Daily Slice: Mineo's, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
No pizza ever quite compares to the stuff you grow up with. (We call it the Pizza Cognition Theory.) So when SE contributor John M. Edwards found out Erin Zimmer and I were going to Pittsburgh, he insisted we stop at Mineo's Pizza House:
I've been eating there since I was old enough to fold a slice, and I think it's the best pie in Pittsburgh. The crust is crackly and chewy, they never skimp on the cheese, and they always cook it perfectly, until there's just a little browning. They also put the toppings under the cheese on made-to-order pizzas, so that the flavor of the toppings is fully integrated with the whole pie. It's pizza from a different era; so many pizzerias now have newly renovated interiors, fig/pear/arugula toppings, and at least one person on the waitstaff with a bachelor's degree from Vassar. Mineo's isn't a "reinvention" of anything; it's the real deal, a hometown original.
And even stripped of the nostalgia, it's pretty solid pizza—a slightly sweet, tangy sauce, a blanket of melty mozz, the slices tossed back in the oven before serving. I would've liked a bit more chew in the crust, which was nicely flavorful but just a little tough. Still, all in all, more than tasty.
Mineo's Pizza House
2128 Murray Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15217 (map)