Friday, February 13, 2009

Pizza from Sam's Restaurant

Such a strange place Sam's Restaurant is (238 Court St., at Baltic St., 718-596-3458). A group of my friends decided they wanted to try it, as I was the only one who had ever been and they wanted to see for themselves what it was all about. The old, original signage on the windows beckons, and you have to take a few steps down in order to enter into a place caught in a time warp. It feels like nothing has been changed in decades, from the red and white checkered plastic tablecloths, to the ancient photos on the wall (one was an 8 1/2 x 11 of a cat?). The dining area is one big space that feels like an old rec room, a place where church functions were held and you ran around as a kid with your friends, high on sugar while the adults drank and smoked and laughed three feet above your heads. The lighting is weird - both too bright and a bit dark, but the radio is tuned to the best of the 60's, 70's, 80's AND 90's and surely something will come on that makes you happy (Journey anyone?).

There's a back room that never seems to be used, and a huge upstairs space that isn't open either (although you have to go up there to use the ladies room). It seems like it'd be a cool spot to host a party or a reception, although I don't think it's available for that. There is a full bar though and lots of old classic cocktails listed on the menu. But let's get on to the food, shall we?

We started out with a salad - the Combination Salad to be precise. Iceberg lettuce, a few pink wedges of tomato, plus marinated mushrooms, roasted red pepper and a couple of olives from the can. Delicious. Well, not the olives, but everything else. Two bottles of red wine vinegar and oil are placed on the table for dressing. Beautiful simplicity. Nothing beats the crisp crunch of iceberg lettuce with the tangy tartness of red wine vinegar.

A friend ordered a Gin Lime Rickey, something to order again if only for it's pink frothiness.

But the highlights of our trip were the pizzas. They were excellent. Covered in cheese and sauce and whatever extra toppings you choose, the crust is thin, yet substantial; it holds its own and doesn't get soggy in the center. I hate that. The sauce is savory, not sweet, and the ingredients taste fresh.

We got one with Ricotta & Sausage which had slices of decent Italian sausage and loads of creamy ricotta. It was decadent and delicious and every bit was eaten - even the lost bits of ricotta were wiped up with scraps of crust.

We also ordered a pie with Pepperoni & Garlic. This was my favorite of the two. Mounds of fresh crushed garlic nestled in with abundant slices of slightly spicy pepperoni. SO GOOD!

There were six of us and this was just the right amount of food. Nothing was left over and everyone was happy. No slices though, and if you order a pie by phone, you can't eat it in the restaurant (although, I don't think that's so weird). They also sell Rock Salt for your icy sidewalks!

Sam's Restaurant on Urbanspoon


FN said...

I will never forget this place. I went in to have some pizza with my girlfriend at the time. We entered, waited by the door, the help looked up at us and didn't move, didn't seat us, nothing. The place was relatively empty.

Thinking we were in a self-seating type of spot, we took a booth. We waited for someone to give us a menu. Nothing. "Excuse me! Hello?" Nothing.

Five minutes went by, then ten. We eventually got up and left. I never really did figure it out. But I will tell you this, if the place were on fire and I had the hose in my hand, I would just stand there without turning on the water.

Eat It Brooklyn said...

Oh jeez, that's horrible. Yeah, it's weird in there. I was actually feeling anxious about our sorta loud group - which is a ridiculous way to feel at a restaurant with 5 other people enjoying yourselves (we were just laughing and stuff, nothing bad). But the waiter was friendly enough, even joking with us a couple of times, which I wasn't expecting. Oh well.

BestViewInBrooklyn said...

It's definitely an experience, and one that is so touch and go that I always had to decide whether or not visitors would be annoyed or amused by any mishaps that occurred (similar to FN's experience). I am always amused by those things. The pizza, however, is ALWAYS good.

M said...

Sorry FN, They know who they like and if you are yuppy scum or African American, well, they will not serve you. Yes. This is true. I love it in there and have been many times with my BF and his kids. Better to be the lone diners when you have kids in tow. They were totally fine. If you want service, go to Starbucks

FN said...

Mimi - how about if you're just a person with $20 in your pocket who wants a pizza? They can kiss my white, lower-middle-class a$$!

Ms_Scahlett said...

OMG, I can't believe this place is still there! My grandmother lived on Baltic Street between Hicks and Henry and my family used to go there every Sunday evening for baked clams (best on earth) and pizza. The pizza was the best and it still looks the same. What a beautiful crust! I left Brooklyn in 1971 but Brooklyn never left me so I surf the web for pieces of my past. I'm sure glad I found this one!

Eat It Brooklyn said...

Glad you found us Ms_Scahlett! Thanks for the comment. It's too bad you had to leave Brooklyn. What other places do you remember in the area? I'll see about trying them out if they're still here!

Unknown said...

sounds good, i'll have to give it a try. and the rickey looks... interesting.

Unknown said...

I pretty much eat here at least 2 Mondays a month. It is especially comforting when you've had a crap day. The salads and pizza remind me of my Italian grand mother (iceberg anyone?). Brooklyn Lou is fantastic company and he makes a stiff drink. The pepperoni is my favorite although I do enjoy ricotta on his pies. Don't be afraid of the real Brooklyn. Support this place because there aren't many left like this and the pizza is fantastic. The blackened bubble on 2 out of your 8 slices is priceless. The music is hilarious. The place just makes me happy.

Anonymous said...

This place is a just a piece of how the neighborhood used to be and should have stayed. The food is excellent although you have to should be enjoying the company your with while your waiting.....The staff takes care of the oldies from the neighborhood which is a nice touch makes u feel like you belong there. and if they don't take care of you oh well you know what they dont belong..... lol!