Two Joys In One

SerpicoSpaghettiCheese

Some pies and slices are purposeful, some are marvelous, and then there’s some that are life-altering.   The latter may have happened this week.

I know we’re only talking pizza but sometimes we get those moments that are divine.

You’re mouth must be watering at the picture above.

SerpicoFront

A dear friend told me, in his opinion, that the best cheese slice in the county is from Serpico Pizza & Pasta of Perry Hall, MD.   The best?  I don’t know for sure.  It’s all relative, but it’s high on my rankings.

Per suggestion, I ordered the cheese and the spaghetti slice.

SerpicoSpaghetti

The spaghetti slice is an interesting concept.  Before living and hanging out in the Baltimore area around 2000, I never noticed a spaghetti pizza.  Maybe I’ve been under a rock or just not paying attention.    But ever since, when I see a pie with one of the best pastas, I do a double-take.   It’s a carbo loaders paradise and a health nuts’ nightmare.   In this instance I’ll settle for in-between.

There was no need to peruse the menu, I saw the two slices I was destined to have and I went about my merry way.  Actually no I ate inside and enjoyed the atmosphere.

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Did I enjoy the food?  Absolutely.   The cheese slice was tremendous.  It just had a little more soul than many cheese I’ve had recently.  The crust was tasty, crisp and reheated to perfection.  The cheese itself just felt real.  It seemed like there was more to it than just putting a pie together.   Maybe it’s the family run energy behind it?   I felt it when I walked in and the staff seemed so kind.

SerpicoCheeseSlice

In what shouldn’t be a rarity for me, I sprinkled on some parmesan and oregano for an added kick.  Not that it was needed but it was gravy.

And speaking of gravy…  The spaghetti was dynamite.  The sauce is something from beyond the stratosphere.   Well maybe it’s from the area.  However, I perfect the dramatics and the pageantry.

The crust itself was heavy but that’s the point.  As you will see in a photo,  I couldn’t eat it all.   What’s the fun in that?  It was perfect as a leftover for dinner.  The spaghetti was yummy.  It tasted like mom used to make.  I was grateful to find a few noodles on my plate and chowed down on them separate from the pie itself.  This is an uplifting and revolutionary slice.  I must come back for more.

SerpicoSpaghettiCheese

And how beautiful is the presentation?   I know that only altered my taste buds for the better.  That gravy boat did it for me.

Since I was able to double-down on pizza and pasta, it only makes me yearn for more.  I’ve been told by several sources that their food is top-to-bottom breathtaking.   That’s what I felt and that’s what I like to hear.

Let’s do it again soon.

All The Love,

Ideen

 

Pizza N’ Cinema

BJ'sPizza2

We’re swiftly approaching the Academy Awards.  And nothing screams awards like a good pizza.  You know it’s true.

It’s been over a year since the last Towson, MD pizza post.  It has been home to  some of my favorites for a number of years now.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse  is one of the newest additions to the ever-so blossoming Towson Square area.  It’s a chain I’ve never walked into let alone never heard of. What have I been missing?

They’re menu has something for everyone but I have a one track mind.  And away we go.

My friend and I were on our way to the nearby cinema.  So we just wanted a quick drink and something small to eat.   Lucky for us, it was happy hour on specialty drinks, $1-$2 off certain appetizers, and half-off deep dish pizzas.  The finale got me excited.

I saw many appetizing choices from the pizza section, that I couldn’t quite make up my mind right away. My pal and I wanted something we both could enjoy.  The Mediterranean won out.  And this is a winner indeed.

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I know this isn’t likely a carbon-copy of Chicago Style Deep Dish but I’ve never been to Chicago so how would I know if this compares.  But what I do know is that this was a very good pie that did its job.  We weren’t looking for any award-winning creations.   We just wanted something to make us feel good and feed our bellies.  I would say mission accomplished on both.

BJ'sSlice

Pesto was a pleasant surprise to our pie.   That’s a bit of alliteration on my part.   But the basil pesto really brought the excitement.  Everything on the pie did.  The grilled chicken tasted fresh and vibrant. The Kalamata olives were gold and I love my olives.  The sun-dried tomatoes may have tasted saltier than I wanted but that’s not major complaint.   The peperoncinis were a surprise to me.  I didn’t realize they were on our pie.   But the feta cheese stole the show.  There was just enough that it didn’t overshadow anything else.

My friend pointed out how the deep dish crush wasn’t too thick or greasy.   It was the perfect amount of dough that it still maintained the integrity of a deep crush but without the bloated feeling afterwards.

Our bodacious beverages (more cheesy alliteration) were the Royal Soda and the Sailor Jerry Cherry Soda.  More information can be found in the cocktails menu linked here.  I’d come back for these drinks alone.

The serendipitous part of our meal was near the end.   Our friendly bartender overheard us saying we were headed to the cinema.  She mentioned that they sell passes for the movies for $3 less than buying them at the actual movie theater box office.  A gem on top of a gem.  What an awesome find.

I will say that the deep dish pizzas do tend to get pricey as the size goes up.  Our half-off hour-pizza came out to around $6.

BJ'sOutside

So my friends if you’re in the Towson area, you have my vote of confidence on this spot. I’m not a big beer drinker but they got plenty of that too.

And for the rest of my comrades, here is the link to find a BJ’s near you.

As previously mentioned, if you’re interested in reading my previous posts from the area, you can go to this one here, or maybe this one, or finally these bad boys.

Take good care and see yas next time.

Ideen

Pearl Jam

PearlStreetPie2

When you think of Albany, NY, the first thing that comes to your mind is pizza.  I know. Same goes for me.

All jokes aside, the slices and pies from other parts of the state you might have heard of are coming.  But I was in Albany this past week and since I’m here so infrequently, a pizza recap is necessary.

I was with a buddy walking around down looking for a bite to eat.   There’s quite a few cozy bars and restaurants nearby, and for no discerning reason we walked into The Pearl Street Pub & Dirty Martini Lounge.   The second part of that, the martini lounge, I had no idea about until looking at it today.  Haha.  No martinis on this day.

I was yearning for pizza somewhere over this random road trip and stay, and didn’t expect it here.  But oh how the universe looks out.   I looked at the menu and like a little kid shouted, “they have pizza!”.  Well not quite that corny but some facsimile.  I did a fist bump and did a little dance around the crowded bar.  No that didn’t happen either.

The online menu differs from the restaurant one.  I see options for pies that weren’t presented to me in-house.

Our server informed me because they were redoing the menu, but that I could still do build-your-own pie.  That’s exactly what I did.  I was excited.

After careful deliberation (10 seconds), I ordered a pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and peppers.  In essence this was a supreme.  I was forewarned that this was a massive pie that could feed 2-3 people.  She wasn’t kidding.

It was a lot more dough than I could handle.   The photos do not like.   It was soft, squishy, heavy, yet decent.  It’s not a pie that’s going to win any awards.   I don’t think that matters to them.

PearlStreetPie

I was starving so at the time anything is likely going to taste incredible.   The toppings were great.  The pepperoni and veggies tasted fresh and authentic.

The cheese may have been lost by a bit more tomato sauce than I was hoping for.   I barely ate a third of it at the restaurant.   Solely because it was so gargantuan.   The leftovers tasted just fine over the next couple of days.

Pearl was busy was for happy-hour and the folk visiting all seem to be in good spirits.  We were as well.   It helped with the experience as it always does.

For just my second visit to Albany, I’ve found myself becoming sentimental and partial to it.  We all have our reasons why we love coming to a new town or old one.   I’ll be back again.

Stay warm,

Ideen

 

I Love Williamsburg

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I have so many fond memories of Colonial Williamsburg.  This dates back to my first ever trip when I was in the the 5th grade.   I’m sure many folks can relate and remember a similar excursion.

Times have changed.    I’m a young adult who enjoys many of the simple things in life. And when you’re a kid a lot of those pleasures remain when you mature.  I didn’t necessarily say that I matured.   But I believe you see what I’m saying.

When I go with my friends or myself now, the entertainment is familiar but so much has changed.

The downtown area which faces the beautiful William & Mary campus is exactly how I remembered it, with a few additions.  Obviously I wasn’t eating and drinking at fine restaurants when I was a kid, but I recall the landscape.  I recall the energy.  I remember how I felt.  It felt warm and it felt genuine.  It’s the sincerity and positivity that draws me back.

The colonial shoppes are still there and that’s the main draw.  It’s the simplicity that draws me back versus the commotion of a large city.

So what does this have to with pizza?

The last time I was here was May of 2015 and the reasons are so cosmic that it may be best unspoken. But nevertheless, I was here and I’m all for writing about a pies that aren’t local to me in the Maryland area.

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The downside on this weekday night is most things closed by 10 pm and the pizza discovery led me a few miles and a few minutes up the road.

In what feels like a whole different universe, the straightforwardly named Williamsburg Shopping Center, had just what I was looking for.

SalsByVictor1

Sal’s by Victor is a family restaurant enjoyed by locals, students, tourists, and everything in between.  I had driven by multiple times before and never stopped in.  This sounds about right.

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My photos make it seem like it’s in a secluded and mysterious area.  It was relatively quiet that I could pretend it was giving me the creeps.   I was just happy to get a pie.  No need for dramatics.

Carry-out was the only option as the kitchen was about to close.  I would have been satisfied dining in and the authenticity and vibration of the interior was so welcoming.   That’ll have to happen another time.

SalsPizza2

I ordered the Campagnole Pizza which hit the spot and perfect for the long drive back.   The chicken was fresh as was the broccoli and spinach. And that crust was heated perfectly.  Look at that color and texture!    I didn’t taste much garlic as I had hoped but that’s a minor quibble.

For a late order this was very good.   In being objective, I imagine this pizza would taste even more amazing under a relaxed setting with a nice seated table, good company, and a refreshing beverage.

For now it’s a memory created that I’ll grin about for a while.

And I can’t wait to be back in this beautiful Williamsburg.

Warmest,

Ideen Barimani