Sometimes I think because there are so many “below average” restaurants out there that we start to elevate something that is just average itself to the “OH MY GOD, THIS IS THE BEST EVER!” I think this might be what happened with Moon River Pizza.

1176 Edgewood Ave S.
Jacksonville, FL. 32205

Location: Pretty close to the corner of Roosevelt and Edgewood. It looks like a modern day western piece of town. Tiny little strip of restaurants, kind of neat.

Food: Probably from my lead in above, you think I didn’t like the place. I wouldn’t say that, but I wouldn’t say that I “Love” it either. I’m kind of indifferent about it actually. Everyone said to try it, according to my poll, so me and the wife were off to try this place out. When we walked in the door, our focus was on the right side of restaurant at first.

That’s where the giant menu is on the wall, the place where you order from and the open kitchen behind it. I liked the menu, it was short and sweet. Right to the point, not a ton of stuff on it. Sometimes it seems like the restaurants that have 100 things on it, can’t do any of them well. I like to see fewer items, but all done well. After some discussion with the wife, we decided we would share a few things so that way we could get a well rounded taste of what they had to offer.

Someone on Twitter said the Greek Salad ($ 5.50) was a must in the salad department, so we ordered one of those. By popular suggestion, we also ordered a slice of “The Special” (which had Pepperoni, Italian sausage, sliced meatballs, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, black olives & extra cheese…all that for $3.50 a slice) and then I wanted to try the Calzone (with pepperoni and mushrooms for $8.00).

The salad itself was pretty good but two minor details that caught me off guard were the were white onions, and the olives Usually I see purple onions in salads at restaurants and the olives are usually whole, not sliced. Maybe, it is a way to cut costs, since they use white onions and sliced olives on the pizza? Not a deal breaker though. While we were sitting there waiting for our pizza and calzone (it ended up taking 30 minutes) I began to look around the place.

First thing I noticed were the filthy floors. TONS of food and trash on the floor. It looked like a movie theater floor after a 2.5hr Nerd Flick. They weren’t super busy so I didn’t understand why someone wasn’t noticing that. I also noticed the lack of decor for such a big and popular place. Just a couple surfboards mounted on the walls on our side and that was it. Kind of a generic look. Maybe that is part of the attraction? So, the food shows up after 30 minutes and right off, I’m impressed with the slice of “The Special”.

Everything was fresh, the pizza was cooked just right, the slice was big, and what I thought was a nice touch, was that it appears that they put a small layer of cheese at the bottom right before they put the rest of the toppings on it. I liked that and so did the wife. Now, the calzone on the other hand was a little different. I think calzones are a little more of a science, not as easy as throwing some toppings on something.

If you see the pictures, it looked like a leather shoe lol. Not that it’s bad because of that, just an observation. The dough was very dry and very thick. The first 3-4 inches on each end were nothing but dough, but once you got past that, the inside was good. I actually have to go with Carmine’s as making a better calzone. I think they have the science down a little better. But back to the Moon River Pizza calzone, it was good, just a tad thick on the dough and the dough itself was a little dry and tasteless.

Extras: Not a lot to go in this section, I pretty much laid it all out above. One other observation, the staff seemed a little distracted (dirty floors and slow service) so maybe I just caught them on an off night. I’m not writing this place off yet, there must be a reason that everyone gives this a “like” on I just think there might be a better option out there as of right now.

The Good:
– Portion size
– The slice of pizza was very good
– Option of buying slices is nice

The Bad:
– Dirty floors
– Long wait time
– Decor is a little lacking
– Calzone needs a little work