Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint opened in September and has since gathered quite a following. Everyone I’ve spoken to about Maddio’s has mixed reviews. I am no different.
Uncle Maddio’s is a chain with six metro-Atlanta locations, and according to the website, 75 more stores in development. It’s a fast casual, design your own pizza concept. You choose your type of dough (white, wheat or gluten free), your type of cheese and then you get to go crazy with toppings. The person then assembles your pie per your instruction and lays it on a conveyor belt oven that’s reminiscent of the Quiznos toaster. As the pizza slowly travels through the oven to cook you continue down the line and pay. You are given an identification number to place on your table. The pizza is brought out to your table hot and ready to eat.
Along with pizzas, Uncle Maddio’s has a variety of salads and paninis. If the pressure of all those ingredients gets to you, they also have many specialty pizzas to choose from.
My first experience was for take out. I ordered the Big Max specialty pizza which has loads of meat and a basil tomato sauce. My wife and I were disappointed in the taste and quality. The pizza was bland, cold and uninspired. I thought that perhaps the travel time between the restaurant and my home really took it out of the pizza.
The seating is an unusual mix of really high booths and crammed in tables. It is rather tight. Several employees were trying to bus tables and deliver food. There’s not much room to walk. It didn’t help that the place was packed. There are several outdoor tables that will help with the crowds come summertime.
The employees are friendly enough. There is a station with plates, silverware, napkins and condiments. They also have one of those fancy Freestyle Coke machines with millions of combinations of soda. There were several televisions to watch and pretty loud music piped in. It was almost distorted and was a tad distracting.
I dined in on my second visit, choosing my own toppings from the massive selection. The pizza arrived and I chowed down. My theory about the time after cooking was correct. The pizza was delicious and flavorful. I ate nearly the entire thing.
There are not many options on the kid’s menu. Parents, be prepared. There is a small pizza meal and that’s it. The prices are not too bad, even thought you can’t find them on the website. It was around $20 for a medium pizza and a drink.
Overall, I’ve has ups and downs with Uncle Maddio’s. It’s worth a shot. It’s neat picking out your toppings ala Subway and there are several gluten free and organic options. Eat it there for the best taste. Ciao Maddio!
Lee’s Take - I’m not going to disagree with Mike on this one. You’ve got to have diminished expectations going into this joint based on their common ancestry with Moe’s. Nevertheless there area few decent items to be found here. Stick to the specialty pizzas. The southwest baja, a spicy chicken pizza, is a winner. My wife likes their Greek pizza. For pies with a-la cart toppings, you’re better off elsewhere.
Their kitschy theme grates on me. Employees say “Ciao Maddio” and “hot pie” under compulsion from management. It doesn’t come off well, very contrived. The make up for it with a decent Facebook page with some specials to be found there. And watch those small kids pizzas, lest you share your own pie with Junior!