It’s been years since I drove into Hagerstown. I haven’t avoided the town for any reason in particular. It just hasn’t given me a reason to visit. Maybe nothing has been presented to me. And I grew up not far from there so I shouldn’t take where I come from for granted. But I’m not exactly from there, so I should’t be so dramatic.
Well a reason was presented to me, and sometimes it’s a chance encounter or a reunion with someone you haven’t seen in a long time. Well it was neither of those things. Sometimes the drive just leads you through small towns and random locales that don’t need any further explanation. The views are usually awesome.
A lot has changed since I was here last. The sad truth is many of these places are losing its charm, its community feel, and turning into everywhere else, with box stores, chain restaurants, and cookie-cutter entities we sadly cross paths with all too often.
The historic parts remain because either people fight to keep them, or they’re just too beautiful and authentic to replace. We need that charm or the soul is eradicated.
I’ve pontificated far too long and no mention of pizza.
This brings me to Northside Pizzeria, which actually isn’t in the historic part. But it’s in a shopping center (something about the term ‘strip mall’ feels generic as well, per my points earlier) that has that communal feel. Yet we’re a few minutes away from the historic downtown. At least I want to believe that. Hey I’m in a new town, I’m gonna try some new pies.
When I read that it was family owned and operated, that was music to my ears. I imagine the same goes for many of you.
Being at a pizzeria during lunch hour is a different beast than dinner time. For me, the menu goes out the window. I want slices or else there’s no meaning to this. Ha, I can’t believe I just said that.
The interior has simple seating and a simple counter top for ordering. It felt like old times or maybe it just felt genuine. I can’t articulate this exactly the way I want it but the vibe felt familiar, going back to when I was a kid. It’s one of those things for me and the universe to figure out exactly.
I went with the cheese and the Hawaiian in honor of Summer.
These were standard pizza fare. I finished both but honestly can’t say either was amazing. Now I did brick oven and was hoping for that taste. It didn’t shine through. My plain slice looked pretty plain. I understand that it was busy, slices were going like hotcakes, and not all slices are meant to be glorious. The Hawaiian had some tasty ham and pineapple chunks, so I picked off the pieces, and enjoyed them on their own. Nothing about the crust stood out to me, good or bad.
Partially because I romanticize that feels like a road trip or vacation. I want memories that are sentimental as cheesy as that sounds. Did someone say cheesy? See what I did?
If and when I’m back, (and I will be back), I will give this another go. And who knows, it might be dinner time. The choices on the board look fantastic.
If you’re in the area or plan on driving through, I would absolutely stop in. The service was top notch and no thrills. In this setting, it worked perfectly. More to come.
Happy First Week of Summer!