Maria's Famous Pizza and Subs (and Greek food too)


So I'm driving by Maria's yesterday and noticed a banner that read:

"$500 giveaway: www.mariasfamouspizza.com"

Oddly it wasn't the giveaway that sparked my interest, it was the website. "About time!" I thought. However there are several questions I have about the whole Maria's thing.

Questions like: what makes it so famous? Has anything in Liberty, EVER been famous? Are people driving from miles around for this specialty pizza? Has it been on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives? Has Anthony Bourdain given it his seal of approval? Besides the obvious marketing gimmick, it's phenomenal that Maria's has managed to stay in business in such a small town, now with four pizza restaurants serving Liberty.

Greek salad, with real feta cheese.

As elated as I was to add their website to the site, I was disappointed when they missed the boat, and didn't add online ordering (it's fairly simple these days). Not only that, but the website, which is sort of rudimentary, evokes the dawn of the Internet. While I give a big cheer for trying, stock (or stolen borrowed) images of other restaurants on the internet are hardly going to entice me to order from Maria's (okay, yes they did, but really, you need a real web designer).

Greek Shwarma Gyro. Shan says she'd like to marry the person who makes the sauce.

Not to skew the enthusiasm, but they're on the right track. This should be their game-plan: First is to always have a better product than the competition. A "greasy pizza" as we called Maria's as children must now compete with competitors like Pizza Hut and Domino's who they themselves have had to change their core products to keep up with the times. Two, get a sign off 421 (like Subway did per my suggestions). Three, (and like most important) get online ordering. There's tons of options to implement it, and statistically (literal, I've looked at the numbers), you can't compete in the pizza world without this element (56% of pizza sales are online these days).  Lastly, join a rewards network (like AA Dining), to draw in us point-savvy customers from out of town.

A fabulous steak and cheese. Tip: order with extra cheese!

That said, we dropped by Maria's after their internet debut, and found the same dated interior from my childhood. We also discovered great food and service. Shan was wanting something Greek, and I a steak and cheese. I said, let's check out the menu at Maria's, and what we found is the perfect Greek salad and shwarma gyro to satisfy our cravings. I also grabbed a large steak-and-cheese which was pretty darn good as well. It's apparent that their pizzas have improved from the greasy 80's I remember, to become truly delicious NY style pizza (though I could go for some butter and garlic on the crust). The bottom line is that if you want Greek food from an Italian restaurant, served by a southern waitress, then Maria's is the place. Shan about flipped for the homemade tzatziki sauce, and everything seemed spot-on for a really nice lunch out.

Vegetable Pizza + Pepperoni = Amazing

Who would have ever thought I could call up on the phone from my home in Liberty and have lamb gyros delivered to my house. Very cool my friends, very cool.

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