Cincinnati Magazine recently held a pizza tournament ("Pizza Madness") mirroring the recent NCAA delirium in March. The winner of this contest was the only pizzeria in the tournament neither of us had tried. Actually, neither of us had heard of the winner, Comet's Pizza in Mason. Indeed, it only had one vote on Urbanspoon (we gave it a second). Setting aside the methodological issues of comparing pizzerias in a tournament-style internet vote, a pizzeria that has that many people voting for it (early and often) likely has some merit. So, when we visited the Monroe outlet mall on a recent rainy day, we decided to go a couple miles off the highway and taste what the Masonites have been raving about.
Comet's is located on Main Street in Mason and very much has the feel of a small town pizzeria. Everyone there seemed to know each other and it felt like customers had been patronizing this place for generations (in reality, Comet's is twenty years old). The customers and proprietors were all ridiculously friendly to the extent that it would be really tough to give the pizza a bad review. There were about four tables inside and it appears Comet's does most of it's business via pick-up orders.
The pizzas come in various diameters (8", 12", 14", 16", or 18") of medium crust and there were a tremendous variety of topping options. They offer BLT, BBQ Chicken, Bacon Cheeseburger, White Sauce, and Hawaiian Pizza. There's a theory which states you should order the worst sounding thing on the menu (Since it must be the great taste, not that appetizing name that causes it to stay on the menu). We followed this strategy but ended up with something traditional. Yes, we opted for a "Serious PMS" pizza which is described on the menu as "What? That’s Pepperoni, Mushroom, and Sausage". Bold naming.
Being hungry, we opted for a 14" pizza. It ended up being too much food, which consequently ended up not being a problem. The sauce was refreshingly simple. There was very little spice to it and the basic tomatoey-ness shone through. The crust was of medium thickness, with significant browning around the edges. The bottom was lighter and showed clear signs of having been cooked on a screen. The bottom also had a good crunch to it while the middle was a little bit more bread-like. I thought the crust could used a little more salt, but in general it had a good taste for this type of pizza.
So, Comet's Pizza was not the best pizza in Cincinnati (Hey! if you're looking for the best, I know a good list). Nonetheless, it was good pizza and an above-average example of the medium crust screen-cooked pizza you see a lot throughout Ohio (For other examples, check out Aponte's and Raymond's). We both enjoyed our visit, and would return the next time we're in the area. If you're willing to drive a few miles, it certainly blows away your food choices at the Outlet Mall.