Mama Lucci’s: Not Just a Pizza Place

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food

By Jack Minchew

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m a real fan of creating elaborate and largely pointless metaphors, a habit which, while helpful in dealing with required readings in English class, has also led me to spend way too much time thinking about the humble origins of the pizza. You see, the story of pizza is the story of America. It grew up in a poor foreign land, immigrated to a nation of new opportunities, adapted to survive in the places where it could, and, like the American people, has grown successively fatter and fatter over the generations. It’s no surprise then that Leesburg, with all of its diversity, has a thriving population of pizzerias. There are all the regular types: the big chains, the discount places, the sub/pizza fusions, the thick crusters, the thin crusters, and the expensive specialty places. Then there is another type: Mama Lucci’s.

Wedged into an awkward little space next to a gun shop and in front of an industrial lot, Mama Lucci’s isn’t much to look at. But it fills a niche that I have always appreciated: a pizza place with great pizza, along with Italian, Middle Eastern, and Greek dishes.  Mama Lucci’s is equally adept at cooking up quality pizzas as it is at making Egyptian stuffed grape leaves, halal quality Middle Eastern kabobs, and classic Greek hummus and pita.

The interior of Mama Lucci’s is simple but comfortable. The walls are covered with Mediterranean themed paintings, and faintly Middle Eastern music plays in the background. Of course, none of this really matters, as you rarely spend much time doing anything other than eating.

When I dined at Mama Lucci’s, for starters I ordered a plate of hummus and pita. It arrived well before the main course and was truly excellent. The hummus was delicious, and the pita was fresh and warm and perfect for dipping. Make sure to get extra pita if you are splitting with several people. I’ve also tried the stuffed grape leaves, which are quite good but not for everyone. Try the “Egyptian Trio” if you want to sample some different ethnic foods.

Having known from previous experience that the pizza is top notch, I settled next on one of my all-time favorite dishes, the Greek classic gyro. For those who have never experienced a gyro, it consists of juicy, thinly sliced strips of meat wrapped in warm pita bread filled with lettuce, tomato, and creamy tzatziki sauce. Gyros are hard to find around Leesburg, so it was wonderful to discover that the Mama Lucci’s variety was delicious and satisfying. The gyro also came with a Greek salad with olives, feta cheese, and Greek dressing that was quite good.

The only flaw in an otherwise superb dining experience was the sometimes erratic service. All the food arrived warm and on time, but ordering and getting the check were a bit of a hassle. All in all, my experience was good and the food was tasty.  Next time you’re craving some Middle Eastern favorites, trying, like me, to find your latest gyro fix, or merely looking for a good place to contemplate the societal impacts of pizza on western culture, try out Mama Lucci’s.