Mother Bear's Pizza
Full disclosure: my wife and son and I have lived in Indy for twenty years, and it wasn’t until September of 2015 that we set foot in Mother Bear’s Pizza. I haven’t the foggiest idea why — it was just one of those things we meant to get around to. For two decades.
The fact that it took us so long to get to Mother Bear’s is even more astounding given my overriding passion for pie. I’ve always contended that pizza is Mankind’s Greatest Invention. I’m convinced that both fire and the wheel were merely the supporting inventions created primarily to bring us the Circular Heated Dish of Perfection.
Plus, I’ve eaten my way through every pie offered by our southern neighbors, from Big Woods to Zwanzigz. I’ve tried every artisanal and utility pizza cooked in the Greater Indianapolis Metropolitan Area. It would take an impressive effort to crack my Top Five.
Congrats, Mother Bear’s — from the graffiti-covered booths to the general, mellow, dripping-with-Deadhead ambience to the wonderful barkeep that tended to us, Mother Bear’s simply ruled. Bloomington Brewing Company’s 10-Speed Hoppy Wheat was on tap, Three Floyd’s Zombie Dust was in the bottle, the homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing was oddly smoky and brilliant, and the salad veggies were out-of-the-garden fresh.
And the pizza? Take it away, NUVO food editor Sarah Murrell:
There is pizza, and then there is Mother Bears Pizza. We’re talking heavenly, cheesy, crispy wheels of wonder. The pie is smushed right into the very edges of the pan and baked until perfectly brown and crunchy. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, or even if you just walked out of Mother Bears a few minutes ago. Mother Bears always sounds good.
It’s incredibly easy to see why Mother Bear’s is such a B-Town institution — there’s really no place like it. Plus, any starving university student knows that feeling: you save a few bucks to hit your favorite place, and the taste of that place becomes your last “childhood” memory. When you’ve graduated and your frontal lobes have fully formed, the flavors and aromas of That One Eatery immediately take you back to a time and place when your life was mainly about the camaraderie of college and the discovery of your true self. A simple stack of dough, sauce, cheese and toppings can become the ultimate comfort food.
And all misty musings aside, that sauce is freakin’ awesome, dude.
1428 E. 3rd St., (812) 332-4495
2nd: Bucceto's Pizza & Pasta
3rd: Aver’s Pizza