was hungry and 2) I wanted some pizza for leftovers the next day. For our entree, I went straight for one of MAFIAoZA’s 12″ specialty pizza pies, “The Last Request” ($19). ”The Last Request” is one of the more expensive pizzas at MAFIAoZA’s due to the inclusion of so many toppings. In addition, my selection was made because it is one of the few pizzas that reflect a nice mixture of meats and veggies. “The Last Request” is made up of black olives, extra cheese, pepperoni, salami, Italian sausage, Portobello mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, garlic, green peppers, red onions, and jalapeños. Neena and her husband Wade selected a classic 12″ pepperoni pizza pie ($11.50).
One of the reasons why I like MAFIAoZA’s is because I really like New York-style pizza. I’ve read other reviews and some mention that the pizza is “not crispy” or “too thin” but those aren’t the characteristics of New York-style pizza. If you wanted pizza like that, you should go elsewhere.
Each slice at MAFIAoZA’s is large and thin, with a heaping pile of toppings. The flimsiness of the pizza combined with the weight of the toppings will either have you using a fork and knife or folding it into a “U” shape like the traditional New York way of eating pizza. When you combine these characteristics with the toppings on “The Last Request”, you get one of the best “supreme-style” pizzas I’ve ever had. Each bite is packed with an abundance of different tastes and textures. The pepperoni is spicy, the salami adds a hint of fermented saltiness, and subtle licorice-like, meaty flavors accompany the Italian sausage. Each vegetable adds a different flavor & texture while the garlic adds an additional complexity to the overall experience. Last but not least, the jalapeños are a wonderful addition because it adds an unexpected mellow heat that comes after you swallow each and every bite.
As far as service goes, MAFIAoZA’s deserves kudos as well. Our waiter was as attentive as he could be given the number of patrons that evening. But what gives MAFIAoZA’s high marks is the ability to remedy problems. Neena & Wade had a problem with their pizza pie and addressed it to the waiter. Within minutes the restaurant manager came over, apologized for the mishap, offered them a brand new pizza, and even comped the meal. That’s as good as it gets for customer service.
I really enjoyed my dining experience with MAFIAoZA’s. Their pizzas are top notch and competitively priced. Although I’ve not had any of their non-pizza entrees, I’ve heard that they are excellent and will be sure to try them one day… it’s just that the pizzas are too darn good. As I said before, service is superb (even on crazy Tuesday nights). With food as good as this, I’ll definitely recommend MAFIAoZA’s any day of the week.
2400 12th Ave South
Nashville, TN 37204
Bill Total: $32.20 For Two (With Tax)