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Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza

October 21, 2011

Last year when my husband and I took a trip to San Diego for the weekend we happened to stumble upon a local upscale pizza parlor one evening called Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza.  Basically, one evening we were looking for a local place located in the Gaslamp Quarter to have dinner.  After having searched the internet, we decided on Sammy’s.  Neither of us had heard of it before, but it seemed to have gotten good ratings online, was located in the Gaslamp Quarter, and actually had parking available.  We ended up having a great meal that night; loved the food and really liked the atmosphere of the restaurant.

This year, when we decided to take another weekend getaway trip to San Diego, we both immediately agreed we wanted to go back to Sammy’s.  I wouldn’t necessarily say that a pizza joint would really be the type of place that would draw us back to eat at; but this isn’t just your local pizza joint, it’s a really nice restaurant located in the heart of the city that just happens to serve some really amazing artisan pizza.  Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza opened it’s first restaurant in La Jolla, CA in 1989.  Since then, it has slowly expanded throughout San Diego County and into Nevada, and up north into Los Angeles County to 17 of different locations in all.  When Sammy’s opened it’s doors in 1989 it became the first establishment of its kind in San Diego to introduce a woodfired oven to its guests.  It’s that woodfired oven that makes their artisan pizzas that we love so much so good.

We started our meal off with Sammy’s garlic cheese bread.  A smoking hot basket of ooey, gooey melted cheese on a flat bread came out to our table.  One bite of the appetizer and you’re bombarded with the taste of garlic!  According to the menu description, the garlic cheese bread is madewith roasted garlic sauce, mozzarella cheese, fresh oregano, and imported Romano cheese.  If you don’t like garlic, this dish isn’t for you.  Luckily, my husband and I love garlic and we devoured this dish in seconds!  It was piping hot, with cheese dripping right off the flat bread, and roasted garlic sauce that was so pungent and flavorful.  A great start to what would be a terrific meal.

Next up was the star of the meal, at least in our eyes.  The pizza!  We had decided that since we both wanted the same pizza, what we would do is order 2 different pizzas and then we’d just split them so that we could both have half of each pizza.  The restaurant only offers one size of pizza, 10″, which they describe as being a personal pizza.  The first pizza we got was a traditional woodfired margherita pizza.  It’s your classic margherita with slices of fresh tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil.  All of this on a bubbly hot, woodfired thin crust with lots of melty mozzarella cheese.  All of the individual flavors of the tomatoes, garlic and basil come through in this delicious pizza.

The second pizza we ordered was the piece de resistance of the meal for both of us.  It’s Sammy’s woodfired organic arugula and pear pizza.  This is a pizza that I actually ordered when we came to Sammy’s last year.  My husband and I loved it so much that it drew us to come back again this year so that we could have this particular pizza again.  This pizza is topped with salty thin-sliced proscuitto, creamy, tangy gorgonzola cheese, and sweet and soft pears baked onto the crust alongside melty mozzarella cheese.  The pizza is then topped with an organic arugula salad tossed in a balsamic basil dressing.  One bite of this pizza and you’ll be hooked.  The combination of the sweet, and salty, and tangy and creamy all come together in the perfect pizza.  All the different flavors and textures all meld into one.  The picture of the pizza may not look so appetizing, but don’t let pictures fool you.  One bite and it’ll have you coming back for more!

In order to save room for dessert, my husband and I had to keep ourselves from devouring both pizzas.  So, we saved a little bit of each pizza, which we took back to our hotel room and then devoured for breakfast the next morning!  Oops!

Sammy’s has a signature dessert called the Messy Sundae which is described as vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, walnuts and whipped cream.  But the description can’t hold a flame to what the dessert actually looks like and the experience of trying to eat it.  The reason that this dessert is called a messy sundae is that trying to eat this concoction can get messy!  You’re basically served a wine goblet that’s been rolled from goblet to stem in chocolate sauce and then subsequently rolled in chopped walnuts.  Somehow, the wine goblet is then secured to a plain white canape plate.  The ice cream is scooped into the goblet.  The whole dish is then topped with chocolate and caramel sauce until it’s dropping down the sides of the goblet and pooling in a lake of chocolate and caramel at the base of the wine goblet on the plate.  Sprinkle some more chopped walnuts, and then top it with a generous portion of whipped cream and a cherry and you have dessert.  It’s a sight to behold when they bring the dessert out to your table.  And devouring it is so much fun!  It’s sinfully delicious.

Sammy’s is a sure-fire bet when you’re looking for a nice restaurant serving casual, but delicious pizza.  Undoubtedly, if we had a Sammy’s closer to us, my husband and I would be there more often.  We just can’t get enough of their delicious pizzas!

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