With Chi-Natti pizza now gone, I decided to look for another local pizzeria that had some sort of classic deep dish pizza on their menu Utilizing the internet, I found that the new Mio’s Pizza that recently opened on Kenwood Road in the space where the Cactus Pear restaurant had been, offered a “stuffed” pizza, that looked to be about the equivalent. I went to their web site, and decided on a large (13”) Windy City Classic”, with Italian Sausage, Onions, Bell Peppers, and three kinds of Cheese, for $22.99. I also ordered a large Cheese Garlic Bread, for $5.79. There was a coupon on the web that took $5.00 off of any order over $25.00, so I got to use that here.
Some of the Mio’s locations offer on-line ordering, but the Blue Ash store currently does not. I had decided on delivery, it is shown as being available at the bottom of the Blue Ash Store information page, so I called. When I said “for delivery”, I was told that it is not offered there yet, but it may be in October. “OK then, for pick-up”. The gentleman on the phone was extremely courteous and helpful. I was told it would be ready in “20 or 25 minutes”. Exactly 25 minutes later, I walked into the store. The young lady working the hostess stand found my order, and took my cash. As she was handing me my change, a young man popped out of the kitchen with my order. Perfect timing. No wait or cool down time. I live less than a mile from Mio’s, so there was no delay from their kitchen to mine.
Let me say that I had high hopes for this restaurant, as a number of my co-workers had spoken well of Mio’s. To say I was disappointed is to put it mildly. The pizza itself was nowhere near what you would describe as hot. Rather warm around the edges maybe, but rather cool in the center. Remember, this was only four or five minutes from when I was handed the pizza. While the crust was rather nice, crisp and a medium thickness, the large wedge of cheese in the center was not melted, at least not in the oozing cheese sense that one expects on or in a pizza. It had the consistency of firm string cheese. Immediately after setting a slice on a plate, a puddle of water unappetizingly oozed from the sauce (see the accompanying picture). The sauce itself had flavor, but once again, not what I was expecting. I guess I expected some basil or oregano notes in the sauce, but none of that came through. It was more like a simple tomato sauce. I barely noticed any onions or peppers mixed in, but the Italian sausage, though meager, was very good. The whole mess was extremely salty, almost inedible.
While I felt disappointed by the pizza, I felt robbed by the Garlic Cheese Bread. Basically a soft, roughly 8” Italian roll split lengthwise, then cut into thirds. Well-buttered, with a slight hint of garlic, and almost no cheese. Miles below any competitors version of Garlic Cheese Bread. I am used to pulling it apart with gooey cheese filaments stretching from the pieces. Not here. If I wouldn’t have ordered it myself, I wouldn’t have known there was any cheese on there at all (see the accompanying photo). And for almost $6.00? I felt robbed. Just one little buttered roll like this for half the price would still be a culinary crime. A small container of the same bland tomato sauce was provided for dipping.
So: No delivery, as stated on the website; good customer service on the phone and in person; poor food. Is this the recipe for a return? No, not really. At least not for “Stuffed Pizza” or their breads. Maybe I would try a regular pizza in the future, but only if someone else is buying. How much do I love pizza? Well, like most people, I adore it cold or reheated the next day. There isn’t much pizza out there that I don’t like. This one? I had two pieces the first night. The next day, I tried to get through another piece and couldn’t. While the cheese was nicely melted this time (thanks to the microwave), the high salt content made it inedible on day two. So I threw out 75% of a $23.00 pizza. I think for me, that’s a first. Two stars only because the staff were so pleasant. But - Sorry Mio’s, that’s not “Amore” for me.
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