Charleston Edition: Mama Rosa's Pizzeria

By Candace Nelson - 9:00 AM

Mama Rosa's PizzeriaMama Rosa's PizzeriaI recently dined at Mama Rosa’s Pizzeria and Beyond, located on the West Side, for a friend’s birthday. From the outside, I thought it was a chain, but I was surprised to find out that isn’t the case.

Walking inside, it’s clear they have a buffet or salad bar at some point, but on this particular night, we were bound by menus.

Mama Rosa's PizzeriaTheir menu is kind of all over the place. Pizzeria is in the name, and they have pizza, pasta and calzones, but then there's more: wings, fish & chips and Mediterranean food. The last kind of surprised me, and a friend said their Mediterranean food is pretty good, but I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt with what they were going for. It's a pizzeria, so I wanted to stick to Italian.

I guess the Mediterranean food is the "beyond" part.

Mama Rosa's PizzeriaI went with the cheese ravioli, $8, with marinara sauce. It came with a side garden salad and garlic bread. My friend Maggie and I also split a side of meatballs.

The salad is slight above average. They actually include some veggies atop a pile of iceberg lettuce: onions, green peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers with some mozzarella cheese.

Mama Rosa's PizzeriaConsidering most side salads, this wasn't bad.

I couldn't say the same for my pasta dish.

Covered in mozzarella cheese that is slightly browned from oven baking seems like it would house food fit for a god, right?


The ravioli itself is clearly not homemade. I know they say they do not ship their dough or ingredients in from out of state or from a warehouse, but there is no way this is homemade. If it is, it tastes exactly what I could pick up from the frozen food section at Kroger.

Mama Rosa's PizzeriaThe ravioli tastes overcooked, dry and just not fresh. Bleh. Not inedible, but nothing I'd pay a restaurant to dish out.

Oh, and the meatballs? They actually were inedible.

You know the meatballs you get in the cans of Chef Boyardee? Like, has a hard piece of cartilage or something every so often? That. Plus it was like dissolving. You took a bite and it just was gritty and grainy and dissolved into tiny little bits. And not in a good way.

Grade: C
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