MJ’s Pizza and Wings in Lakeland has been on our “go to” list for a while. With a limited budget we can’t take in restaurants as fast as we’d like. But we finally made it there for lunch recently and we weren’t disappointed.
The restaurant is easy to miss while driving past on Edgewood Drive – I had driven the road numerous times before I saw it tucked away in a strip mall, next to an Oriental Market that we still look forward to visiting.
The interior is minimal and clean. They weren’t busy while we were there, early on a Saturday, but it seemed like a lot of their business might be takeout. There was a TV turned on to a tennis match at low volume. Later they turned on music (on top of the TV) but that wasn’t loud either. We enjoyed feeling like we had the place to ourselves to relax with our food and good conversation. You place your order at the counter, then the food is brought to your table when it’s ready. There were two people on staff while we were there, I got the impression one might be the owner, and they were both very friendly.
The menu was a nice surprise, more diverse than I expected – they offer Mediterranean dishes (falafel, hummus, etc.), sandwiches, salads, wings, calzones, pasta, and wraps. We were there for the pizza, though. They offer deep dish, but we chose New York-style thin crust. I ordered a medium (14″) pizza with meatballs and tomatoes. The web site claims the dough is made fresh daily, along with the sauce made from Roma tomatoes blended with herbs and spices. I believe them. Everything tasted fresh and delicious to me. There was just the right amount of sauce, so it didn’t overwhelm the pizza. The meatball chunks were excellent. The tomatoes tasted fresh. If I were going to nitpick, I might have liked a little more toppings on the pizza. But overall it was a great balance of flavors. I had bottled water to drink.
My wife ordered a medium chicken parmesan pizza, with chicken, ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella. She had a fountain beverage to drink. The chicken topping is made from cut up chicken tenders, which she was a little hesitant about when ordering, but ended up really appreciated because of the flavor and quantity. She loved the crust and enjoyed the New York style “foldability” of each slice. The cheese all tasted fresh.
Good show! With tip our total came to about $32. We had plenty of leftover pizza to have for lunch the next day. Good food, friendly service. A great choice if you’re looking for some hearty pizza for dining in or bringing home. MJ’s Pizza and Wings is in the Lake Bentley Plaza strip mall on East Edgewood Drive in Lakeland, just west of Lakeland Highlands Road. Enjoy!