Located amongst stiff competition in Sorrento's, and not so stiff competition in Michelina's and Luigi's, Mario the Baker offers a family dining experience on High Ridge Road with bizarre quasi table service and a traditional Italian menu.
Establishment. If John the Baker has one of the worst on-site parking situations in town, Mario the Baker has the absolute worst on-site parking situation in town (unless of course, you park next door, but be prepared to be berated by the tenants of that lot). You wouldn't guess that there's only about four spaces in the lot by the size of Mario's relatively large dining room. Suitable for large parties, small parties, and yes, even pizza parties, Mario the Baker offers a comfortable dining experience complete with tons of seating in a dining room flanked by two beautiful, muted wall murals depicting an old Italian pizzeria. Their menu is also quite expansive, including full Italian entrees, wedges, daily specials, and specialty pizzas. However, we were put off by their halfhearted approach on table service, as we were waited on for our meal, but drinks and payment were essentially self service affairs. Overall, Mario the Baker is a nice place to eat.
Pizza. Unfortunately, Mario the Baker is not a nice place to eat pizza. Mario's product is very mediocre and bland. It came out of the oven scorching hot and hit the table as an amorphous blob of cheese. While the crust was mildly flavorful and crisp, the cheese was in extreme abundance and its flavor was not there at all. The sauce was a nothing short of average and due to the sickening amount of cheese on the pie, it was often overpowered. Ingredient slip was also an issue with Mario's pie as the cheese glacier sitting atop the crust had no problem inching its way down each and every slice. The sausage topping we ordered just added to the mass of ingredients on an otherwise good thin crust pie, and it wasn't really that flavorful either. This pizza suffers from having too many things of questionable quality on a very respectable thin crust and while we would probably give them them the benefit of the doubt and chalk this particular visit up as a bad day, on a good day this pie would be average at best.
The bottom line. Mario the Baker is a nice restaurant that offers plenty of hearty Italian entrees and a pretty boring pizza.
Hits the Spot: 5/10
Large Cheese: $12.13