April 10, 2013

First Impression: Mother's Pizza Parlour & Spaghetti House

For  weeks and weeks theres been buzz about Mother's Pizza coming back to Hamilton. Leading up to the grand opening, my twitter feed was full of excitement over "Mother's" and their famous pizza. Of course, I had to see what the buzz was about...

From what I could get from the internet buzz, Mother's was a highly successful pizza parlour in Hamilton many, many, years ago. They were famous for their dough (made fresh each day), the freshest ingredients and the finest cheeses.  Why did they close down? Rumour has it, the numerous cash and carry pizza joints that opened near by, forced their closure.
So, ready to see what all the hype was about, we walked in around 7:30pm on a Friday night (I was told they currently aren't taking reservations till after the 15th) and was told by one of the three girls at the host stand that it would be about an hour and a half wait. Usually I would go "pshhh for pizza? yea right!" and walk right out the door, but I didn't - I had to see what all the buzz was about! 

Unfortunately, they refused to take my cell number and call me when our table is free. I was told "we're not allowed to do that"  - really?! You expect me to stand around in your tiny little corridor for an hour and a half? Come on! Get your act together Mother's - this was a huge inconvenience. Luckily the girls at the stand didn't really know what they were doing and we managed to take a peak at their clipboard and could easily tell it wasn't going to be that long of a wait - sure enough, we were seated in thirty minutes!
We started with the homemade meatball appetizer ($6.99) which were yummy but not worth the price. Don't get me wrong, the meatballs were moist and cooked well but you only get two meatballs in one order. Just wasn't worth it for me!

Next up, we ordered the family style caesar salad ($9.99) and it hit the spot! The salad was dressed just before it hit the table so it wasn't soggy, the romaine leaves weren't too drenched and the dressing was super garlicy - just the way I like it! We shared the salad amongst the three of us and we still had left overs. Unlike the meatballs, this was a great bang for your buck!

Now here comes the pièce de résistance, - the pizza! We decided to order two small pizzas, just to spice it up a bit! The first was recommend to me on twitter - the Hula Hula ($10.99) - double cheese, ham, and pineapple chunks, the second was the Grandmothers ($12.99) - mushrooms, olives, onions, pepperoni, bell peppers and a whole load of other toppings! Just a side note, the fine print on the menu says no substitutions on their "Mother's Signature Pizzas" meaning they most likely have these prepped in advance and ready to go so....

  1. if you're in a rush, these are probably your best bet
  2. yes these are just sitting there ready to go till someone orders them

Do not be alarmed, 99% of all restaurants do this. But it's a bummer because I hate olives. Yuck!
The Hula Hula was great, everything I expected. It wasn't greasy, the bottom was cooked evenly, and there was a perfect ratio of pineapple to ham to cheese. I would order this again. The Grandmother on the other hand could have been better, there wasn't enough cheese to bind all the toppings so everything just fell off and the toppings weren't cooked all the way through, aaannnd because the pizza was prepped in advance, the veggies were a little dry. 

So what do I really think about Mother's? 

I don't see what the big deal is. I feel a majority of the buzz stems from individuals who are reminicing about the old Mother's. I just didn't think the pizza was mind blowing enough and there wasn't anything unique on the menu - for me, at least! What I can say is that this could be a great family oriented restaurant. The menu is accessible, and familiar to anyone and everybody.

I picture this a safe "go to" place for families looking for an easy and quick dinner that'll please everybody.  They're not doing take out at the moment, so its a great excuse to take the kids out too.
I've heard mixed reviews about the service, but while we were here, we recieved great service. She was attentive, gave us just enough time to look through the menu and then promptly took our order. The food came out at a decent time and after she dropped the food, she came back to check up on us and continued to be attentive through out the night.

Mother's Pizza Parlour & Spaghetti House
701 Queenston Road
Hamilton, ON
Mother's Pizza Parlour & Spaghetti House on Urbanspoon

* my bad for the quality of photos. bad lighting + iphone = dark ashy food porn


  1. I am curious about trying it out because I've heard lots of buzz about it. I can't wait to try the Caesar Salad! Looks delicious (love garlic).

    1. Hey Margaret! Let me know what you think, its definitely nothing like NaRoma ...

  2. I tried going tonight because my dad's been nostalgic about it, like many Hamiltonians but they said the wait was 2 hours so we didn't wait lol! I feel like because we have so many pizza options currently, we aren't going to think its anything special. I still must try NaRoma

  3. I'm one of those folks old enough to remember Mother's Pizza (original); (though still in my 30s).

    It was never fine dining or known for the 'best ingredients'; but I did enjoy it.

    The 'sell' was the ambiance, really the only 'chain' with dine-in service that was pizza-centric at the time (this is pre-Boston Pizza.

    It has that 'saloon' feel to it, which was and probably is a bit 'kitsch' but was unique in the market.

    It also gave the kids pictures to draw and crayons, keeping "I'm bored" chants to minimum.

    It also did delivery at the time and made a big dent with its '33 or free' campaign (not there in 33 minutes, its free)

    Food wise, I always got my custom-pizza, which I thought was great (pepperoni, bacon, double-cheese).

    But the unique items to many people were the root-beer floats and the giant cookies for dessert (I don't see Peanut Butter on the new menu, that was a good one).

    The chain was national by the way; and very popular, so far as I can recall over-expansion and debt issues, are what brought it down.

    1. double cheese sounds delicious! what are your thoughts now on the chain now and how does it compare to what you remember?

    2. I'm in Toronto, and haven't had a chance to try this incarnation yet; just read about it.

      I figured it had opened by now, saw that on their website, being curious I added 'review' to my search term, and up popped your page!

      I'm thinking of making a trip out this weekend.

    3. Wow all the way to Hamilton for pizza? Please let me know what you think, all the reviews I've read were from those who never experienced Mother's the first time around. I'm curious to see how it compares to the original. Thanks for reading the blog & commenting btw, I really appreciate it!