I was back in Jacksonville this afternoon and decided to stop at Moon River Pizza for lunch. The restaurant is located on Edgewood Avenue in the Murray Hill neighborhood. I was informed by family that this is not the safest part of the city, but I felt fine driving around the area at 11:30 a.m.
Parking was a snap as the brick building where Moon River is located is fronted by numerous parking spaces. Additional parking is located in the median between the two sides of the small downtown area. I parked in one of these spaces and after taking a few pictures of Moon River Pizza’s exterior made the short walk into the restaurant.
Upon entering I was immediately greeted by the friendly staff. It was still early and the only other customers were a group of 4 women at a table in the middle of the room. I looked over the menu written on the wall in chalk and asked the guy behind the counter what I should try. He recommeded a slice of the Special. I took his advice and partnered it with a Coke although I really wanted to try one of their craft beers on tap.
While waiting for my slice I checked out the rest of the place. The interior was painted lime green and red. The wall in front of the ovens was painted with a funky mosaic. The ceiling was black and lighting was provided by pot lights. Tables were arranged neatly with booths along one wall and more located in the second blue painted dining area. The bathroom was spotless as was the rest of the dining area.
My slice came a few minutes after I ordered it on a large aluminum plate. The crust was covered with pepperoni, sausage, meatball, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, black olives and extra cheese. The ratio of toppings to crust to sauce heavily tilted towards the toppings. The pizza was very good and well prepared. I have never seen a slice piled with so many toppings that did not fall apart when picked up, but Moon River Pizza pulled this feat off. The toppings were fresh. The crust was crispy, yet chewy in the middle. The sauce was not the star of the show, but played a good supporting role with its burst of tomato flavor.
The restaurant’s vibe was cool and the staff was amazingly friendly. Overall, I am glad I made the short drive from I-1o to Murray Hill to discover this gem.
Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating: