I have a respect for pizza places that are the hidden gems. The one’s where you’re like, “This is convenient and affordable, however it’s a bit of a hole in the wall and I have never heard of it, but hey, this could be good… or a disaster. Let’s try it!” Mama Mia’s Pizzeria was fortunately quite the opposite of a disaster and was a savory, doughy, humble, pleasant surprise!
For my whole life, I’ve always loved lake life. I grew up on the water at home and family cottages. So in moving to Buffalo, I appreciate the amount of water and wildlife that surrounds our great city.
I recently collaborated with Ryan Shea of Brookdog Fishing Company, who graciously took my boyfriend and I out on a super fun and educational fishing trip within the Niagara River leading out to Lake Erie. Since I knew we’d be fishing and floatin’ for several hours, I naturally decided to bring some pizza along for the trip. (Best decision ever, BTW.)
Regardless of your experience with fishing or age, Brookdog Fishing Co. is the perfect outdoor activity for anyone! This would be the perfect way to spend time for a father and kids, a couple’s date day, or even the most experienced fishers who wants to converse with those on the same level.
Ryan has an insane amount of knowledge about the local wildlife and water, it’s just incredible. He’s even traveled all over our country (and other countries) to fish for all different species in different environments. I know how to fish at a basic level for leisure, but there were plenty of new tips and tricks Ryan taught us—whether it was for reeling, checking for bites, identifying the gender of your fish, and even how to properly hold a fish!
I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t catch anything at first, but they were biting for sure! We caught several smallmouth bass with the help of Ryan guiding us and encouraging us through the whole process. I was totally impressed with the size of the fish in this area, so I felt way cooler holding these fish up for show!
I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the afternoon. Nothing like floating on their super cool fishing boat, feeling accomplished from our catches, good conversation with new friends, and, of course, pizza.
I prefer to be over-prepared vs. under-prepared for any occasion. I decided to bring two large pizzas from Mama Mia’s on our fishing trip. Just in case everyone was super hungry, plus to have some variety! I wasn’t sure how large a large would actually be, as some places can vary.
The first pizza was a meat lovers pizza: mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, and bacon. The second pizza was a ‘supreme’ style of pizza: mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, sweet green peppers, and onion. Both sounded just amazing and I was keeping my fingers crossed the taste would deliver.
We were launching Brookdog Fishing’s boat down near the Tonawanda Water Treatment Plant, so picking up a pizza in Kenmore was ideal on the way there.
Basically hidden on the corner of a little plaza next to a gas station, I found my way to Mama Mia’s to get my order. It was a rather small place with a counter and a few tables. Definitely you’re typical neighborhood pizza joint.
What stood out to me the most there was the gentlemen who took care of me. He was RAVING about how much he enjoyed making these two pizzas for me and how good they turned out! I was flattered he thought I had good taste in pizza toppings/combinations (ha!), but also appreciated how genuine he seemed about it. He was really trying to get me excited about enjoying his finished product. I liked that.
Pizza with a View
Both the fish and myself were HOOKED this evening. I was loving Mama Mia’s pizza, as was my fishing company.
We were floating in Outer Harbor, golden hour was illuminating the skyline of Buffalo, and I was getting to share a delicious couple of pizzas with friends. There could not have been a more perfect moment.
I started with a supreme slice, and this one was heavenly. Considering we got four toppings, this pizza was relatively affordable, if not cheaper than other one-topping pizzas I’ve purchased. All of the toppings were evenly spread throughout to get all of the flavors complementing each other well, but it wasn’t too overwhelming in quantity. The sauce, a little on the zestier side, was just the right amount, to not push the weight over the edge with all the toppings.
My second slice was the meat lover’s pizza. I preferred the supreme pizza just because I like a mix of veggies with meat, but nonetheless this did not disappoint my taste buds by any means. You could definitely taste the strong flavors from the bacon, which was applied in bigger pieces. I would have liked the bacon a little more finely chopped to blend easier. But overall, the cheese-to-meat ratio for the meat lovers pizza was on point. It didn’t taste like all meat, which I was pleased with.
Typically I lean towards crispy pizza for texture and taste (I love a little charred flavor!). However, Mama Mia’s pizza was slightly under-cooked. At first glance I was thinking this was not going to be good, but it really worked well once you ate it. The top of the pizza was softer and doughier, where the bottom crust was crispy enough to keep it all together and remain sturdy.
Would I go back? I reely would (pun intended).
I think the lesson here is to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. Explore new hobbies, go to a random pizza place you’ve never heard of, and get to know new people that have knowledge to offer. These are the moments where you’ll find a far greater reward on the other side.
The most sincere thank you to Ryan of Brookdog Fishing Co. for having us out on the water to fish and for sharing a pizza!
Pizza & love,
About Brookdog Fishing Co.
Inspired by camaraderie between brothers and close friends while fishing and camping in the wilderness of New York and Pennsylvania, Brookdog Fishing Company’s goal is to provide our clients with the best fishing experience possible while developing lasting friendships along the way. Let us help you explore and better define the, “best fishing experience possible,” while exchanging ideas, trading stories, and making plans for trips to come.