Davao City’s homegrown restaurant, Mama Maria’s Pizzeria, recently has undergone renovation and rebranding. A couple of weeks ago they re-opened to the public as Mama Maria’s Pizzeria and Cafe.
Located along J. P. Laurel Ave, the newly renovated restaurant features an updated menu and interior design. For the menu, it seems like they combined the menu of Mama Maria’s Pizzeria and Gino’s Burger. They have added cakes and new beverages to their menu like frappes, coffee-based drinks, and milkshakes.
Meanwhile, they changed their then boring interior to a industrial-ish and hipster-ish theme.
As what I have written earlier, the newly renovated restaurant features and industrial-ish, hipster-ish design. For instance, they have an exposed ceiling thing going on where you can see the air vents at the same time there are wooden pellets placed in certain gaps on the ceiling.
There is also ample amount of seats though most tables are good for more than three persons. I love their high top table seating.
I also like their open kitchen area for their pizza. It is always fun to watch the cooks do their thing in the kitchen.
My only negative comment about the place is they only have one comfort room and it is not very clean when we visited here.
It should also be noted that Mama Maria’s Pizzeria and Cafe is located at the former Sychar Hotel Building, which is under renovation as of the writing of this review. So don’t be surprised of the construction that is happening around the restaurant.
FOOD and BEVERAGE
During our visit we ordered Stuffed Burger (P195 for ala carte and P210 with fries and iced tea), Regular Burger Patty (P125 for ala carte and P120 with fries and iced tea), Single size Tropicana Pizza (P85), Regular size Romeo and Juliet Pizza (P225), and Blitz Torte (P95) for dessert. Both pizzas are thin crusts.
The 8-inch Single Size Tropicana Pizza contains tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, ham, pineapple, banana, and curry. As interesting as the contents of the pizza sounds, so does its taste. It is like the Hawaiian Pizza with banana, I think its saba, and a dash of curry powder. I really don’t understand the flavor profile of this pizza, it was not memorable.
On the other hand, the 11-inch Romeo and Juliet Pizza tasted better as compared to the later. It has tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, bacon, Spanish chorizo, onions, and egg. I like the combination of flavors, I find it really balanced. It was also tasty, probably because of the chorizo and bacon. However, I did not taste much of the egg, which looks like melted cheese.
Their pizzas came in five sizes: 8-inch or single size, 11-inch or regular size, 15-inch or family size, 21-inch or XL family size, and 30-inch or XXL party size.
The star of the dinner was the Stuffed Burger wherein its patty is stuffed with cheese, bacon, and mushrooms. The patty was freaking huge! I had to eat it using fork and knife due to its size. I also find it very juicy and flavorful.
Two of my friends had the Regular Burger Patty. My friends who had this said it was good.
If you order a burger combo meal, it comes with fries and iced tea.
For dessert, had the Blitz Torte, it was okay nothing to rave about. It’s like brazao de mercedes but with cake.
Their food and beverages are reasonably priced. Aside from burgers and pizzas, they also serve three kinds of pasta – Bolognese, Bola-bola, and Carbonara – all priced at P119.
From 2:00pm to 5:00pm and 9:00pm to 12 midnight, they have a Buy 1, Take 1 for their pizzas.
The service somehow fell flat during our visit here.
Let me start with some of the good. Mama Maria’s Pizzeria and Cafe accepts over the phone reservations. It is also good to note that when I arrived at the store, I was immediately directed to the reserved table.
Food was also served on time. Pizza was served around 15 to 20 minutes while burgers were also served around 15 minutes, just as what the waiter promised.
The staff were accommodating but were not friendly nor attentive. There was not a smile from the staff. No smiles for us nor for the other customers. I received a couple of annoyed or irritated responses from the staff even though we talked or gave our requests politely.
We had to call their attention a couple of times for a glass of water. They also placed the pitcher of water and glasses around the middle of our meal. I think it should be a standard that water is placed on the table when the diners arrive or they could have put a self-service water station, which I did not see.
It is also sad to note that there was one waiter catering to all the tables during our time of visit. He was sort of running around the place to serve the needs of the customers. There were two other staffs behind the counter but I do not know what their roles or positions are but they could somehow took initiative to assist the poor waiter who was doing working the whole dining area.
In terms of aesthetics, Mama Maria’s Pizzeria and Cafe is quite appealing. The food we had were a hit and miss. We enjoyed their Romeo and Juliet Pizza and the Stuffed Burger. The Tropicana Pizza was interesting but not memorable; the Regular Patty Burger was good; and the Blitz Torte was just okay. The service during our visit was below average.
Will I come back? Probably. I want to try their other burgers because I really enjoyed the Stuffed Burger.
To know more about them, visit their Facebook Page. You can also read more about them in this Sun.Star Davao article.