Trying a slice at Mike’s Stone Baked Pizza was intended to be a prelude to dinner at the newest wood burning oven restaurant, but it was by far the star of the day. Reliable word of mouth brought me in to this off the beaten path, slightly grungy pizzeria that steadily cranks out quality slices.
My slice came from a freshly baked pie, and while I prefer a reheated slice for mostly for crispness, this slice had a crunchy snap right at the first bite. The cheese and sauce were dripping over the sides almost sloppily, but in a way that made my inner child happy. A good reheat would have likely tightened everything up to look like the slices I saw others eating. The simple and smooth sauce was really the star on this slice, and wasn’t excessive in sweetness or acidity. It was truly one of the best in recent memory. They even provided oregano shakers along with the other usual add ons. The rest of the menu offered a variety of coffees, sandwiches and pastas, along with some enticing muffins.
The dingy bones of the space have been brightened with paint, stickers and menu posters, and the florescence of the open kitchen gives it an edgy but welcoming vibe. This description is meant only in the most positive sense, that Mike’s is exactly as it should be, an ideal college grotto. They are cranking out pizzas until late at night 7 days per week.
Seeing such a young person at the helm of something a new quality pizzeria gives me hope for good things to come for the New York slice. Mike told me that he learned his skills working at another respected local spot that is now closed. Tasting the quality of what he is doing gives the impression that he is passionately involved in his craft and the ingredients that go into it. Finding such a worthy slice here is a bit like connecting a third dot to a triple crown of Gulf Coast slices.
Mike’s is situated just below the south foot of Doak Campbell Stadium in a commercially undeveloped part of town where I would shoot pool at a nearby dive back in my college days. Not much has changed about the neighborhood, and Mike’s fits right in. This pizza is worth a significant detour.
1313 Jackson Bluff Rd. Tallahassee, FL 32304