…Your Favorite Pizza Shop

LittleItalyPizzas

How many different ways can you articulate your fondness and affinity for a town, for it’s spectacular views, small town vibe, and yes the inspirational pizza?

Annapolis has my heart.  Whether I have theirs is a topic for another lifetime, but even the missteps tend to be charming.  And the charm tends to be all that more charming. Yes I’m romantic.   I just love this place so much.  And part of this reason is I have no reason. It doesn’t necessarily get me and I don’t necessarily get it.  Everything about it just feels right.  I feel one with so much when I’m here.  It’s those proverbial goosebumps.

We’ve arrived at Memorial Day Weekend.  How’d that happen?

As I did two years ago, this kind of a homage and congratulations to the Naval Academy and all the commencement activities that will be taking place this weekend.

Here is my pizza history with my favorite state capital.

LittleItalyAnnapolis

A little bit away from the commotion and situations in downtown is a little hole in the wall, Little Italy Famous Pizza & Pasta.

If I hadn’t done a little research after the fact I would think this place would have been here for decades and honoring the authenticity of Italian Style, New York Style, and any other old world style pizza and restaurant for that matter.

I was asking around to friend who do live, have lived or spent frequent time in the area to see if anyone has eaten there.  I either got no response or pals saying they’d never heard of it.

Then I find out this place has been open less than a year.   I was all set to get excited and talk about how this is a diamond or a gem within many others.  My preconceived notions and presumptions are not going to sway me towards the negative.  Not yet at least.

If the pizza’s good then we’re onto something.

It was once a Peruvian Chicken restaurant that converted into this current restaurant. Maybe it’s new owners and maybe it’s some of the same folks that felt like a rebranding was necessary.  And there’s nothing right or wrong about that.  Local business is what I root for, is what many of us are rooting for to succeed because they’re still the heart and soul of so many things.    And there can never be soul.

With that said, the pizza was not exactly what I expected.  Maybe I was going to strike gold and find something not many others have.   Not quite.  It was good but it wasn’t life changing.  But the pleasant surprise was they had slices.  I was going in assuming I would get a small pie to go, but they have their pizza trays with a few choices and that made me happy.

LittleItalyPizzas4

I got three and because we feasted heavily on meat last week I figure I would dial it back and go with the cheese, the white, and the veggie.  And did they put on a lot of veggies.

LittleItalyPizzas3

Again, nothing wrong with them.  I just wanted more.  And I’m one of those people that doesn’t ask for a whole lot except in this instance I want my pizza to taste good.

LittleItalyVeggie

The crust was fine on all of them.  Since I don’t have much to say about the cheese or the sauce, I will say the vegetable slice with all of its overloaded vegetables was slightly charming and entertaining in a way.  Maybe I was just (and am) entertaining myself, but it was my favorite of the three.

I do wish I took a picture of the interior.  They had those red and white vinyl tablecloths you might have seen at a restaurant when you were a kid and might still see today.

That’s what made me think this place has been around for a while. I love the attention to detail.  It may not mean to much but I found it endearing in a way.  For that reason a lot it will make me come back.

The pizza may not have been great this time around but I’m all for giving it another chance.  I think this place has some great food to offer including their pizzas.

LittleItalyaPizzas5

Their menu, location, contact information, and story is all available on the main page.

If this works out I will be doing another Annapolis location next week or soon.  And one that’s close to Little Italy Famous Pizza & Pasta.

No this wasn’t my favorite pizza place as the title says but I got a kick of the to-go box. And I thought I saw them all…

LittleItalyPizzaBox

Have a blessed and safe holiday weekend,

Ideen

 

Highlandtown Strong

FilipposPie

This past Saturday, September 5th, 2005 was a day I made sure to mark down on my calendar.   I didn’t believe it ahead of time, but it was National Cheese Pizza Day.  Yes there is a day dedicated to one of the most enjoyable things to nosh on.

In honor of this historical fact I wanted to find a place that would be befitting of such a monumental day in history.  This also means there will be nothing artisanal, farm-to-table, or overly pretentious.

It’s about good old-fashioned cheese pizza that is no thrills but full of deliciousness!

Nearly a month prior I visited Filippo’s in the Highlandtown neighborhood of Baltimore.

If you had been going here before late last Summer, you saw the old Filippo’s.  It had a feeling of a very old and sketchy neighborhood bar and restaurant.  The times I had visited then felt so disorganized and disheveled that I actually found it refreshing to some of the more pretentious joints popping up all over the place.  Nevertheless, it still felt uneasy being in there that I never felt good about my purchases.  And they weren’t always up to par, food or drink.

Filippo'sStore

Transformation is a wonderful thing.  Nearly a year ago the restaurant and bar has been refurbished to the point of being unrecognizable.  And that’s meant as the highest compliment.   It’s a place locals and visitors from farther away can be proud to say they’ve frequented.

The pizza up until a year ago was mediocre-to-decent at best.  Again, what a little hard work, belief, and rejuvenation can do!

Of course a large cheese pizza was on the menu and that’s what was purchased.  I believe we got the 16″ for the price of $13.99, and it was well worth what the asking price was.

FilipposSlice

What a vision of beauty that is!  When I think of a very good pie that doesn’t try to be something it isn’t, this would be a strong example of that.

The crust was the right mix of crispy with just a little softness to make a perfect balance per slice.  The cheese tasted like a great mozzarella would.  And there’s always room to mention how awesome the cheese looks baked into the crust.  It’s done with precision. And the sauce was just right.  This makes this one of those quintessential pies that is worth seeking out for.

It’s not going to win any awards but maybe that isn’t their intent.  It’s just a delicious pie, in a thriving neighborhood, that deserves praise.

FilipposWithWine

I enjoyed my slice with a glass of wine and drizzled some parmesan cheese in for good measure.

For a pizza pie to commemorate on National Cheese Pizza Day, this is one I’m grateful to have tried.

I will add that the vibe and energy inside has increased ten-fold since they’ve redone the place. The bartenders have always been friendly and the outdoor seating has a cozy small-town feel going for it.

If there is a complaint, the pie took a while to come to us and it wasn’t too busy of a night.

They do have plenty of specials on drinks as well, more can be found here.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a review of a spot in Baltimore.  More is coming and some are going to be very familiar with the locals…

Thanks so much.

Best,

Ideen