Warning: this story isn’t about Cape and it’s not about anything old. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s in Jackson and it’s something new.
My mother and I noticed a lot of cars around a building at the intersection of Highway 61 and 25 just as you come into Jackson. It’s near where you board the trains of the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railway for excursion rides, so we assumed that’s what it was.
On another pass, though, we noticed this sign and decided to give it a shot.
Mario and Doris Grippo
Mario Grippo came to the New Jersey from Italy 37 years ago and and has been in the food service business ever since.
After spending most of three decades in New Jersey, he came here and opened Italian restaurants in Marble Hill and Advance – “We were on a farm, literally on a farm in Advance,” his wife, Doris chimed in. They decided to move their operation to 252 E. Jackson Blvd. a couple of months ago.
Next to Iron Mountain Railway
Mario’s Pasta House isn’t affiliated with the excursion line, but it’s adjacent to it and is the best way to find the restaurant. The driveway is a little tough to spot. I pulled into the service station right before it by mistake the first time.
That diesel locomotive, by the way, was built in 1950 for the Pennsylvania Railroad and pulled the Broadway Limited, among others. It was capable of speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. In 1971, the Pennsy sold it to Amtrak when all of the railroads got out of the passenger business. Amtrak sold it to a tourist railroad, the Blue Mountain and Reading in Pennsylvania, which sold it to the Iron Mountain Railway in 1998.
The diesel is being used until the line’s steam locomotive can be put back in service. For more information about the railway, its schedule and prices, go to this link.
Good food, reasonable prices
For a new restaurant, it’s getting a lot of business, so you may have to wait a few minutes to get your order. I’m not known for my patience, but I have no problem waiting for the quality and quantity of food that comes out.
Their Calazone Meat Lovers was excellent, and big enough that I had some to take home. The next trip, I ordered a Meat Lovers Pizza. (I think it was the 12-inch size.) Again, big enough for two days.
When Wife Lila went there this week, she said, “The crust was better than any pizza I can remember having. The waitress (who remembered your mother and you) said it was New York style, then added, ‘well, New Jersey-New York, we’re all from New Jersey’. I don’t care what they call it. It is the best I can remember having anywhere. It’s my new Wib’s.”
Waitress was accommodating
I asked what my mother had ordered: “She didn’t want anything on the supper menu, because it was too much food. She explained that to the waitress, who said she’d check about what they could do for her. She came back and said they have a lunch special that was small… two stuffed shells and a meatball. The guy would make it up for her for supper.
“The shells looked like they were stuffed with ricotta and the shells and the meatball (one) were covered in red sauce and put under the broiler. It looked good to me, and I can’t even have that much cheese. Your mother ate every bite and pronounced it really good. They were very accommodating, and she was happy. ”
When I was there the first of April, their fountain drink machine hadn’t been installed yet, so they served bottled water and drinks. I don’t know if that’s changed.
Review of Gordonville Grill coming
One of Mother’s friends mentioned a new place to eat, the Gordonville Grill. It, too, proved to be excellent. I ate there at least four times during my stay. I’ll get around to writing a review on it soon. See, I’m not ALWAYS lost in the 60s.
10 Replies to “Mario’s Pasta House in Jackson”
We here in Advance had a feeling that Mario wouldn’t stay on the farm, but it was nice while it lasted!
How far out in the boonies was he when he was in Advance? I wouldn’t think Advance would have the population to support a pizza joint even if it was on the downtown square.
Anyway, I hope he makes a go of it. He’s got plenty of parking space and he seems to be busy. It’s not the easiest place to get into because of the way the intersection is laid out, but I don’t think that’ll hurt him much.
Sounds like a good place to eat! Will be in Cape sometime in the near future and try MARIO’S one day and have WIBS the next!Ha! Am enjoying all your articles! Regards Virginia West Class of 57
I have your day planned for you. You can go north on I-55, have breakfast at Wib’s; cruise into Jackson where you can walk around Jackson’s Hanging tree; then stop by Mario’s for a huge lunch.
Loved your review.Hope it gets some adds for you . I,d be sad to see you drop this site,I know it,s a lot of work.I know everyone enjoys your efforts as much as I do.
Looked again at my fathers yearbook to compare numbers and counted one more than yours. While I was investigating I found woodcut pictures and history of many places in Cape .I,ll try and remember to bring it to the reunion.
I also looked into the new owner of the synagogue.It,s harder to make arrangements from Az. I thought it would be nice to have an organized tour of a number of places in Cape. It,s funny how we miss so manny things when we are living in a place. How about
your thoughts about a tour?
Again, thanks so much for all you do,
I didn’t do the review to try to score an ad (although I wouldn’t turn one down).
I wrote it because the place offers good food at a good price. In these days of chain restaurants, it’s nice to be able to give a local establishment a chance to survive.
I like the idea of a tour, but I’m almost as far from Cape as you are. (Besides, despite the name of my other blog being called PalmBeachBikeTours, I found that I’m lousy at herding cats.)
Maybe some Cape local will read this and pick up the ball.
Than you so much for what you do about our history of Cape. It certainly brings back a lot of memories.I will be off line from May 1 thru October 1. We travel in a 5th wheel in the summer as we live in Tucson AZ.
Again thank you for what you do.
Jerrette, I’d love to take a tour.
Love Mario’s. Became a fan of theirs when they were in Advance. Right on Hwy 25. I live in Bloomfield and it was only a 15 minute drive. Very well worth it. Sad they moved to Jackson. We don’t travel over there that often. Mario’s pizza is great!
Emily, I ate there this afternoon and confirmed the rumor that they’re going to open back up in Advance. No idea when, though.