John of Palm Harbor... Now Oldsmar
Male, 41 (Jan 2008)
Originally from Northern NJ near NYC
I am a cyclist that found the TYRONE Mario's by chance while riding the Pinellas Trail I spotted the huge letters "P-I-Z-Z-A". I tried it and I liked it enough that my family and I would commute from Palm Harbor, by car, to Mario's for dinner (18 miles according to my GPS). When they opened the pizzeria on Gulf To Bay (Route 60) at the Clearwater Mall, I was thrilled. True it is not along my cycling route, but they are close enough now to drive to during a spur of the moment craving for quality pizza.
I have read "BEST OF THE BAY" in what was once called "The Weekly Planet" (great name), now called "Creative Loafing" (stupid name). It is a weekly newspaper that is the greater Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater's answer to New York's "Village Voice". Each year they have a "BEST OF THE BAY" issue... I read the best pizza choices a couple years ago and I disagreed (HEY! I am allowed! LOL!). Last year, while home from deployment I managed to pick up a copy that featured a top 64 pizzerias issue. It was done up like a "March Madness" college basketball playoff bracket. I tried several of the pizzarias mentioned, some were close, but none matched the "PIZZA" of Mario's. Not the canoli's or the linguine... Just what it asked for... the PIZZA. Not deep dish or crispy... no toppings.... Just Pizza... Walk in and ask for a slice in 100 NYC pizza joints and I bet all will give you a slice of "just pizza"... No toppings, no thick/thin slice questions... just a slice. That is what you rate when you compare pizza places. If you compare a thick crust here and a thin crust there it is like comparing apples and .... umm... well not oranges, no sir... like apples and nuclear war. Keep it simple stupid. Pizza is an art form at Mario's. Trust me on that one.
MARIO's: Clean. Polite & prompt service. Quality food and drink. At first they are better than expected, then you realize that it is because they set the standard everyone else strives to live up to. BRAVO!