That’s the feeling I got when I walked into Sammy’s Italian Pizza Kitchen, in the Eastport neighborhood of Annapolis. I’ve talked at length (history can be found here), about my fondness for our state capital.
I’ve been to Sammy’s many times before, initially out of curiosity, but then out of convenience. The shopping center itself has a feel from decades ago, and once again takes me back to being a kid, and going out to lunch on a Sunday with my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and you get my drift.
It’s a feeling of comfort and familiarity that is a great reminder that restaurants don’t need to be fancy and over-the-top to produce quality food, service, a warm atmosphere, and a positive dose of energy.
Now in every town, you have your bakery, post office, general store (do those still exist?), local bank (one can only hope), florist, and many other mom-and-pops. That does include plenty of good food, and of course pizza.
That’s the sense I got the first time I drove through this part of Eastport, and discovered this, among several other hidden gems.
What’s funny is there’s been many instances where I have not been enamored with their pizza. I thought it was good, but nothing to necessarily write home (or write a blog/story) about. I have an ongoing list of places I’ve been meaning to talk about, and Sammy’s among others was on that list, but I either never felt the time was right, or just wasn’t feeling it, good or bad.
You’ve got to feel it, positive or negative, or what’s the point?
But something about a recent visit felt different. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the mood I was in, or maybe there’s just something else inexplicable, where I should just let it just be, and allow the best experience to come to me and find me.
That’s exactly what happened.
I love how you can’t see the inside of the restaurant from the outside. There’s something mysteriously beautiful about this, that will draw many in, and I’m sure scare a few people off. I promise you nothing about what I’m saying is to be feared or be made to feel afraid of.
The interior feels more authentic than how many more contemporary restaurants try to portray themselves as. This just feels real. And if and when you’re inside, I think you’ll get what I’m selling here. Nor do I have to sell. Everything about it sells itself.
To go back to basics, I went with the four most simplest slices there is. Cheese, pepperoni, white, and vegetable is about as genuine and to the core pizza as you’re going to find. It’s as if the slices were there waiting for me. Maybe they were.
The staff working the counter made me feel like home and made me feel good about my visit. And to feel like a million bucks is not something you ask for or expect, but it’s great when it happens. The next few groups of people that walked in got that same first class treatment. It’s good to be feel important. That feeling should come from within but it’s always gravy when it comes from external sources as well.
Before I go on any further of a tangent, this was the best pizza I’ve had by them in the multiple times I’ve been by. And it’s not even close. From what was once mediocre to decent, turned into fantastic.
What makes this all the more intriguing is I got these slices at dinner time. I don’t know how long the pies were out. Those are not the questions I should be asking, when the pizza turns out to be this good. Maybe I answered my own question.
Maybe the reheating from the cold pies made it that much more tasty. But good pizza is good pizza. And these four slices really turned out well.
The pepperoni and the white were the true stand outs. The crust and dough just had a taste about them that once again took me back to my younger days sharing pizza with family and dear friends. That’s where a long synopsis is no longer necessary.
It’s a simple pizza, with a simple feel, from a creative source.
What more can you ask for then what I just described?
That’s good pizza, nestled in a neighborhood in one of my favorite places.
If I could write about a place like this every week, I’d be happy. But then it wouldn’t be so special. Yet for now, this is to be savored, adored, and appreciated.
Peace Be With You.