Anaheim, California: Hefty Pies at Marri's Pizza

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[Photographs: LA Pizza Maven]

Marri's Pizza and Pasta

1194 W. Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA (Across from Disneyland; map); (714) 533-1631; marrispizza.com
Getting there: near the Katella Exit off Interstate 5
Oven type: gas
The skinny: Old school pizzeria with monster pies
Price: From $8.49 for a small pizza to $20 for a giant one

Just down Katella Avenue, near Angels Stadium and Disneyland, smack dab in the heart of beautiful downtown Anaheim, California, is Marri's Pizza, tucked cozily into a thoroughly soulless SoCal mini mall. Upon entering Marri's, you're greeted by dulcet mandolins playing "Santa Lucia" and the cacophony of a crowded dining room. It's as if you're in a busy trattoria overlooking the Bay of Naples.

Marri's has been serving pizzas and pastas since 1957. Fifty-plus years—not bad. They offer five pizza sizes, from a 9-inch personal pie to an 18-inch extra large, and all of the old-school toppings (no nettles or applewood bacon here.) I ordered three large pies and watched our waitress's jaw drop open. After finally composing herself, she blurted out, "They're really big." Well, we had serious appetites, so bring 'em on!

20110222marrischeesy.jpgShe was right. These thick-crusted and abundantly topped pizzas would soon put a serious hurt on us. The regular pie was laden with cheese, a standard low-moisture mozzarella.The molten, lava-like cheese made me think of Mt Vesuvius in Naples. The sauce, heavy with oregano, was spicy and as liberally applied. We barely managed to consume half of this monster pizza.

The sausage pizza, liberally dotted with nubbins of spicy sausage, was equally overwhelming in its pure mass. Nevertheless, sausage junkies like us will have no trouble devouring this tasty pie.

Mushrooms on a pizza rarely satisfy me. Typically, I find the 'shrooms dried out, rubbery, and lacking flavor. The plentiful button mushrooms on the mushroom pizza at Marri's did nothing to erase my fungal prejudices, but I was especially disappointed by the crust on all three pies we tried. The crust was too thick and spongy. After a few slices, we all resorted to cherry-picking toppings and cheese from the doughy foundation.

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The heavy-handed style of these pies may not be my personal preference, but many folks do prefer more bang for the pizza buck. And, though it came a bit too late for me, the waitress did suggest that next time we should order the thin crust. Wish I had thought of that sooner—the thin crust option wasn't mentioned on the menu. Keep Marri's in mind next time you're at Disneyland, an Angels game, or an Anaheim Ducks game. And save a hearty appetite.

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