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Charleston Pizza at 
Mia Pomodori - Charleston, SC


Mia Pomodori sign

We were down in Charleston for the first time recently for a meeting of like-minded website entrepreneurs, and after a couple of days in that lovely historic Southern city, we had to get some pizza.


We searched for "Charleston pizza" and came up with Andolini's, a seemingly popular chain, but we decided to check the old standby foodie forum, Chowhound.  Yes, we know about Yelp, but old habits die hard...  There was a mention of a pizzeria called Mia Pomodori that piqued our curiosity, probably because the owner was from Brooklyn, so off we went...

Mia Pomodori - Charleston, SC

Mia Pomodori is a small place (the term they use in Charleston is "pizza shack") - enough room for Paul DeSantis and his son Brandon to work behind the counter and in front of the big Baker's Pride gas oven, and enough room for customers to gather and wait for takeout orders or choose a bottled beverage from the refrigerator case.  Beer drinkers - Charleston is a college town - can choose from a number of microbrews.  Those who prefer to eat their pizza without taking it somewhere else (like us) can walk through to tables in the backyard garden.

They do serve slices, but not at all times, and we got there when there were none.  We looked over the menu and chose a Margherita pizza, a good fall-back if we couldn't get their NY-style.  It turns out Paul grew up four blocks from Cary's old stomping grounds!  We talked to Paul about Brooklyn, and he teased us by saying that another Brooklynite had told him his Sicilian pizza was a little better than the legendary L&B!  "And you don't have any MADE?" Cary asked.  Paul was aplolgetic. We still want to go back to Charleston and find out if the statement was accurate or heretical!  We picked up a couple of sodas and walked back to the garden tables to wait for the Margherita.

the Margherita at Mia Pomodori

It was a nice-looking pizza, but the first thing we noticed was how thin the crust was, even at the cornicione (the outer crust).  We both prefer a nice puffy outside, but the main thing is always the taste.  The Margherita pizza at Mia Pomodori is wonderfully balanced.  No flavor dominates, and the delicious tomatoes (Mia Pomodori uses a mix of canned and fresh tomatoes), excellent fresh mozzarella (not chewy!) and earthy basil are a delight.  We were somewhat disappointed with the dough, which lacked the Italian-bread flavor we both love.  Cary thought maybe it hadn't 'proofed' (risen) enough before baking, and Lillian said it definitely needed a little salt.  We wondered if, perhaps, the humidity was an issue, but this was Charleston where humidity is always an issue.

Still, this was one of the rare occasions when the sauce and cheese combination and the balance of the pizza elements was so good, we could almost overlook the flawed crust.  So overall, we really liked the pizza.  If we include the distance-from-a-major-pizza-city factor, Mia Pomodori was a place we would re-visit for sure.


In fact, two days later, our last night in Charleston, even though we were getting ready to go out to dinner with other people, we scooted over to Mia Pomodori to grab a couple of slices.

Again, we missed out on the Sicilian and unfortunately we couldn't wait, so we got a couple of slices of the NY style.  We got them to go and ate them in the car.

Slices

This was very good New York pizza if you happen to be in Charleston! The crust was very thin and crispy and had a better flavor than the previous pie (although could still use a little salt in the dough), the sauce was superb, the balance very good, although the slices had a little too much cheese, like most pizza in and around NYC.

There was one other place we thought about trying, but Mia Pomodori is now our go-to place for Charleston pizza!

Mia Pomodori, 212 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC (843) 724-3560



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