Review: Maddux Pizza in Itaewon
One of things that America does better than anyone else in the world – apart from CGI dinosaurs, projecting military power around the globe and cleaning up world football – is pizza. Italians will splutter into their grappa at such a statement, and it’s true that the US has been responsible for culinary monstrosities like pineapple on pizza or the cheese stuffed crust. But I really felt like until I ate pizza in places like New Haven, CT or Bleecker Street in New York, everything I’d had before was just a pale imitation of what dough, tomato and cheese could really be.
Anyway, here we are in Korea and, let’s face it, if there’s a bright centre to the pizza universe, you’re in the country it’s farthest from. I’ve been fed some loathsome concoctions here by people who should really know better – sweet potato, corn, cherries, you name it. When I hear the words “Mr Pizza” I reach for my revolver. All I want is a slice of pepperoni pizza on my way home from work, preferably with a bottle of beer to wash it down. Is that so hard?
Not any more, thanks to Maddux. This place is so well hidden in the back streets of Itaewon that you’d think they were trying to hide from the Tasty Road crowd, and let’s hope those two never find it, because it’s an unspoilt gem that’s well worth checking out.
It’s a simple idea, pizza by the slice; but one which, outside the US, many places struggle to get right. Maddux gets it right. You can buy a whole pie, and I guess if you were a large enough group that might be cost-effective, but the slices are big enough as it is – I could have put away two without too much trouble, but one was perfectly sufficient, and I didn’t want to look like too much of a pig in front of my lunch date.
A margherita pizza was being made as we walked in, so we asked for a slice of that when it came out of the oven. In the meantime we grabbed some pepperoni, my typical go-to topping. It was good; crispy crust and nicely greasy. Maybe a tiny bit dry, but it was a good slice and satisfied my pepperoni cravings. (It was cut in half to enable us to share – don’t blame them!)
The margherita was exceptional. Still-bubbling cheese, copious fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil. Perfection. I demand meat on my pizza, but for this I could be a vegetarian, albeit a very fat one. I’m still dreaming about this one, a day later.
Another pizza that’s on special right now is a so-called “meatball” pizza which looked and tasted to me like it was topped with regular Italian-style sausage. Like the pepperoni, it was very solid, also a tiny bit dry but it had been reheated rather than served fresh from the oven, so all in all I was not complaining. And the extra-crispy crust made up for it. I’d very much like to taste this one fresh out of the pizza oven, though.
The interior of the restaurant is simple but inviting, it’s nice and bright during the day and they have a reasonable selection of beers, though it could improve. Better still, it’s open every day, including Mondays which are normally very hit-and-miss around this part of town.
Maddux would be a great place to go to fuel up before a night out, or just for a quiet lunch date with friends. It’s unpretentious and serves up really good pizza. I particularly liked the fact that it had a thin crispy crust – so hard to find here, really – and was reasonably priced at 4,700W for a slice of pepperoni and 5,400 for the meatball (the margherita, with its expensive imported ingredients, was 6,700W).
Based on my experience I’d suggest taking a look to see what’s cooking and get a slice fresh out of the oven. You won’t regret it. Category: Pizza
- Price: $$$$
- Must try: Margherita pizza
- Subway: Itaewon (이태원역) exit 4
- Directions: Come out of Itaewon Station exit 4 and walk down the road leading away from the Hamilton Hotel, passing Gecko’s on your right and Taco Bell on the left. Turn right down the first small street, pass JR and Wolfhound pubs, and you’ll get to a small intersection immediately after. Turn left there, and Maddux is another minute or two down the small road, on your right.
- Hours: 12 – 10pm, seven days a week.