Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mo's Pizza

Recently artisan pizza has been at the forefront of both local and national culinary trends, and we have written extensively about several of the pizza specialists which have sprung up over the past few years. But for every one of the new Neopolitan, deep dish, and New York style shops that opens, there are at least twice as many old school pizza joints which remain forever endeared to a loyal clientele.

When discussing the city's best places for a slice, Mo's Pizza is always heralded as a fan favorite. As infrequent visitor to the Westwego area, my first Mo's experience was the result of a perfect storm of a boring Monday night with no football plus the requirement to cross the Mississippi River to purchase a gift card. The Folk Singer and I had no expectations whatsoever as we made the long drive on the Westbank Expressway, but we were still surprised at what we found.

Housed in what looks like (and basically is) a warehouse on an indiscreet side street in Westwego, Mo's is a throw back to the old school, no-frills pizza parlors of yore. Slices are pre-baked and left on display at the counter, waiting to be re-fired in the oven upon command. Your order is artfully presented on paper plates transported on plastic trays reminiscent of the elementary school cafeteria. The dining room is full of tables covered in black and white checkered table cloths and adorned with only the obligatory red pepper and parmesan shakers plus a few bottles of hot sauce.  Even the beer prices seemed to be rolled back to a different time - a 16oz. plastic cup of domestic draft will run you $2.75 during all hours of business.

The pizza turnover at Mo's.
And the pizza is delicious. The crust is remarkably crisp given the thickness of the dough (about a 1/4 inch high); the only plausible explanation is an inferno of an oven. Both cheese and toppings are applied at a minimum, but there is ample coverage of the house sauce, which tastes sweeter than most but does not cross into the classification of "red gravy." Portions are laughably large. A single slice is so wide and cumbersome that the kitchen automatically divides them in half for ease of eating.

In addition to pizza, the menu boasts a number of house specialties which are derivations of the same ingredients. Sausage wraps are a guido version of pigs-in-a-blanket. A whole link of Italian sausage is split down the middle and enclosed inside a thin layer of pizza crust, the ends still visible through holes in the end. Turnovers are loaded with all of the meat, extra cheese and minimal sauce stuffed inside the pocket of the thick dough. The Monday special of BBQ beef looked enticing, but I had to wait for that till another day. The cashier was already judging us for our order of 2 slices, 1 turnover, and 1 sausage roll. That amount of food could have easily fed a family of 4, but we made it stretch into lunch for the next few days.

Much praise is deserved for those pizza perfectionists who import their ovens from across the Atlantic, use only artisan salumi as toppings, or replicate the distinctive pizza styles of the Big Apple or the Windy City. I love those types of pies just as much as anyone. But sometimes you just want a slice, and when that's the case, remember Mo's.

Mo's Pizza - Birdie
1112 Avenue H
Westwego, LA 70094
(504) 341-9604
Mon-Sat 10am-10pm


Fump and manny's said...

I love mo's, and remember when i used to eat mo's for dinner, but
Pizza D is blowin' up like you thought it would
Call the crib, same number same hood
It's all good

Uh, and if you don't know, now you know, Peter, uh

Grammatologist said...

re: "As infrequent visitor to the Westwego area"

As AN infrequent...

Rene said...


Don't worry we still have mad love for the Pizza Delicious dudes, just throwing out something else for M-W, and Friday thru Saturday nights.

Anonymous said...

Hate going to the Best Bank but when I do I hit up Mo's, the best pizza joint in the City. Huey P's claim they are better but its overpriced and lame. Mo's is awesome!!

Superdeformed said...

I work on the Westbank and my co-workers and I eat there at least once a week. It must contain crack.

kibbles said...

we made the drive...once. pizza is large, yes. turnovers/calzone was good, large just wasn't enough to make the drive a second time.

that was even before pizza D. now with pizza d ("AD"), I don't see trekking anywhere for pizza again.

Megan said...

I'm so glad yall decided to make the trek. I grew up eating Mos and my family still usually has "Mos pizza night" once a month. It really is the best classic pizza place in NOLA. Thanks for covering one of my favorites!

ShannonPinNOLA said...

...and if you think the pizza in the display case is good, just wait until you order an entire pizza, made to order, fresh from the oven. Heaven in its purest, cheesiest form. You owe yourself a drive back waaaaaaay across the river for that treat.