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Sam's Pizzeria
in Northampton, MA

When they gave out the 'funky' template for college town pizzerias, Sam's Pizzeria and Cafe was somewhere near the front of the line.  The decor is funky, the employees are funky, and if we had met Sam himself, we have a feeling he's... well, you know.

How funky is it at Sam's?  Well, when we walked in, a local blues band's rendition of Jimmy Reed's "Baby What You Want Me To Do" was coming through the loudspeakers.  Someone sat down at an upright piano and started playing Beethoven's "Für Elise" and they didn't turn down the speakers.  It was that funky.

Sam's Pizzeria, Northampton, MA

We have to confess that when we visited Sam's on a drizzly Saturday night in September, we were hungry.  Very hungry.  Cary was so hungry he was whining.  No I wasn't.  Anyway, our enjoyment of Sam's pizza may have been somewhat colored by a strong appetite.

We navigated between the tables to get to the back counter, which featured a variety of large round pies with various toppings.  We decided on a gigantic cheese slice each, and a shared slice of what looked like a Margherita pizza (but wasn't).

It was a comfortably cool evening and we decided to have our pizza at one of the outdoor tables, so when the slices came out of the big gas-fired oven, we paid and wound our way back outside quickly so we could dig in fast.  We were hungry, you know.

If you've been around our site, you know that we generally put the crust first.  If the dough is wrong, it pretty much doesn't matter how good your toppings are and If you get the dough right, you can put just about anything on it.  Sam's makes a good dough, and they put just about anything on it.  They've got a repetoire of about 100 different pizzas and they keep twenty or so going at any given time.

The crust is thin, but not wafer thin, with a noticeable crunch.  It's light, which makes the enormous slices manageable. The dough is bready, which we like, and had a sourdough-ish quality that separated it from the usual New York-style.  A good late-night slice, as long as you're not going right to bed!

slices at Sam's

The slice that looked like a Margherita (but wasn't) had a cooked sauce (instead of San Marzano tomatoes) under the fresh mozzarella and some pieces of fresh tomato, along with big basil leaves.  It was flavorful (although not what we'd expected).  Sort of a hybrid Marinara/Margherita.  Maybe we'd order it again, but with so many different pizzas to choose from, probably not for awhile!

Lil and Cary at Sam's

The picture's not so good but the pizza was A-Okay!

Whenever we visit a town we've never been in, there's always the hope of finding remarkable -- or at least, very good -- pizza.  Sam's pizza was perhaps not remarkable, but it was very, very good.

...and our friend Pam told us that the homemade cannolis are fine.


Sam's Pizzeria and Cafe, 235 Main Street, Northampton, MA (413) 587-2677


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