Samario's Pizza and Restaurant - Scranton

Samario's Restaurant Entrance. Takeout entrance to right.
I was last at Samario's about a year and a half ago for a review of their Old Forge pizza which I rated very favorably.  One neat thing that (may have) come out of that review was that I mentioned that Samario's served their pizza on a brown plastic cafeteria tray, and that didn't make sense to me in such a classy establishment.  Shortly thereafter, I received a photo tweet from a reader showing me that Samario's had upgraded their pizza serving tray to high end cutting boards.  Now, I can't say for sure if I had anything at all to do with the change, but it was a pretty strong coincidence that I like to talk about!

Maybe changing the serving tray is small to some, but I appreciate any improvement made in a local business in the NEPA pizza scene.  Who's idea it was is irrelevant, because the important thing is that small pizza businesses thrive because they are being the best they can be.  To me, the restaurant business is all about the little things, and Samario's displayed some real attention to detail here.  For that reason, I had been meaning to get back there to see how the new pizza cutting boards were working and to try their famous Chicago Style Pizza.  As I've said in previous reviews, a Chicago pie is not the easiest species of pizza to find in Northeast Pennsylvania.  Many, many readers tweeted me to let me know that Samario's has the best Chicago pizza around.  This came on the heels of my review of Buona Pizza's Chicago Pizza, which I really liked a lot.  So Samario's was really up to a difficult test in this review because the readers set the bar very high, and I had already found what I thought was the best Chicago pie in NEPA just across town at Buona.

For such an important review, I teamed up with my resident Scranton pizza expert and experienced Samario's pizza eater.  He mentioned beforehand that the pizza takes a little extra time to cook because it is so thick, so I made sure to grab an appetizer while we were waiting.  I hate to be hungry and cranky when doing a review, so I enjoyed some awesome calamari with sweet and sour sauce drizzled over the top.  My buddy got the gigantic stuffed mushrooms which were the size of baseballs.  I tried a piece of one and I also found them to be incredible.  For the record, Samario's simply has great food - this can't be debated as far as I (and many of my friends) are concerned.  However, the question for this review is, "How is the Chicago Deep Dish Pizza?"

After a wait that seemed shorter than I expected, the pizza was delivered to our table and I was ready to answer that very question.  The pizza was proudly displayed on the cutting board serving tray as advertised so that pretty much made my day!  On top of the tray was a pretty thick crust which was nicely browned.  I also noticed that there were tomato chunks on top along with a cheese that definitely was not the mozzarella or parmesan I was expecting.  It looked like more of an American cheese, but I wouldn't speculate what it actually was.  I grabbed my first slice off the board and noticed that this was very easy to pick up aside from the top layer of cheese sliding off.  It was easy to grab because the crust was very thick, more similar to a Sicilian than the last Chicago pie I had at Buona.  I was not going to need a fork and knife for this pie, although I did use the utensils for the sport of it.  I was sort of indifferent about the crust because it was so thick, and I was looking for thin and greasy, but it's probably a matter of expectations that I set up in my own head.  I did like the rosemary that was sprinkled under the crust and baked in.  This added a unique flavor without overpowering the pizza like rosemary can do sometimes.

I liked the mozzarella cheese on top of the crust, and I thought that the crushed tomatoes were very flavorful and delicious.  I wasn't so sure about the cheese on top that I'll refer to as "American Cheese-Like," although my buddy was a huge fan of it.  So much so that he ordered an extra pie for the road.  Again, I think it boiled down to personal expectation and what I was in the mood for.  Overall, I thought the pizza was exceptionally well balanced and flavorful.  It was cooked perfectly and served up neatly to us.  The service was 2nd to none, and we really enjoyed our visit as usual.  I think I prefer Samario's Old Forge Pizza to their Chicago Style, but they are both very good, and you can't go wrong with anything on their menu.  I'd recommend getting toppings on the Chicago pie if you're getting it, because that's the way Chicago is meant to be eaten!  Next on my list here will be one of their wacky cheesesteaks that sound so amazing!  I would highly recommend Samario's for a nice dining experience with a significant other as well as for a quick take-out option (they have two separate sides of the restaurant).  This is one of the best places to eat in NEPA in my estimation so give it a try and let me know what you think!

Samario's Pizza on UrbanspoonRestaurant:  Samario's Pizza and Restaurant
Location: Scranton, PA (North)
Date: December 2013

Pizza Ordered: Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza
Price: $13.50
Eat In/Take Out: Eat In
Crust: 3.75/5
Sauce: 4/5
Cheese: 3.25/5
Overall Taste: 4/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 5/5
Overall Value: 3/5
OVERALL RATING: 3.75/5

Similar to: Buona Pizza, Uno Chicago Grill, Spuntino's

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