Any longtime Tucsonan can probably recall the Mama’s Pizza radio commercials from the late 90’s. “Maaaaama’s Piiiiiza.” It’s one of those weird memories that sticks out every time I think about Mama’s. That is why week 15 was a bit of a trip down memory lane.
The northwest location of Mama’s Pizza & Heros feels like the nostalgic pizza parlors of my youth. Dark, low ceilings, a couple of arcade cabinets and a claw machine. Walking into Mama’s was like walking into a time machine, and everything really felt like it did 20 years ago. Your attention will be immediately be drawn to the large carousel of booths and large fountain right in the middle of the restaurant.
Just past that you see the yellowish light of the counter, and spot a few glimpses of the ovens and workers walking back and forth like a carnival gallery game. The smell of coking crust permeates everything within those four walls.
One of the things that sets Mama’s Pizza apart is their huge 24″ pizza. Yes two feet of pizza to feed a family, or two pizza loving adults for days. Make sure to order this one in advance. Aside from great hand-stretched pizza Mama’s also makes Stromboli and Calzones, along side pasta, heros, salads, and even wings. They’ve got it all, and all of it good. If 24 inches of pizza is a bit much, you can also get an individual slice – also huge. A well rounded menu to satisfy any American-Italian food craving.
Crust: Thick, bubbly, and chewy. What I really liked about it was the air texture. When topped with the sauce, it transforms into something almost creamy, and not in a soggy way.
Sauce: They have a nice blend of herbs in their sauce, bringing out a lot of Italian flavors. Rich tomato flavor abounds.
Toppings: The cheese is pretty standard. The kind you would find on a traditional pizza parlor pie. Lots of mozzarella flavor, great pull and stretch. Also, I want to talk about these adorable meatballs. Our pie was meatball and green olives.
Overall I really like Mama’s. Not only for the joyful nostalgia it brings back, but also for the quality pizza they are serving up. This Tucson tradition gets 🍕🍕🍕 3/4 out of 5 slices. Their story is worth a read. It’s moving, and reminds me of what I love about Tucson’s family-owned businesses. Family, and a lot of heart.
Mama’s Famous Pizza & Heros
7965 N Oracle Rd
Tucson, AZ 85704