Westwego Winner Just Like Yesteryear
Mary Ann Fitzmorris December 13, 2019 20:37 Dining Diary
Before there was Fat Boy’s there was Mo’s Pizza. Tom remembers when the radio show first started, it was all people wanted to talk about. The secret was out about the place from deepest Westwego, where Mo’s has been since its beginnings. The major difference in these two places is, well, a world. But enough about Fat Boy's. There is little to say about it.
Mo's on the other hand...Located on a nondescript street in Westwego just blocks from the Westbank Expressway, Mo’s is housed in an industrial-looking building, which may be the most charming thing about the place. Inside is pure Yat, which makes it endearing in a N’Awlins kind of way. Up the three concrete steps into the building, you walk immediately to the counter, which is fast-casual style. To the left as you walk in you’ll find a row of theater seating yanked out of somewhere. They don’t even look fancy enough to have been in a theater. Next to those is a gambling booth, a restaurant feature that immediately renders the restaurant lower down the atmosphere chain than it would otherwise be, and that includes places with excellent food like Vincent’s.
The dining room has the same we-ain't-trying-to-impress-anybody feel to it. Looking more like a Knights of Columbus Hall than a restaurant, the dining room remains filled at peak times and filled enough throughout the day. They come for the pies-large slices of New York-style pizza. There is a case with enormous whole pizzas (pictured) that are cold and waiting for the slice to be ordered and warmed in the conventional ovens so prevalent in New York pizza joints. In a steam table, there are other things like Italian sausage in red gravy and meatballs and spaghetti.
We were recently told on the show that Mo’s had the best lasagna in town. This seemed a stretch, so I had to investigate, hence the trip to the Westbank. I have to admit it was good. The pasta seemed like pillows, and it was loaded with cheese and meat. But it was that old Sicilian sweeter-style red sauce that is not my preference. This was absolutely its only flaw, so the caller’s bold claim was not unreasonable.
And the pizza? The crust is a good sturdy and firm New York pie crust: chewy and crunchy at the edges. The edge is thick enough to hold onto it. Toppings are good and very generous. There is nothing here to complain about unless, like me, the sweeter sauce is not your thing. And it’s just a subtlety anyway.
Mo’s Pizza is world’s away from Pizza Delicious, but not all that far from the now-defunct Brooklyn Pizza. Brooklyn was better, but fans of that style and vibe need only cross the Huey P for ten minutes more to get their fix of this N’awlins Dahlin' kind of place. And that kind of place is where you will find the old N’awlins Italian salad: iceberg lettuce and canned artichoke hearts and olive salad in a delicious garlicky, oily dressing, with some Italian meats and Provolone mixed in, a dusting of parmesan on top.
There are chicken wings and breadsticks and mozzarella sticks, a muffuletta (also good), pizza turnovers and sausage rolls with or without peppers and onions. The sausage is homemade and the pizza crust is good and stiff. There is a flavor component to pizza dough though we take it for granted. You only notice it if it isn’t there. In this case, it is.
Desserts are cookies and bread pudding, and a peanut butter fudge.
Mo’s is still doing it, just like the days when they were a phenom. Is it worth the trip? One, at least, The rest is up to you.
1112 Avenue H Westwego