'Mangia, mangia' is what you do at Mamma's Pizza
"Mamma's" serves as the generic name of who knows how many pizza places across the country. I can think of a few just in York County.
It makes sense. The name conjures images of an attentive Italian woman, heaping piles of food on you, demanding, "Mangia, mangia." ("Eat, eat.")
But, I would suspect not all Mamma's Pizza locales have food that mamma actually prepared.
The Mamma's Pizza in Loganville does.
When I walked into the restaurant in a strip mall at the edge of town, I saw lasagna ($8.95) on the specials menu, a dish that co-owner Giuseppe Conigliaro's mamma, Fina, made fresh the night before.
After some consideration, I selected it over the manicotti special.
The lasagna arrived in a few moments, encased in melted mozzarella cheese and accompanied by two knots of garlicky bread.
I noted the presence of an ingredient some might find unusual in lasagna - ham.
"That's how we make it in Sicily," Conigliaro told me later.
It's actually the second time I've experienced this lasagna-making method. A little less than a year ago, another local Sicilian family invited me into their home to watch them make pasta from scratch. In their lasagna, they layered big chunks of ham between the noodles, sauce and cheese.
This lasagna had fine-chopped bits of ham more subtly blended with the beef and ricotta cheese. Many people - myself included - believe lasagna is best enjoyed the day after it's made. It gives the ingredients time to "meld," they say.
The lasagna did, indeed, have a very smooth, consistent flavor - quite warming and comforting in the cold weather.
Unfortunately, the middle of my wedge of lasagna did not heat all the way through. Of course, that's not mamma's fault - nor did it ruin the meal because cold lasagna is still good - but it was a little disappointing.
Overall, Mamma's is a good lunch spot. A couple of quick pizza slices and a drink will cost you less than $5. And the portions are generous.
Just the way mamma would probably want it.
Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants with meals for less than $10. Suggestions are welcome. Reach Wade Malcolm at 771-2101, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @YDRCheapEats.
If you goLOCATION: Mamma's Pizza, 215 N. Main St. in Loganville
WADE'S PICK: lasagna ($8.95)
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday,
noon to 10 p.m. Sunday
PRICE RANGE: $4 to $16.95
ACCEPTS: Cash and major credit card
KID'S MENU: hamburger, cheeseburger, chicken fingers, spaghetti