Just off Interstate 75 at the Byron exit, two restaurants owned by the same folks have created an unusual relationship: Mongros Pizza has been swallowed by Captain Jacks Crab Shack. Think Jonah and the whale.
With access to the seafood in Captain Jacks kitchen, Mongros has created some really unique pizzas not offered anywhere else. The sizes range from an 18-inch for $18.99, to a 14-inch for $15.99, down to a decent sized 10-inch for $10.99. We opted for four 10-inchers plus a calzone, which were more than sufficient for our group of eight.
The Lobster Pizza is closer to a lobster Po Boy in flavor, with fresh tomatoes and basil and just enough cheese to tie it together. The blackened grouper pizza was the most unusual, with its spiciness and banana peppers.
We ordered the Supreme Pizza with sausage, beef, pepperoni, ham and veggies to get a baseline on just the pizza part of these creations. The crust is light, almost like a cracker rubbed with olive oil and dusted with Parmesan. The veggies were fresh and crunchy, the light colored sausage may have been a type of Wurst, and the beef was good. The Buffalo Chicken Pizza needed more chicken, but the buffalo sauce added to the tomato base was excellent and the chicken was tender and very enjoyable.
Also great was the Seafood Calzone. For $17.99, it was a monster, taking up the entire center of our table. Cut into four huge slices, it easily could serve eight. It comes stuffed full of shrimp, crab meat, cheese and veggies and was the most unusual dish of the night. The crust was dusted with Parmesan, a work of art holding a seafood treasure trove.
What held the rating down from the three stars this food deserves? We waited more than 45 minutes to be seated at a pizza place. Because Mongros shares space with a slow cuisine like seafood, it took forever for people to eat, so be prepared to wait. And because seafood also takes longer to prepare than pizza normally does, we had to wait our turn for the pizzas to be prepared, giving us over an hour wait once we ordered. Fortunately, our server kept us occupied by bringing us continuous refills the whole time.
This tale turned fishy when we received our plates; one of them was completely unwashed! Because our kind server had her hands full, we wiped it off with a paper towel, which was yellow and greasy when we were done. The restrooms were equally off-putting.
My recommendation: Order the Seafood Calzone, the Lobster Pizza and the Buffalo Chicken Pizza as carry out. That way, you wont have wait to try some of the most daring pizzas in Middle Georgia.
Address: 101 Chapman Road, Byron
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Medium
Health Rating: 96
Price range: $10.99-$18.99
Rating: 2.5 stars