South River Situations

BellaSeraSlices

A dear friend, who has helped me with this blog over the past couple of years, always suggests to change up the city or town of pizzerias and pizza parlors, whenever I can.  If I end up in a place I’ve never written about, you know for sure I’ll be looking and hoping I discover something of a gem.

BellaSeraFront

Bella Sera of Edgewater, MD is a not-so-hidden gem in a strip mall loaded with chain restaurants and box stores that so many towns are loaded with, and make an otherwise charming town look well, just like every other.

So you could look at it and say, thankfully there is a local pizzeria, restaurant, in a sea of chains, and think to yourself, that it’s good that local business is still there and still thriving.  The other school of thought is well, you have a local operation that’s there and allowed to exist, in spite of everything around it.  I hope that makes sense.  And I’m not talking about this restaurant in particular.  It’s more of how I’m observing things.

Last year I had passed through Edgewater several times and literally just kept on going.  I didn’t stop and appreciate what was around me.  These things and moments are important to me.  It’s not a big thing, but the little things lead to big things.  And they’re all significant.   I had seen Bella Sera in pizzeria searches and then driving through, but I kept moving along.  I can tell myself that it wasn’t meant to be.  But at the time, it wasn’t…

Now it’s over a year later, and I’m back again under the most unusual, yet entertaining of circumstances.  That’s more of inside joke to me, but that’s how the universe works.  The currents and the energies led me here and I finally need to make the most of it.

Snuggled (or nestled) in one of the more approachable looking shopping centers, this pizzeria looks like a castle from the outside.   I had high hopes and sometimes those hopes based on nothing but how the exterior looks can lead to unrealistic expectations.

It was right before dinner time, so it was just starting to get busy, but thankfully they still had a lavish display of pizza slices on the counter.  I’m grateful for this because many establishments will nix slices in favor of whole pies for dinner time.  It’s a concept I completely understand, yet I find it refreshing when slices are available open to close. It’s so beautiful.

The exchange when I ordered was awkward to say the least.  And I’ll put most of this on me.   For inspired reasons, I went from wanting to order two slices to four.   Realizing that I would actually be saving money if I ordered a whole pie, I still went with the slices. I didn’t get the sense that mentioning my blog would be rejected, but nor was I feeling like explaining myself.  I stand by that decision.

And now I figured out why I might have been better off ordering a pie… I’ll get to that in a few moments.

BellaSeraSlices3

I ordered (here is the menu) the cheese, buffalo chicken, the spring white, and the inspired call was the spaghetti slice.   I’ve reviewed a similar slice here, to great results.

First off, I did not eat all of this right away,  I saved a lot for later.  Eating too much of this would be crazy.  I got three meals out of this, and that’s me trying to make myself feel better about this.

BellaSeraCheese2

The cheese was the best.  It’s simple.  The thin crust was great, and the cheese and sauce are exactly what you would want from a plain slice.  How does it stack up again others I’ve had?  I can’t say.  They’re all similar yet unique in their own essence.  I know there’s a real soul and a real emotion behind the making of these particular slices, and that counts for a lot.

BellaSeraBuffaloChicken

The buffalo chicken, again had a great crust.  The crusts on all of these stood out in a good way.  I see that the buffalo chicken is homemade.  That’s always a plus.  This wasn’t my favorite.  Something about the blue cheese, and maybe the mozzarella cheese didn’t work this time. It was a style clash that may work more times than not. But this didn’t click for me.

BellaSeraChicken

The spring white looked gorgeous.  The grilled chicken strips were so great. I could’ve had a plate or bowl of those on their own.  So in my traditional fashion I had a few on their own.   Maybe my tastes for white pizzas have changed or I’m having higher expectations because this didn’t gel like I hoped either.  The tomatoes tasted fresh, as did the boat loads of spinach (which I appreciate), but the actual white pizza by itself felt like it was lacking something.  It didn’t wow me.  I really wanted it too.

The spaghetti slice was $7.  That’s why I was told an actual pie of anything else would be better.  This was not worth $7.  This will fill you up.  And while it was good, the reminder of what I paid for did bring this down some.   This is something you could get multiple meals out of if you wanted.   But I wasn’t loving it.

If you look at their menu, their prices are on the higher end of what you may see elsewhere.  But that comes with a local business, and being in proximity (20-30 minutes Southwest) the state capitol of Annapolis will do that.

With that understanding I can understand the prices.  The other slices were $3-$4 which is reasonable and justifiable.

I will absolutely come back.   I’ll put a lot of this on me.  Maybe I forced this experience and it didn’t feel as organic as I hoped.  That’s going to make any food taste a bit differently.   Our minds are funny like that.

But I’m all for local and always want these businesses to succeed.  So if I’m in the area (which happens more times than I realize), I will absolutely get some more pizza, and maybe try some of their other entrees once again.

BellaSeraDoor

Here is more of their story, their menu, their contact info and location, and online ordering for our pals that are local.

Thanks so much and have a blessed weekend.

Ideen

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.

SerpicoCheeseSlice2

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