Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Santarpios

Santarpios is a hole in the wall in East Boston. It is a neighborhood bar, plain and simple. It’s got grit and attitude all around; but, it also has some of the best pizza on the planet. From the second you walk in the door you can smell meat grilled over hardwood and fresh pizza cooking. Are there any better smells in the food world? Kris and I went there last week and sat at the bar for lunch. The rough-around-the-edges barmaid asks what we were drinking. I ordered a Jack and coke, because this place is not the type of place where you ask “what do you have on tap?” or “can I see a wine list?” We started off our lunch with the BBQ meat combo. It was grilled homemade sausage and grilled lamb. By the way those are the only two meats on the menu. The coolest thing about sitting at the bar is you get to watch them grill your food. The pit master has many skewers of meat going at once; they sizzle and hiss as the juices hit the hardwood lump charcoal. It becomes very intoxicating and I can’t wait to taste that grilled meat. The plate gets tossed down in front of us with a “here ya go.” It’s served with hot cherry peppers and homemade bread. The two of us are silent as we eat the perfectly cooked lamb and sausage (something Kris never eats). The ultimate bite for me was the lamb with some hot peppers on the bread. The sausage was juicy and was packed with Italian seasonings. When the food on the plate was gone, I wanted more. But the pizza was on its way…That’s right, we came here for pizza. We ordered some more drinks and a pepperoni pizza. The pizza menu is also very limited: cheese, pepperoni, sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms, anchovies, and garlic. As we waited for our pizza the regulars talked in Italian, did shots of whiskey, and were having a great time. When the pizza was placed in front of us it looked amazing. The crust was slightly charred and the cheese was nicely browned, you could tell it just came out of the oven. I wanted so bad to take out my camera and take a picture, but I just couldn’t. Two reasons: one, it’s just not that type of place, two, I needed to eat this pizza now! And that’s just what we did. The crust was crispy but also had a little chew to it. The sauce was fresh and mild with lots of big tomato flavor. The toppings of sweet pepperoni and the perfect amount of cheese worked wonderful together. I added a little crushed red pepper flake to mine, but Kris enjoyed hers as is. Together, Kris and I finished that pizza. The barmaid came over to us with a grin and said ‘wow, you did it; I didn’t think you had it in ya.” I’ll take that as a compliment any day. We paid the bill, said thanks to the barmaid, and said bye to some of the regulars that we were talking to. Before we even got to the East Boston toll both I asked Kris “When do you want to go back?”
“Soon” she said “real soon.”

6 comments:

Sled said...

I googled santarpios pizza images after reading this. Can somebody say road trip? :)

Lakeside Smoker said...

Anytime Sled!

YankeeBBQ said...

Road Trip !

Transformer BBQ said...

I want to see Sled find it without going through $30 in airport tolls... hahaha

Sled said...

Pfffft myGPS has a "no tolls route" option. It makes the trip 20 minutes longer but hey I dont pay a toll!

Douple IPA Guy said...

I just don't get it with this place. It IS everything you say it is and I like the grittines but people either LOVE it or Hate it. I'm among the latter. I prefer Regina's (North End location only) as the best pizza in town.