For years I’ve driven by Mamma Lucia Italian Eatery in Waverly and though to myself, this place looks intriguing. There’s a charm about it and I really can’t put my finger on it. There’s an old school, old feel, and old soul aura about it. It’s also old Baltimore to me. But old doesn’t mean bad. It usually means quite the opposite. It shows character, experience, and a distinguishable look that stands out from many of the cookie-cutter pizzerias and restaurants popping up everywhere.
Sitting right in the heart of 33rd and Greenmount (3240 Greenmount Avenue), this establishment has been serving its clientele for years. And that clientele can only be described by me as real Baltimore. It took this blog for me to finally walk in. So why the hesitation? I can only justify it as saying its out of my comfort zone. Johns Hopkins University is literally footsteps away. But the pizzeria is away enough that it looks like a completely different universe. And that may be an understatement.
I had meant to write about them over a year ago but maybe I couldn’t come up with the right words to say. I was over-thinking things. What I did notice in past photos that I only found myself ordering the same three slices, over several visits. Yes there were a few trips to this staple of Historic Waverly. And I feel fortunate to write about them now.
The easy part is their cheese, buffalo chicken, and white veggie are all so similar even if they’re full of different flavors.
This is not the best pizza you’ll ever eat. It doesn’t come close. But it’s solid. The one thing I’ve noticed across the board is the crust was legitimately crunch. It was New York Style taken to new heights. I don’t know if it was by accident or what, but the crust was incredible. And the irony is, a year ago in the same place, I would be complaining about how this isn’t pizza. And that this crunch was born out of laziness and an accident from the oven. Maybe that’s why I chose not to write about it before. I felt I needed to expand my horizons and pizza dining experience across-the-board.
But I will say the flavors of the pizza aren’t anything that will win any awards. But once again, they’re decent and will satisfy their customers. And two slices and a soda for $7 doesn’t hurt either.
And I’ll tell you something about their customers. It’s full of some of the most authentic people in Baltimore I’ve ever seen. I’ve sat inside multiple times and have overheard conversations I wouldn’t hear in a more supposedly posh. That sounds like I may be demeaning the locals who frequent Mamma Lucia, but the opposite rings true. This is a breath of fresh air. I’ve even had a impromptu discussion or two with some of the regulars and it’s been refreshing. It has only enhanced my awareness and gives me more of an appreciation for one of the originators of Baltimore.
This city has grown so much but it’s always important to support local. With the holidays here that message is even more vital.
This may not have been the most glamorous pizza place to write about but this is one that has sentimentality to me. The decor is simple and as long as there’s pizza to be had, friendly folks behind the counter, and a sense of relaxation. That’s all I can ask for.
For my friends in Baltimore, if you happen to drive by, maybe pop in one day. It’s not the most alluring but its perfect to me.