Earlier this year, I was talking with one of my dealers in Milwaukee about the great pizza I had at Zaffiro's. One of the guys said, "Zaffiro's is very good, but I think the best pizza in Milwaukee is Tomaso's up in Mequon." He said that it was quite a drive from the center part of Milwaukee, but he thought it was very worth it.
I was in Milwaukee recently and decided to make the trek up to Mequon and eat at Tomaso's (see map). It was getting late and I was hoping they would still be open when I walked in at a quarter to nine in the evening. There were a couple people sitting in a booth in the spacious dining area and one guy sitting at the bar waiting on a pizza. I took a stool at the bar and order a beer along with a menu.
Tomaso's original location is in Cedarburg, just north of Mequon (see map). Nancy Horrigan was the kitchen manager for the location in Cedarburg and wanted to own her own restaurant. She ended up opening a second Tomaso's location as an owner in 2002. The Mequon location is located in the River Centre shopping center.
As a Brewers game was playing on the TV, I ordered up my standard reference pizza - sausage, pepperoni and mushroom. The bartender said it would take about 20 minutes and I settled in waiting for the pizza.
As I said earlier, the dining area is spacious featuring tables and booths. It was a slow evening and I didn't notice a waitress other than the bartender. I thought it was sort of odd there wasn't that many people in the place, but it was a Monday evening - usually the slowest night for bars and restaurants. I hoped the reason for the lack of people didn't have to do with the food.
But once my pizza showed up, my fears subsided. It had a nice thin, flaky crust and the toppings were generous. The sausage was in big chunks, the pepperoni was plentiful and the mushrooms were garden fresh. The sauce had a nice combination of tangy and sweet. My dealer was right - it was a damn good pizza.
The only thing that was better than Zaffiro's was that Tomaso's uses fresh mushrooms and not the canned mushrooms I got on the Zaffiro's pizza. But Zaffiro's, as a restaurant, had more character and ambiance than Tomaso's. Tomaso's in Mequon is a huge space in a strip mall in the suburbs.
I'm glad I went to Tomaso's. The Milwaukee area has a surprising amount of good pizza places. I'd have to rate Tomaso's up there in taste and quality. It's one of the better places to get a pizza in the Midwest.