Ok, so Matayo’s is in the McKinley Mall. Sidenote…the McKinley mall is a mindfuck of some of the craziest retailers you’ll ever come across. “The Hollywood Store”, for instance, is an establishment where you can get a Psychic reading and a 9ft statue of The Incredible Hulk in the same purchase. Make sure you hit the Hurricane Simulator and buy a knockoff perfume while you ride a creepy mechanical stuffed animal around the whole joint. Oh what’s that? You need traditional Chinese silken wear? Not a problem. You don’t even have to walk into a store for that shit. They’ve got a kiosk for that.

Ok, enough about the hidden treasure of the McKinley Mall that I’ve somehow remained out of the loop on for all these years. In the Food Court is another hidden treasure that you may not be familiar with yourself (are you noticing this continuity?). Matayo’s is actually a mom & pop store in the mall and they have been slangin NY slices up in there since 2014. As you can see, they’ve got the classic layout of multiple pies to choose from. That scary bastard on the left is bacon cheeseburger pizza. I thought about it, but decided I couldn’t live with myself if I ate it. I don’t work out hard enough to justify that slice.

The star of the show. The classic and and an unseen Buffalo Chicken. 2+pop = $8 is not my cup of tea, but it is the Mall and comparable meal options were more or less hitting the same price point, so I get it. They’re also good sized slices, so I didn’t really feel ripped off at first glance. Full disclosure, the Buffalo Chicken is not worth it when there are so many other slice options. No notable Buffalo Sauce, and god help any establishment that doesn’t put blue cheese below their mozzarella layer. Mark’s pizzeria might have my favorite Buffalo Chicken slice. Anyhow, let’s get it on.

Ok, I don’t know if it’s the magic effects of the mall or what, but from the get go this is impressing me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Tom Brady sits when he pees. Also, NY pizzerias PLEASE REPLACE YOUR SHITTY FLAT PEPPERONI WITH CUP-AND-CHAR! Well done, Matayo’s. It just tastes so much better and they actually contribute to the pizza rather than lay loosely on top, thrown on last minute as an afterthought.

Now for something I wish Buffalo style pizza could take from the NY pie. Nice, crusty, browned bottom with a good chew and a little crunch. So far so good.

The topside is not as impressive as the bottom. The dough gelled up a little bit and is kind of floppy, but not enough to stand out as a negative unless you’re really scrutinizing the pizza…which I tend to do.

Hallelujah. That is a damn fine stretch. There is a lot of cheese on Matayo’s slice. I would argue probably the most of any NY slice I’ve had yet. It melted really well and tastes just like it looks. Delicious.

About mid-way through the slice, and I’m digging it. The cheese and pepperoni are weighing in heavily over the dough, which is a ratio I can dig. The only problem is…

…damnit, Matayo. Where is the sauce? They’ve got a poster hanging up next to the cash register about how fresh and dope their sauce is (not in that exact phrasing), but there is almost none on the pizza. I struggled to find any. I was pulling up cheese like some animal on the hunt, but there was none to be found. It’s a bummer, man. It would have really tied the slice together. Let’s do this.

DoughšŸ„–: (B+/A-) Could have been a little more cooked, but nice.
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CheesešŸ§€: (A) Can’t believe I’m saying this. Don’t know if it was the lack of sauce, but might have been a little much without something to cut the flavor. That the only factor keeping it from perfection.
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SaucešŸ„«: (C+) Ugh. I really don’t know what to do. It wasn’t bad sauce…there really just wasn’t much, if any of it. It hurt the slice.
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PepperonišŸ–: (A-) Flavorful and abundant. Love seeing these on NY slices.
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OverallšŸ•: (B+)

Hate all you want on the Food Court, but Matayo’s is a local joint that came out of nowhere and hit me with some slices that surprised. However, this one hurt because there was a lot of potential here for a high score, but they gotta let that ladle loose and hit it with some sauce. My 2nd favorite NY style pizzeria yet with a lot of the right things going for it. Thanks very much, Matayo’s. I’ll catch you next week, Buffalo. Go Bills.