06 July, 2009

Mama Miro's Restaurant, Enfield CT

Mama Miro's, on Hazard Avenue (CT Rt 190) in Enfield is a recently-opened Italian restaurant and pizza joint. After hearing good things about the food and service from friends, my wife and I decided to give it a try last weekend. We weren't disappointed.

From the outside, the building looks barely large enough to hold a commercial kitchen - much less a full restaurant - but looks can be deceiving. Inside, Mama Miro's is cozy and inviting, with lots of warm wood tones, ten roomy and comfortable tables, and an open view of the pizza prep area and ovens. We were greeted as we walked in by owner and hostess Kathy Miro, who offered us a menu and chatted with us as we made our selections.

The menu has a decent variety. The appetizers are fairly standard (fried mozzarella with sauce, chicken tenders, cheese fries, garlic bread, calamari, etc.) but there are a lot to choose from, and the salad selection shows quite a bit of variety for such a small place. The pizza menu highlights 16 different specialty pizzas, or you can "build your own." There's also a wide variety of "Italian sandwiches," which in most of New England are normally called grinders. On Mama Miro's menu, though, they're called heros, probably a reflection of New York origins. The prices are reasonable, especially on the kid's menu (for 12 and under) - all kid's meals are $5.50 and include an 8-ounce soda.

We wanted to get sort of a general idea of what the food was like, so we ordered Mama's Sampler for an appetizer (chicken tenders, beer-battered onion rings, fried ravioli, fried mozzarella with sauces) and a World's Fair Pizza (fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, sweet sausage, mushrooms, peppers, meatballs, bacon, olives, and onions.) We always try to get an appetizer like fried mozz when we're trying a pizza place for the first time. Not very exciting, I know, but it's usually served with a dipper of the house marinara sauce, and the quality of the marinara is usually a good indicator of the overall qualtiy of the food.

After a few minutes, Karen came to our table and told us that they were out of chicken tenders on the Mama's Sampler - would we mind if they subbed Buffalo wings? We agreed immediately, and I was glad we did. We got five big, meaty wings in an excellent mildly hot sauce which I enjoyed for what it was: a well-balanced blend of vinegar and sweet with a spicy kick that my non-chilehead wife thought was pretty hot (hahaha.) The two fried cheese ravioli in the sampler were huge and tender and lightly breaded with seasoned crumbs. They quickly became a favorite of my daughter. The fried mozzarella was a generous slice of loaf mozzarella, equal to perhaps three mozzarella "sticks" as served by most other places. That made it harder to share, but it also allowed a more delicate crumb coating, since the bigger piece of cheese was less likely to get too melty in the fryer and burst out all over the plate. And the marinara sauce that was offered for dipping was very good - fresh-tasting and tangy and nicely spiced. The only thing that was less-than-optimal were the beer-battered onion rings, which we thought were a little too heavy with oil. Maybe the fry-o-lator wasn't hot enough?

Our pizza was great as well. We were pleased by the New York-style thin crust, which held up well under the toppings and didn't get too soft in the center. There was a generous amount of toppings as well. The sausage was flavorful and the meatballs very much like homemade.

Their weakness, however, is speed of service. On our first visit, our pizza had come out of the oven ten minutes before our sampler had even hit the fryers. On other visits, we're routinely had to wait 45 minutes, even for simple grinders.

We'll go back again because the food is good, but we plan to call in our order first.

Mama Miro's Pizzeria Restaurant
117 Hazard Avenue
Enfield CT 06082
FAX: 860-265-3801

Lunch and dinner, delivery available.

Mama Miro's didn't have a website at the time of this review.


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