Southern Madison has been without a robust Italian place since the loss of the beloved trailer park deli just west of Intergraph several years ago. Now Madison House of Pizza has arrived in the old Waffle King location, adjacent to Radio Shack on Madison Boulevard. Lea, the boys, and I were pleased to give it a try for dinner recently.
A breakfast diner vibe survives in the layout of the place. It is long and shallow, with booths surrounding a large grill area. The fast casual model is in use: order, pay, and then they bring it to you. The dining room is not especially large, so if you can get a jump on typical lunchtime or suppertime or wait until it passes, it might behoove you to do so.
(I have one little caveat on the dining area. If you’re a bit beyond your fighting weight — even a good bit — you’ll be fine. But if you’re a sure-enough fat guy, the booths are tight. I’m allowed to say that because I’m a sure-enough fat guy. And if you want beer, you’ll need to take it home anyway.)
The Great Crust Debate
Now when it comes to describing the style of a pizza, I’ve discovered that some people are rather particular. So I’ll tiptoe here. Madison House of Pizza serves a deeper pizza with a robust crust. I think it is safe and uncontroversial to call it pan pizza. Of the pizza styles that I know are named after cities, I’d say this tends toward a windy sort. There is no mention of a thin crust option on the menu.
Madison House of Pizza Menu
The pizzas are sold in small (10″) or large (16″). All of the usual toppings are available, as are a few interesting outliers like broccoli and artichoke. Most single-topping options are listed individually, as are a few combinations.
We took two of ’em. Nathan ordered a small pepperoni, and Aaron ordered a small meat lover’s. Judging from the rate at which each one disappeared, I’d say they were well received. The toppings are generously applied, and blanketed with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. The sauce is appealingly flavorful, but not overly spicy. Red pepper flakes are available to amp it up if you like. Safe to say the small feeds one to two, and closer to one if we’re talking about teenage boys.
Lea went with a steak calzone, full of tasty grilled meat and served “overstuffed.” The model here is of the calzone’s contents overwhelming their envelope and bursting out. Consequently, it’s not particularly portable. You’ll need to eat it much like a traditional pizza. I had an Italian grinder, on a freshly-baked roll. My warm Italian cuts and melted provolone were accompanied by lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and banana pepper rings. It was a good sandwich.
The menu also includes several baked pasta dishes and salads, as well as some offerings like gyros and Greek pizza. There’ll be plenty for us to come back and explore on a subsequent trip. Pizzas and calzones are $8-17, depending on size and toppings. Grinders, subs, and other sandwiches are $6-8, as are salads.
For the Kids
There is no dedicated children’s menu in evidence, but there are plenty of ways to feed younger ones pleasingly and cost-effectively. Pizzas and sandwiches are both easily divisible, of course, and chicken fingers, French fries, and mozzarella sticks are also offered. Both highchairs and booster seats are available. Restrooms are clean and well-stocked, but do not have changing tables.
Madison House of Pizza is a welcome addition to the area’s offerings. In terms of filling a niche, it’s a good play in this area of town. The offerings are tasty, and the pricing is highly competitive. Put MHOP on your list.