What in the Sam Hill's Pizza - Wilkes-Barre

Sam Hill's Pizza: Quirky, Clever, and Delicious! What in the Sam Hill's Pizza in Wilkes-Barre is a quirky, cool, and nostalgic piz...

Sam Hill's Pizza: Quirky, Clever, and Delicious!

What in the Sam Hill's Pizza in Wilkes-Barre is a quirky, cool, and nostalgic pizzeria in Wilkes-Barre.  I first learned of Sam Hill's place when he joined my annual NEPA Pizza Madness tournament and famously created entertaining videos about "Russian Pizza Hacking" and was among the most creative pizzerias of all-time to enter the competition.  I was in the Wilkes-Barre area one day and decided I needed to go pay Sam a visit and check this place out.

From the time I first spotted the restaurant from a distance, I could see that the restaurant was just as animated as its social media accounts.  From it's pizza tossing cartoon character logo, to the street sign emblazoned with "Pickle Pizza, Yay! or Nay?," to the colorful signage in the windows, this place just oozed character and my excitement grew to enter the building.  Upon opening the door, I was surrounded by memorabilia and nostalgia including a shrine of throwback Nintendo and other video games beneath the cash register, to a hallway lined with classic vinyl records on one side and vintage baseball cards on the other.  I was totally immersed in this environment as it spoke directly to my childhood, and although I'd never been to Sam Hill's before - I felt right at home and it was just as I expected.

I know this is a pizza review, but I want to mention why it's important that I knew what to expect when I entered the restaurant because it's part of the customer experience.  I follow WSH on social media and his posts are consistent with his restaurant layout and decor.  His branded logo really fits into every meticulous detail of the pizzeria's image, and I think that's very important.  Think about shopping for a house online with beautiful pictures and when you get there it's not nearly as nice as the photos would indicate.  Ever see a McDonald's burger on TV and then go and order one?  Both lead to disappointing experiences.  What In the Sam Hill knows exactly what it is and provides a consistent image across all of their outlets so that customers know exactly what to expect, and I find that to be incredibly authentic and excellent marketing.

On to the pizza review!  Since I was doing a double review on this Wilkes-Barre trip, I decided to go with the mini 10" pizza for $5.50.  While I was waiting for my pizza, I explored a little bit and checked out the huge party room in the back that looks like it would be awesome for fantasy football drafts, birthday parties, or other functions.  I also gazed at the impressive baseball card collection on the wall and highlighted some of my old-time favorite players.  The pizza was done in under 10 minutes and I was on my way, although I would have loved to stay longer.

I hopped in the pizza mobile and opened the box to check out the pie.  The first look was beautiful as the pizza was cooked to absolute perfection with a golden brown crust, a bold red sauce and ooey gooey cheese which had just reached its perfect melting point.  The cheese appeared to be a mozzarella, perhaps with a little of something else like a cheddar blended in.  It has a satisfying texture and slight saltiness along with a killer stretch and texture that I thoroughly enjoyed.  The sauce was pretty unique, something I'd call "savory-sweet" with a ton of flavor.  I'm not sure how to describe it, but the flavor profile had hints of a delicious spaghetti sauce that simmers all day with meat/bones in the pot.  To be clear, the pizza sauce did not have any meat in it, but I did catch some complex flavor tones that made my pizza brain think Sunday gravy - if you know what I mean (if you don't just move on to the next sentence or watch the YouTube video review)!  Finally, the crust was equal parts crispy and crunchy and my favorite part were the bubbles which created some varying textures and flavors.  Overall, this pizza was constructed and cooked wonderfully and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I'll also say that the First Lady of NEPA Pizza enjoyed the slices I brought home both the day of and reheated the day after.  The unique sauce made it a good reheat pizza I believe.

The one thing that I do regret is not planning ahead for my visit.  I learned after the fact that WSH is more known for their deep dish pizza, and since deep dish is hard to find in the area I missed an opportunity here.  I very much enjoyed the pizza I had, but would have love to try and tell you all about that deep dish!  Don't worry folks, I'll be back again!

So have you ever been to What in the Sam Hill's Pizza?  Do you follow them on social media?  I'd recommend WSH to the #NEPAnation, especially if you were born in the late 70's or 80's because you really need to go check out the memorabilia!  


Restaurant: What in the Sam Hill's Pizza
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Date: October 2018

Pizza Ordered: Mini Pizza
Price: $5.50
Eat In/Take Out: Take Out

Crust: 4/5
Sauce: 3/5
Cheese: 4/5
Overall Taste: 3.75/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 5/5
Overall Value: 4/5
OVERALL RATING: 4/5

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