Meldino’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, near the mall in Centerville, was quiet the evening we came, with only three other tables being used, but it seems like a place that could be hopping with locals after a high school football game.
It’s a pretty big place, with a large room on either side of the entrance, though one side was completely empty during our visit. The respect for the military is in evidence everywhere, from pictures on the wall to a mural painted to look like you’re entering an airplane. The decor is a bit rough around the edges and could use a little straightening up, but it doesn’t seem overly concerned about being trendy.
We started with the garlic knots and fried pickle spears, both of which we enjoyed. In fact, I nearly missed trying the knots because they got scarfed down so quickly. The pickles were coated with a thin, crunchy crust but seemed a bit pricey at $5.29. The knots, at $3.60 for a basket full, were a much better deal.
We wanted to try as many different pizzas as possible, so three of us got the mini Mel size, essentially a personal pizza for a base price of $4.59 plus your additional toppings for less than a dollar more. The classic Margherita was the big winner here, with obviously fresh basil with mozzarella, ricotta and Roma tomatoes. The Five Cheese and the Meat Lover’s were both good but didn’t knock us out like the Margherita did.
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The Mel’s calzone was interesting, in a shape I’ve never seen before, like a diagram drawing of a hurricane with the middle opened up. Filled with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and cheese, it was fairly priced at $9.50 and was just enough to be satisfying without feeling glutted.
One member of our group had a disappointing visit. After spending 15 minutes deciding on the lasagna, she was then told they were out of lasagna, so she chose the chicken Parmesan. Not sure what happened, but her food never arrived with the rest of ours and we had to call our server over to find out what happened. The chicken Parmesan finally came out as we all finished our dinners.
Perhaps it was the experience and not the food itself, but we determined it not worth all the wait. The bed of spaghetti under it was under-temperature and overcooked and, at $10.29, a disappointment.
Interestingly, our ticket reflects a 10 percent military discount even though none of us were or are in the military. With that kind of devotion to their main customer base, I’m sure Meldino’s customers will always support them back.
Address: 103 Gunn Road, Centerville
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Low
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $4.59-$10.29
Rating: 2.5 stars