A Dundalk Institution

squirespie3

It’s National Pizza Month.  Yes this is a thing.  It seems like you could come up with a day, holiday, or month long celebration for just about anything.   When it comes to pizza, if everyday was pizza day and every month pizza month, I doubt you would get many complaints.

I wasn’t necessarily going to try and make these posts a bit larger than life because of said event, but a dear friend suggested we brainstorm and take this to the next level.

squiresfront

With that we go to one of those big time places in the Baltimore area, Squire’s Italian Restaurant.

Right outside the city, in Dundalk, this is considered by many to be an institution.  I actually heard that phrase, in regards to this place, by a good friend tonight, that I had to use it for the title.

I knew the place existed for a long time, but I didn’t know their family went back nearly 100 years. That will make anyone sentimental, nostalgic, and think of this place as a second home. Here’s a history lesson for you, and for me too!

I’ve only been here a handful of times, but never actually ate their pizza.  Maybe it was all leading to this moment earlier today.

My previous visits had to do with playing social sports nearby and coming by for a drink, some appetizers, and not much else.  I knew they had pizza but never actually had any myself.  For people in the area that sounds weird.  I take it as it wasn’t meant to be until now.

squiresonionrings

My pal and I were seated in effortless fashion and we decided on some onion rings for the appetizer.  Nothing out of the ordinary but they did taste better than most onion rings I’ve had at similar restaurant set ups.   So they were really good nonetheless.

After some careful deliberation, we decided to go with the Seafood Pizza. And not just any seafood pizza but the Signature Seafood Pizza. In hindsight I can see why.  It seemed fitting. We didn’t want any heavy protein and loads of vegetables didn’t feel right either.

squirespie2

Those pieces of shrimp and crab meat and shrimp were profound and all over the place. I’m grateful it wasn’t a halfway amount of seafood that you may find in other establishments.

squirespie5

And man were those chunks of shrimp and crab meat scrumptious.  This was absolutely fantastic.

squiresslice

The crust was somewhere between thin and Sicilian style, so it was refreshing and a change-of-pace to what I’m used to.  I appreciate how our medium pie was cut into smaller pieces.  We had two slices apiece, so there is something to be said about portion control, even if was unintentional.

squiresslice2

Yes I did like the crust.  I had my two slices rather quickly.

If there was one initial issue, it was that I felt the seafood didn’t gel with the tomato sauce. I thought it was standard tomato sauce at first.  But if I remember the menu, it did say spicy red sauce.   And that spice kicked in a few seconds after the first bite and it’s still resonating with me as I write this a few hours later.   I had thought that maybe a white clam sauce would work better, but now I don’t see it.  It might have been to rich and the seafood we love, along with the crust, and a certain Baltimore spice would have gotten lost in the shuffle.   Speaking of which…

…I almost forgot there was Old Bay as well.  That might be that be a hint of Old Bay, but nevertheless this pie came together like clockwork.  The whole equaled the sum of its parts.  Everything about this pizza meant something and it wasn’t overloaded with toppings of spices.  This is just a straightforward pie with some of the staples of this area, but without all the bells and whistles you may find elsewhere.

Now I was reminded why locals and folks from nearby neighborhoods are drawn to this place and keep coming back. It’s the simple things. The service was friendly, the atmosphere was simple, yet cozy, and the overall vibe was approachable and unpretentious.  More of this please and nothing else.   What took me so long?

And I love that my leftovers still had that amazing taste while lukewarm. The cheese hardened and with the seafood still in tact, it made for wonderful seconds at dinnertime. And speaking of another meal…

Lets do it again sometime soon, shall we!

squiresthennow

I love the photo of Squires, past to present.  I’m glad I got a snapshot.

squiresvino

What a fantastic experience!

All The Best,

Ideen

 

 

On The Avenue

slyce

Since being around the Baltimore area for the past 15 years, I’ve always been sentimental to White Marsh. So it’s about time I review a pizza place nearby. And this brings us to Slice Pizzeria on The Avenue.

slyce2

What stood out right away was how tiny the inside was.  It only seats a few people indoors and there are tabletops outside for dining when the weather is nice. They also have a side entrance where you can order from the outside (as seen pictured above), which gives it a local shoppe feel.  I find that awesome.  In the nearly two years they’ve been open, they have developed quite the following.  And being next to the movie theater is a plus.

Unfortunately, I feel their pizza has become movie theater quality.  When I was originally going their slices were quite tasty. They lived up to their New York Style thin crust reputation.  In my past few visits, I have noticed a decrease in goodness. The slices I will review were based on my most recent stop.

slyces

First up was The White Pizza.  I just didn’t get much from it.  It was ok.  The crust was fine.  The cheese just seemed lacking.  It didn’t have the usual flavor I have come to expect.  It tasted more like cheese on toast.

Next in line, we had The Shore Pie Pizza.  And boy did this look promising.   The ingredients are grilled chicken, butter, Old Bay, mozzarella, and blue cheese. Now you would think this would be a recipe for success.  I really wanted it to be.  But again, it just didn’t come together.   I really like the idea of butter as an ingredient.  But I never felt like I tasted it. In addition, the Old Bay and blue cheese didn’t seem to click.  I can imagine for many, this is a match made in pizza heaven.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  And the chicken was ok.  I’ve had better pieces of chicken on a pie. Again, this was an ok slice.  But I can’t say I’d try it again. bacon

And lastly, we have the Rancher Pizza.  We got bacon on this one, so it’s gotta be great right?  There’s grilled chicken again, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, and the aforementioned bacon.  This just didn’t work. I had a hard time eating this one.   I didn’t love the bbq sauce.  It was too sweet for me, but that is what wasblisted.  I found this one the most disappointing. Since they have one of the most creative and inventive menus I’ve seen, I will give it another go.  I just recall their pizza tasting a whole lot better. Some of their slices are over $5, which is a bit steep for me.

There’s a lot of positives though.  The staff is always friendly and happy to assist with questions about the unique entrees. Every time I’ve gone in, they’ve been smiling.   In addition, their slices are of generous proportions, which could justify the price somewhat. Just because I didn’t love it doesn’t mean you won’t.

And judging by reviewers, a lot of people are fans. I do wish Slice all the success and look forward to trying another concoction again. Thanks so much. Best, Ideen