Atlanta Pizza Days #18 – Maddio’s Pizza Joint

March 16, 2009 · 7 comments

in atlanta, atlanta pizza, dining out

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Drum roll please! The 18th post in the Atlanta Pizza Days is here, and it’s also the last post in the series. We’re finishing up with yet another pizza destination that is new to me – Maddio’s Pizza Joint (menu here).

It’s been a fun and calorie-filled ride, and I was excited to wrap this all up with a fun new spot that’s only been open for a few months. Created by one of the co-founders of Moe’s, Maddio’s is billed as a pizza “concept” restaurant, though I wasn’t really aware of this before my visit. Similar to Moe’s, Maddio’s is a made-to-order restaurant, where similar to the California burrito concept, you are in full control of your pizza from start to finish. You pick your crust, then your pizza moves on down the line where you select the sauce and toppings of your choosing.

This is definitely an interesting concept and I was eager to see the results. The made-to-order in front of your eyes concept has proven to be successful in other genres (salads, sandwiches, burritos), but how would the pie turn out?

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We ordered one medium cheese, as well as a small pizza with tofu, blue cheese, and onions. We paid, then settled in on the spacious patio on this warm night. About 5 minutes later, the pizzas were delivered to our table. Scores below!

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Dough (score – 2/5)

  • “overcooked, thin, crispy, not much flavor, endcrust was weak, no structure”
  • “it was ok.  pretty standard.  you could see all the dough out and already in little pans, waiting to be put in the conveyor cooker-which also didn’t allow for char or any of that fun stuff.  But, it wasn’t too thick or gummy which was nice.  Could have a little more flava.”
  • Blind Taster’s comments - “had no flavor, no endcrust”

Sauce (score – 3/5)

  • “liked the sauce, good amount, nice sharp flavor”
  • “sauce was good.  Nice amount.”
  • Blind Taster’s Comments – “sauce was non-existent”

Cheese (score – 2.5/5)

  • “better than average, a lot of cheese, nice color and flavorful”
  • “Normal pizza cheese, nothing out of the ordinary, but good.”
  • Blind Taster’s Comments – “cheese was good – liked the actual flavor”

Overall (score – 2.5/5)

  • “Not bad, but very cookie-cutter on the whole. Tasted like a good thin boxed pizza. Crust was weak, everything else was decent enough”
  • “The pizza was good overall, though everything was consistently standard.  But, it’s nice to sometimes have a no surprises, typical, pizza.  The pizza conveyor cooker didn’t get near hot enough to get the pizza nice and crispy though. ”
  • Blind Taster’s Comments – “good flavor overall, tasted like a boxed pizza or lunchroom pizza“

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Final Thoughts: As you may have surmised, this pizza was very generic on the whole; to me it’s more about the concept than it is about creating great pizza. The Moe’s concept is in full effect, and I can see why people like it. It’s kind of fun picking and choosing the ingredients, and the small pizzas start at a price ($6.49 with three toppings) such that each person in a family could order their own pie to their liking.

That being said, I just don’t think it’s possible to use pre-rolled dough that’s been sitting out, then throw it on a conveyer and expect fantastic pie. The dough was overcooked to my liking, and there is no way to check for doneness on a conveyer. The dough has little flavor and it didn’t rise much, the endcrust being particularly weak. The high point of the meal was the small pie we got – the blue cheese + tofu pizza was very tasty. I’m going to classify their pie as being topping driven, which fits into the concept. There were a handful of families there having a good time, and I can see kids loving this kind of spot as they get to create their own special pizza with exactly what they want. Me….I was sorry I didn’t head on over to Shorty’s across the street for some real dough.

Additional photos can be viewed in the gallery below

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Maddio's Pizza Joint on Urbanspoon

Maddio’s on Yelp / Maddio’s Website

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  • http://www.foodiebuddha.com FoodieBuddha

    CONGRATS MAN!! This is what inspired the ATL S&S Tour … so many thanks and good job.

  • http://www.dirtysouthwine.com Dirty

    Well done! I’m sure you are relieved!

    I wouldn’t have found Shorty’s without this challenge. So huge thanks for that!

    Are you posting a final tally?

  • Monique

    I love Maddios. I tried Shorty’s on your recommendation and was disappointed. Maybe they had a bad day??? But I like Maddios better.

  • Foodglut

    I think you got this one wrong. I have eaten here a bunch in the last few months and it was always great. I also tried out Shorty’s and have been in Altanta so long that I of course have eaten at the staples. I think they (shorty’s) may have the worst pizza in town with their baked potato pizza.. Awful. But I do like their Margarita pizza with basil and tomatoes as well as their caramelized onion option. However for the value you got to be joking if you think Shorty’s is better. Maddios personal pizza and 3 toppings is only like 7 bucks where shorty’s is 11 (ahh turf wars so fun)
    I think people won’t give this place a chance cause it is started by a Moes’s guy and people want to feel retro so Shorty’s is the cooler thing to like b/c it is independently owned (which may or may not be true?) Well I’m wallet conscience and I like a good pie.. So to Maddios I go.

  • Delia

    REVIEW FAIL..COMPLETELY BOGUS. I like Maddios and I like others you describe but give poor marks to.. Wow so far off. 2.5 overall? Did you actually eat at some of these places.. This is like the third spot I’ve disagreed with you..BOOOOO

  • Pizaho

    I have to disagree as well. Maddio’s is jam up in my opinion. I sometimes eat there 3 or 4 times a week as I can mix up my pizzas, get a salad with all sorts of fixings or hit there subs (which are really good as well) and all within the same/low price point. Also, everything is made fresh in house (dough made fresh daily). I think we will definitely see more Maddio’s popping up around town.

    Shorty’s: Good pizza, good folks, great presentation and it IS indepentently owned. Shorty’s in Tucker also has great live music performances.

  • Thefoodtruth

    Agreed! Call it what it is…
    The only thing prepared fresh daily in Maddio’s is the dough and salad dressing. I guess they didn’t think we could see through the glass in the kitchen doors to see canned olives, mushrooms, sauces, etc…I saw a cook come out of the back with a plastic, air-tight bag of “fresh cut” peppers, ha! I’m just saying, don’t tell me your serving me champaigne and then serve s*%t!
    I made the mistake of going back (my fault) on a Thursday night where the owner was obviously buzzed, working the register, trying to be funny while the place was falling apart.
    The Moe’s of Pizza? Yes, they want it to be but the problem is Moe’s had a good model to rip off, Willy’s. Maddio’s has no such model to steal from so that is a pipe dream.
    I agree with Pizaho on Shorty’s. Very solid food. A brick oven so if you like a longer bake (like I do) that can be acheived. More high end toppings, great salads (featured in the AJC I believe as best house salad in Atlanta) and the wood planked Salmon is quite popular. They have a great staff and the owners are actually guys who worked in restaurants forever and decided to make a go of it on their own. Kudos!

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