Cowboy's Honor: Restaurant Review
Mombo's Pizza, Sebastopol & Santa Rosa
By Ben Marshall
It's almost spring and a cowboy's thoughts are turnin' to pizza.
Well, pizza is what I fancy but most cowboys aren't all that particular.
Many will settle for anything you can't find on a chuck wagon.
So on Saturday night I asked J.W. if he wanted to go down to Mombo's Pizza in Sebastopol.
I'm not goin' to leave the reviews of Mombo's Pizza up to the bad writers who hang out at Yelp.
It's amazin' how the dining public would ever take them seriously.
I suggest readin' only the good reviews on Yelp and payin' no attention to the other folks who bring their personal problems to the Internet.
And all of us know there are some folks you just can't please. I used to know an old Sebastopol hippie who liked to say this about the topic, "You can take some people to a rodeo and they'll complain about the hot dogs."
I've visited Yelp from time to time and found a lot of the bad reviews sound like some of the things I've seen in J.W.'s high school yearbooks.
"I'm still tryin' to recover from the time I watched you eat lunch in the school cafeteria," one complained. She continued, "Sorry, J.W., but I had to get that out."
"I wish you luck in life, J.W." another one said. "There are two kinds, you know."
When Yelp first started, I thought about writin' some reviews for them but I just couldn't wade into those negative waters. I value my opinion much more than most of those folks who complain there and I don't give it out unless it's asked for. If my opinion is not good about somethin', I'd rather not give it out at all.
Ok, back to Mombo's.
I think Mombo's pizza is the best of the best and so do most of my friends. That's our opinion.
My brother and I ordered our pizza as we drove down from Cazadero because we like to eat it hot and right when we get there. Oh, also, we don't like to wait. When you wait amidst all those wonderful aromas you find yourself just about ready to run up and buy a slice to eat before the pizza comes.
I'm ashamed to admit I've done this before.
We walked past signs outside the door sayin' they were takin' 20 percent off their large pizzas and we sat down at one of the chrome tables inside. Our pizza wasn't quite ready so we ordered a beer and had some fun lookin' at the specials.
Mombo's Pizza reminds me of a place and time before I was born. A place in a town you might see on the Twilight Zone when you know the person findin' the place has gone back to a happier time.
Folks from the local community come into Mombo's to say hello to the staff behind the counter even when they aren't buyin' pizza. I've always found the people of Sebastopol kinder than most.
"Imagine that," J.W. said noddin' toward one of the signs. "You can get a slice of pizza and a beer for $6 from three to six."
"My, that is a bargain," I answered.
Then we turned to more serious talk. "There's a silent war goin' on in this country, Ben," my brother said in almost a whisper.
He likes to conjecture on conspiracy theories and things like that and he lets me stew for a while before sayin' what he really means. He wouldn't have had politics in mind 'cause there's nothin' silent about those fellows.
He could have been thinkin' about the war between the one percent and the 99 percent but only the one percenters are absolutely silent. They like to be invisible, too, when they're bankrollin' politicians so someday the politicians will be obliged to do their dirty work.
"I'm talkin' about the pizza wars," he finally said. "There's been a battle goin' on for years over whether New York or Chicago has the best pizza."
"I think the pizza in Italy is best, J.W." I replied. "The crust there is a lot like Mombo's. In fact, the pizza is a lot like Mombos." I hadn't thought of it before but Mombo's does taste like it was made in a little village on the Adriatic.
Well, the pizza came to the counter and the conversation stopped. Like I said, we like to eat our pizza hot.
On the way out to J.W.'s truck, my brother brought up the subject of the pizza wars again. "Well, which one do you like best?" he asked. "Chicago or New York?"
I knew he wanted an answer quickly this time so I thought about it awhile. "I don't think I've had pizza in either place," I said after a bit.
"Aw, Ben, you know what they both taste like don't you?"
"No," I answered, "what do they taste like, J.W.?"
"One has thick crust and one has thin crust," he said.
Ben turned out of the crazy, Fiesta Market parkin' lot and screeched his tires as he accelerated north. "Is that a taste or a texture?" I asked.
He didn't answer and I knew we were through talkin'.
It was a good thing, too, because I would never want to pass judgment on a place where other people live. Most are just tryin' to get by day to day and they don't need some cowboy in Sonoma County passin' judgment on their food.
Heck, I can't even express my opinion in a place as unimportant as Yelp.
Mombo's Pizza - http://www.mombospizza.com/
Santa Rosa Store, 1880 Mendocino Avenue #B. Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (707) 528-3278
Sebastopol Store, 560 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472, (707) 823-7492