|Spicy mushroom and ham and cheese.|
Pizza, it's a fabulous food when done right, an atrocity when done wrong. I haven't decided if what Mamma Roma's is doing here in Brussels is right or heretical. People swear by the place which started out just a few short years ago in Place Flagey. I don't blame my fellow Brusselian's for latching on to this establishment. Honestly, I ordered Pizza Hut the first week I was here (don't ask, it's very complicated) and can tell you that they managed to make a fairly decent fast-food American pizza into rubbish here. The flavors are muted, the toppings sparse, and much like the American version of the same food, you'll be filled only with regret and concern as to why you ordered it. In comparison Mamma Roma's is the Sistine Chapel to Pizza Hut's drive-thru chapel.
Momma Roma's does a couple things right, the first being, the bread. The crust is about as perfect as it comes, doused in oil with a bit of crunch. Then there is the variety of options that you can get on the pizza, and for about 10 Euros you can get two massive slices and a drink to-go. Was it good? Yes. Spectacular? I'm not sure I'd go there. Let's leave it as really, really good. I think both the sauce and cheeses on the pieces I received were muted in flavor and lacking in the abundance. What I did receive I liked.
Perhaps what reinforced my concern for Mamma Rosa's was the fact I handed them a 50 to pay for dinner and whether by mistake or on purpose, the gentleman handed me back my change minus a 20. He quickly fixed it when I pointed it out, but I do wonder if my obvious "Americanista flair" (and poor French) was enough to make the employee think he could pull one over on me. I of course could just be a bit paranoid about the entire mistake, though Saint Gilles did seem a bit shady.
Probably didn't help that I thought I was creative by ordering from their marketing sign saying "morsel" for a piece of pizza. Rule #86, marketing lingo is different than real ordering. It was like me going into McDonald's in the States and ordering "A big juicy, and delicious Big Mac please." Then again I may be reading way to much into this, and "morceu" is an appropriate word. Such is the fun in being new to a language.
With that said, I enjoyed Mamma Rosa's and would love to try more, but traveling half-way across town for pizza, while an adventure the first time, will likely make me hesitant to do it again. Build one in Anderlecht, or near the VUB (Flagey, or the ULB doesn't count) and we will talk. (They'd make a killing on campus.)
Bottom line, great concept, okay execution, really good pizza, and employees with bad math skills.
So I thought I'd update this post. I went to the Flagey location a couple days ago and had a completely opposite experience of what I had in Saint Gilles. Outrageously good food, and amazing service. I believe (if my French is good enough) that I read in the paper that the owner has disliked the way the chain has lost it's quality aspect, so the timing of what I wrote seems on par with a fast-growing business. That said, I'm officially hooked now.