Eddie and Sam's New York Pizza
203 East Twiggs St.
Tampa, FL 33602
Vacation time. We had just flown cross country and needed something to eat, while we were waiting for our friends to arrive six hours later. We had plans to go out to dinner as soon as they got to town, so we wandered the nearly deserted streets of downtown Tampa. It was a Friday afternoon after 5 pm, and most of the restaurants were closed for the night. Walking down a side street we stumbled upon a pizza place that sold slices, and more importantly they were open. This place was no mirage, it is Eddie and Sam's.
Eddie and Sam's has been in Tampa since 1998. I am always leery about pizza places that claim they are selling New York pizzas, when they are not located in New York. Sam and Eddie's seemed different though. They believe that what makes NYC pizza so great is the water from New York. They feel so strongly about this, that they import water from New York state every month. This water, along with the dough becomes the base of their pizza, which they hope is the closest New York pie you can have without leaving the sunny state of Florida.
When we entered the restaurant it really did feel like it was the pizza place we visited, just off Time Square. They had about ten varieties of pizzas behind the glass case, just waiting to be heated up. The restaurant was long and narrow with not too many places to sit, but they also share a space with the gelato place next door, and there were plenty of seats available over there. The girls behind the counter were very nice when we ordered our food, and it came out within five minutes. This is how it came out.
While we were waiting to order everyone was getting these Garlic Knots ($3.00 for six), so we followed the herd. The picture does not show it clearly enough, but these were about the size of a baseball. They were served with a decent marinara sauce that I used sparingly. The reason I used the sauce so little was because these had tons of garlic and butter on them, which already gave the roll a great flavor boost. The insides could have been a little less doughy, but these should be tried when coming here.
Katie always seems to gravitate towards the White Pizza's, and here it was no different. The Bianca with Spinach and Artichoke ($4.00) was her choice. This big slice came with garlic, mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, spinach, artichoke and a ricotta blend. Katie called this pizza tasty, and it brought her back to thoughts about our trip to New York a few years ago. She liked the creaminess of the ricotta, with the slight bite from the artichoke. This pizza is definitely made for people that like a subtler pizza, which as you will see in a moment, mine was not subtle at all.
Yes, we were going to be eating in a few hours, but I could not make up my mind as to what slices to get, so I had to get two. The one on the left is a Buffalo Chicken Pizza ($4.00). This one popped with big time flavor. They did not skimp on the chicken, bacon, buffalo sauce, or ranch dressing on this huge slice. I really liked the whole pieces of bacon on this one. The chicken was cooked well, and the buffalo sauce gave this pizza some life. The crust was good and crisp on this slice. The Meat Lover Pizza ($4.00) is every carnivores dream. It came with sliced meatballs, Boar's Head ham, sliced sausage, and pepperoni. Again they did not go light on the toppings here, but this slice needed to be left in the oven a little longer. The middle of the crust was a little on the doughy side. I would have liked it better if the crust was crisper. Not a bad slice of pizza though.
While we were sitting there enjoying our pizza, a family of four was gracious enough to allow me to take a picture of their pizza. This 20' Cheese Pizza ($16.50) looked like it could easily feed a party of four. I usually do not like just cheese pizza, but this one looked good. They have an even bigger sized pizza that comes in a 28 inch size. That one might collapse the table.
There might be something to all this New York water talk. These slices really did remind us of the pizzas we had in the Big Apple. We liked that you could get a good variety of pizzas by the slice at Eddie and Sam's. The slices that we had really tied us over until it was time for dinner a few hours later. Prices here were not bad at all. We felt we really got a bargain getting out of here for under $20, and having full stomachs after our meal. We walked by here a few other times during our brief Tampa stay, and I was definitely tempted to go back in, but we had other Tampa destinations to hit while we were here.
Out of five guava's, (because one of the unofficial nicknames for the city of Tampa is the Big Guava), five being best to zero being worst, Eddie and Sam's gets 3 guavas.
For more information about Eddie and Sam's, click here: http://www.eddieandsamspizza.com/