Pizza & More at Sal & Mookie’s, Biloxi

Don’t let the name fool you! Yes, Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint has great, authentic New York-style pizza. They also have an ice cream bar right in the middle of the restaurant. But, oh, they have so much more. If you haven’t experienced Sal & Mookie’s, you are in for a treat.

Location: 110 Lameuse Street Biloxi, Mississippi in the heart of downtown Biloxi, one block up from the Beach Blvd, next to Town Park.

Menu: Sal & Mookie’s has a diverse menu starting with mouth-watering appetizers. A local favorite is the Crab Cake Neapolitan – fried green tomatoes layered with crab cakes and topped with a creole cream sauce with fresh shrimp and crawfish tails.

On the lighter side are soups and salads with all dressings freshly made in house. Their famous Green Goddess dressing is worth the trip by itself. The menu includes gourmet paninis and sandwiches, flame-grilled burgers, and a variety of Little-Italy style pasta dishes.

Front and center, of course, is Sal and Mookie’s famous New York pizza pies which are all named after New York landmarks and people: the Central Park, Empire State, and the Gambino just to name a few. All of their pizzas are hand-crafted starting with home-made, hand-tossed dough made with only King Arthur flour, Kosher salt, filtered water, Fleischmann’s yeast, and Italian extra virgin olive oil. Gluten-free pizzas are offered as well as vegetarian dressings, and a generous kids’ menu.

Thoughts: The original Sal & Mookie’s opened in 2007 in Jackson, when owners, Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal had a vision of bringing authentic New York pizza to Mississippi. But not just authentic – it had to be of the highest quality and they wanted their “joint” to be fun and relaxing – a place where both families and single adults could go for great food and drinks, good conversation. A place to relax and connect with others. Sal & Mookie’s is just that place.

A local couple, Bruce and Rebecca Lacey, dreamed of owning a restaurant like Sal & Mookie’s. They also wanted to be a part of revitalizing Biloxi’s downtown area hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. With the original owners’ help and blessings, the Lacey’s opened a second location in Biloxi in 2015. They have been consistently named as the Best Family/Kid Friendly Restaurant in Mississippi.

After a day of Gulf Coast sight-seeing with the kids and grandkids, we ended up in Biloxi. We were all hungry – but, where to go? My daughter had recently been to Sal & Mookie’s with friends and suggested it because the food was great and it was kid friendly. Pulling up to the southern-style, two-story building on stilts we knew we would like it. It instantly “felt” like a good place to go. And we were right.

Walking in the first thing we noticed was the big glass window looking into the kitchen. It had a wooden bench in front of it with little handles on the window sill. We soon found out these handles are for the kids to pull themselves up to look in the window and watch the pizzaiolos tossing dough high into the air and placing freshly-made pizzas in the big brick oven to cook. What fun!

The seating area was casual and comfortable with wooden floors and red-and-white checked tablecloths adorning the tables. There was plenty of seating with small, intimate tables as well as very large booths for a gathering. Before choosing a seat we strolled outside to the deck where there was plenty more seating looking out toward the coast casinos and Town Park.

Since we had a full day of being outside, we chose a large booth inside where the grandkids had plenty of room to move about. Upon seating us our server brought the grandkids Wikki Stix to play with giving us time to peruse the food and drink menus. Speaking of drinks, we also discovered the adult-only PIE lounge with seating for about 25, a full bar, and it’s own private outdoor patio deck with even more seating.

I love tasting local craft beers wherever I travel so I ordered a flight of four 5-ounce pours. My favorites were the Southern Prohibition MS Fire Ant, an Imperial Red Ale from Hattiesburg and the Chandeleur Curlew’s Toasted Coconut Porter made in Gulfport. My husband enjoyed a pint of double IPA from Broussard, Louisiana – Parish Ghost in the Machine.

To start off our dining experience we ordered fried artichokes sprinkled with Parmesan cheese with a side of Green Goddess dressing and a cheese pizza off the kids’ menu. Our 18-month-old grandson quickly devoured half of the fried artichokes and together he and our 5-year-old granddaughter could not finish the 10” personal pizza they shared.

I debated ordering the meatball sandwich which my daughter said consisted of fist-sized meatballs, but chose the Upstate (mainly because of the name, when in Rome…or in this case New York) – a fried chicken breast tossed in house-made spicy classic buffalo sauce with Gorgonzola, sliced tomatoes, pickles, and red onion all on the side. You could choose a tomato basil wrap instead of the Brioche bun which I chose and it was delicious. The chicken breast was fresh and tender, one of the best I’ve ever had.

My daughter enjoyed the Philly Cheese Steak Sub on Gendusa Bakery French bread while my husband and son-in-law split the traditional Trenton-style Hamilton Avenue Tomato pie made with fresh fior de latte mozzarella, pepperoni, crumbled hot Italian sausage, and Italian plum tomato sauce.

As satisfying as my dinner was I could not pass up the opportunity to order creme brulee for dessert. The grandkids made a trip to the ice cream bar where an almost endless variety of splits, shakes, malts, floats, and scoops are offered. They were able to sample a couple of the 12 delicious ice cream flavors before deciding on their favorite. My grandson’s reaction to getting his own cup of chocolate peanut butter cookie dough ice cream was priceless!

Price Range: Appetizer prices range from $6 to $16. Soups and salads go from $4 for a cup of soup to $13 for a baby spinach salad with grilled shrimp. Paninis, sandwiches, and burgers go for between $10 to $13. Pasta prices range from $10 to $16 and finally, Sal and Mookie’s famous New York pizzas are moderately priced at between $16 to $30 per pie depending on size and toppings.

Guest Reviewer: Loretta Berry is a freelance travel writer/photographer as well as an avid food, brewery, distillery, and winery explorer. She loves discovering new places, learning about its history and understanding its culture. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States. She is a wife, mother of four, and grandmother of five. She loves traveling to and with her kids and grandkids, sharing with them her passion for fun and adventure.

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