Pizza might be the most ubiquitous beach food there is. It’s a close battle for first, though, with beach fries, ice cream and cotton candy among the other contenders. But there’s something about beach pizza that makes it better than its inland counterparts. The sauce is tangier, the cheese tastier, the topping greasier somehow. I’ve long thought that the ocean air and humidity helps the yeast in the crust be the best it can be, flavoring the dough with the purest sea salt possible, though my suspicions are as of yet unfounded. Whatever it is, a great slice is certainly a seaside staple.
But you run a serious risk grabbing that slice on the boards. Let down your guard for a second and those damnable winged bastions of thievery will snatch your snack right from your fingers. Instead, head to Mione’s for your quintessential pre- or post-sunbathing bite.
Mione’s been in Ocean City making Italian specialties from scratch since 1998, when the business owners moved their pizza business from Pennsylvania to the sunny shores of Ocean City, Maryland. The store is merely an excuse for this tight-knit Italian family to feed the public, though. Recipes passed down from his father Anthony are now being served to locals and visitors alike at both their locations.
I met with Carl, who’s continuing the Mione’s family tradition in town. Carl was in the kitchen, with the telltale cook’s sauce stains and floured fingernails when I arrived. Prepping the displays and recipes himself, he was kind enough to halt production a moment and share company history with me.
Mione’s isn’t a restaurant based solely on our food. Our food is family. From recipes that have transcended through our families history and brought over from Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Mione’s aspires to treat each customer as family.
Of course there’s pizza, of course there’s cold soda in the cooler, and of course there’s crushed red pepper on the tables. It’s your corner pizza shop, after all. If you’re in the mood for a little something different, though, Carl recommends their cheesesteaks, made from pure beef, their meatball parmesan sandwich and their pastas. I’d take his word for it, as everything he’s recommended to me has been amazing.
Their ravioli are homemade, they’re cannoli are filled to order and their hot wings are HOT. I’ve eaten there a few times, and while I sometimes fall into the trap of ordering a slice of the gooey, topping-laden pizza from the counter display, I will occasionally indulge in a more substantial offering. You get enough pasta for two meals, their eighteen-inch large pizza will feed three to four with no issues and their salads are pretty serious. Or, you can go my usual route and order a bunch of fried goodies like gravy fries, bacon and broccoli bites or inch-thick mozzarella sticks.
The shops are calm and comfortable, too with umbrella-topped tables outside and air-conditioned interiors for a relaxing respite from the summer sun. It’s not so formal that kids in flip-flops are out of place but not so casual that there’s sand on the seats. Both locations are great quick service stops for any and all.
The veggie pizza requires close supervision, so if you see me hunched over and doe-eyed in front of the glass, it’s only for the pizza’s safety, I assure you.