While Mad Monks’s New York–style pizza is arguably best enjoyed with a cold pint at 16 Lots Brewery in Mason, you can definitely make do with takeout. Customize your pie with red or white sauce, and pile on toppings that range from the familiar (Italian sausage, sliced mushrooms) to the gourmet (white truffle oil) to the deliciously unorthodox (fingerling potatoes, anyone?). You can also order one of their signature pizzas, which is where the madness truly kicks in.
The #1 IRT Supreme offers up mozzarella and red sauce topped with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions. This decidedly standard pizza is a testament to the restaurant’s mastery of the fundamentals: fresh ingredients, a bright, zesty red sauce, and a crispy-yet-chewy crust that can accommodate whatever toppings the pizza monks might bless it with. For something a little less conventional, try the sweetly spicy Blaze On, a pepperoni, jalapeño, and basil pizza anointed with a spicy honey glaze. The heat and honey evoke the sugary burn of a good barbecue sauce. If you want to go completely off the deep end in the most Cincinnati of ways, get The Gripponator, a white sauce pizza with chicken, onions, a barbecue sauce drizzle, and (you guessed it), Grippo’s Bar-B-Q potato chips. Be warned: This pizza is buried under a mountain of Grippo’s. But as any fan knows, that’s the only suitable serving size.
Mad Monks Pizza (at 16 Lots Brewery), 753 Reading Rd., Mason, (513) 486-1819