The story of our journey to Sam’s Pizza on Thursday night is an existential one, which ran the gamut of dinner indecision from Mexican to pasta to sushi to burgers to finally settling somewhere around “I just want something new”. Oh, and included “My stomach hurts.” We finally settled on Sam’s Pizza: new to us, low-key, downtown. Even before walking in, I knew it couldn’t touch the likes of 2Amys or Motorino, but I hoped it might eclipse Pagliai’s , a local institution whose appeal regrettably escapes me.
We started with an order of cheesy bread, which was fabulous. Most pizza places just make the bread part out of leftover pizza dough, which is tasty but means the appetizer’s essentially cheese pizza, hold the sauce. Not so at Sam’s. It’s a doughy loaf of French bread, split open and buttered within an inch of its life, then topped with cheese. You get warm marinara sauce, too. Not bad for a sport’s bar. In terms of pizza, they offer both deep dish and thin crust. I’m lukewarm on deep dish in the best of circumstances, so the choice was a no-brainer.
And the verdict? It’s a different take on “thin crust” altogether, because unlike those primo New York pizzerias where “thin crust” means soft, chewy and charred, Sam’s is positively crispy. Like, cracker-crispy and about as thin — but also pretty good, especially the tomato sauce. It’s obviously a great place to catch a game (a game, the game, whatever game’s on), and the food’s yummy, to boot. Also worth mentioning: impressive drink specials. And the pinball machine, pool, and darts. I’m not sure about its future as a dinner-only destination, but it’s the ideal spot to meet friends for a late nice brew and bite. Approved!