Mercurio’s restaurant offers disappointing pizza and fantastic gelato

Written By Cassandra Harris, News Editor

Over break I had the pleasure of being taken to Mercurio’s in Shady Side. Originally just a creamery, they brand themselves with neapolitan pizzas and house made gelato. I was with my friend who made it her New Year’s resolution to try or do something new every week and Mercurios happened to be somewhere neither of us had ever visited. 

The place is small but their location is prime because of the other big and small businesses surrounding it. It was a little crammed Inside and as we were deciding what gelato we wanted, the waiter had to hop around us to get to his tables. 

The gelato was priced at 74 cents an ounce and the Pizza was around 14 dollars. She and I split everything, so we decided on their death-by-chocolate gelato shake and a small cup of their raspberry sorbetto. We ordered one of their pizzas and at the suggestion of the woman behind the counter, we chose the salame calabrese. She said it was the closest thing that they had to pepperoni so we went with that to be safe. 

At first I was a little apprehensive of the raspberry sorbetto as Its appearance was off putting. It sat in the container with a syrup and type of breadcrumb on top, but here I would soon discover that It was my favorite flavor of ice cream in disguise. It was the most rich version of it I had ever tasted — I was supposed to share the small cup of gelato with my friend, but I honestly didn’t want to stop. 

Midway though we traded flavors so that I could try the chocolate shake. It was a completely different experience to the black raspberry but it was rich and potent in its own way. I think that we would have been satisfied with any of the flavors they had.

Shortly after we received the frozen sweets our pizza came out from the oven. At this point in the flavor journey my expectations were raised and the pizza looked good, above average.

In my honest opinion, pizza is generally an easy comfort food that anyone can make. The hardest part is making sure that the dough is right. I don’t think I’ve ever tried neapolitan pizza before, and assuming this was my first, I’m not sure I would want a second. All of the ingredients were high quality yet the structural integrity of the pizza was disappointing. 

When I tried picking up one of the slices the center of the crust was so thin and floppy that the toppings slipped right off onto the cardboard box. It was impossible to hold up with one hand without the whole thing going vertical. I don’t think I was the problem either. The pizza was legitimately difficult to eat.

The crust made it obvious that it was cooked inside of a woodfire oven. I wouldn’t call it crispy, rather it was burnt in places and I think that the flavoring of the wood contributed to it. The sauce was good and the basil positively enhanced the flavor, letting the crust taste like my garden. The cheese could have been spread out more evenly too, but you get what you ask for with a gourmet pizza. 

I enjoyed the meal, but I don’t think that it should have been that difficult or disappointing to consume.

Mercurio’s does a great job in providing great flavors in the main dish and dessert it offers. After hearing that they were originally just a gelato place it made me realize why one product was better than the other. They still have a little way to go in their pizza department.