If you live in Katy, Texas or are willing to take the short commute down the Westpark Tollway, you can get your hands on something really special. During a group dinner last week, a fellow foodie and I were discussing pizza in Houston. Everyone has their favorite and like sports and BBQ, it can either end in a shouting match, mutual disagreement, or a new found friendship. In this case, our shared love for a deep dish pizza brought us closer together in a matter of minutes. At the height of our discussion, a small strip center gourmet pizza spot raised my eyebrows and my curiosity. Apparently, the deep dish pizza was something to write home about. In true Urban Swank fashion, I said, "I will believe it when I see it." I trusted her palate based on the touting of her personal faves, like Star Pizza and Pink's Pizza, so I gave Mazzei's Gourmet Pizza a bump on the "must eat now" list.
Not even a mile from the Mason Road exit, Mazzei's is serving up a New York Style, Chicago Deep Dish, and New York Style thin crust version (can be ordered upon request only) of their pies. I opted for the Chicago Deep Dish and had already set very high expectations. I ordered my pizza for pickup, given the 25-35 minute wait, so I could enjoy it at home. Plus, a deep dish can get kinda messy and I like to go all in...minus the spectators! At first look, this was not really what I would call a deep dish pizza. Why? Well, when I think deep dish, I expect that my meal will eventually require a fork and knife as the mere volume of layered ingredients tends to overpower the thick crust once you enter the middle of the pie. This pie was, in comparison, slightly shallow. If the Mazzei's Deep Dish was maybe 1/4 inch deeper, I would have given it a pass. Maybe it's the Texas version? However, what it lacked in thickness, it made up for in flavor, freshness, quality, and pure delight.
This gem of a deep dish had the creamiest mozzarella cheese. The cheese was laid with a heavy hand for sure; and that is exactly what I like...lots of great tasting cheese! Every bite of the pie came right along with a nice portion of this gooeyness. Mazzei's doesn't skimp on the toppings either and the ratio was perfect. The pepperoni and Italian sausage that were sprinkled around, inside, and on top of my pie, were tasty as well. I added mushrooms and black olives for good measure. The crust was deliciously chewy, but I did find the edges to be a bit on the hard side. This pizza was hearty, to say the least, and their "famous pizza sauce" was chunky and savory with a hint of sweetness. I am a stickler on the level of sweetness in my sauce, so this version was perfect for me. Other sauce options available are the Sundried Tomato Pesto, Basil Pesto, and Virgin Olive Oil. You can go premium with selections of Prosciutto, Shrimp, or Smoked Gouda or take a ride on the wild side and include a bit of Corn or Yellow Squash. The options were perfect for vegetarians, those that like a non-traditional pizza, and for others that want to upgrade their "go to" pie.
I highly recommend Mazzei's because they got it right. When you focus on a particular type of food, you have to bring your A game. I can't say that it is my all time favorite, but you will definitely find me paying the toll and taking a hop, skip, and a jump over to Katy, where some of Houston's best pizza can be found. Enjoy!
Mazzei's Gourmet Pizza
6868 S Mason Rd Katy, TX 77450
- Shanna "Urban Girl" Jones, Urban Swank