Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Salvatore's (Ocean City, MD) - Onion Pizza & Maryland Crab Soup
Morgan and my dining experience in the off-season ghost town of Ocean City, MD continued when we chose to go out for some local pizza. However, we were unwilling to spend our money at one of the tourist traps along the main strip, where the quality and portions most likely lacked in comparison to the price. Instead, we chose to drive around aimlessly, as we sometimes do, in search of a pizza place a little deeper inland. By doing so, we found ourselves ordering off the menu of a local Italian and seafood restaurant, known as Salvatore's (not to be confused with the local pizza chain).
Salvatore's is located on the corner of the Stephen Decatur Highway and Ocean Gateway (Rt. 50) in Ocean City, and has (as far as I know) only one location. The location is convenient for those staying at a hotel nearby on the beach (only a few miles away from the main strip), and quite easy to find. While the decorations of the outside (and inside, for that matter) are a tad gaudy, the dim lighting inside gives the quaint, little bar and dining area a somewhat romantic feel. As I stated before, Morgan and I were visiting Ocean City during the off-season; the area was practically deserted, and Salvatore's was completely empty, save for a bartender/waiter and someone I assumed was the owner. Despite this, Morgan and I were greeted with smiles and great, fast service.
I got a bowl of Maryland crab soup to start with. For those unfamiliar with this particular recipe, it is essentially vegetable soup with cooked crab meat added. Salvatore's crab soup is loaded with plenty of corn, red beans, green beans, potato, celery, carrots, and bits of onion.
The Maryland-style crab soup came out hot and fresh from the kitchen, and smelled delicious; I could see hearty vegetables and big pieces of crab meat floating in the steaming broth. However, despite the great, robust smell, I found the flavor of the soup somewhat watered-down. While it wasn't necessarily bad, the soup definitely wasn't as bold or flavorful as many of the other Maryland crab soups I've had; instead of complimenting each other, the flavors of the various vegetables, crab meat, and broth did not blend as well as I hoped they would. All in all, this dish wasn't terrible, but wasn't nearly as great as it could have been.
Score (out of 10): 6.5
For our main course, Morgan and I ordered a large pizza, half cheese for Morgan, half onion for myself. As such, I will only be reviewing the onion pizza.
Once again, I don't claim to be any sort of pizza expert, and will refer you to my good friend at The Rochester NY Pizza Blog for such expertise. That being said, I will try my best to give my impressions accurately and professionally. The pizza came out quickly (probably because we were the only ones in the restaurant), and was hot, fresh, and baked to perfection. The cheese wasn't saturated in grease, nor was it slathered on haphazardly, but was melty and light. The pizza wasn't drowning in sauce, which was also nice; the sauce itself wasn't overpowering, and the seasonings gave it that great, balanced, salty-sweet taste. The crust was incredible - light and crispy, easy to chew, and not too filling or bready; I did not expect to find such a great New York-style pizza crust in Ocean City, MD. The onions on my half were slightly-browned, crunchy, and added amazing texture and flavor to the pizza.
The pizza more than made up for the lackluster crab soup, and I highly recommend it to anyone else from New York seeking a taste of home away from home. The best part about Salvatore's was the cost: being a little farther away from the beach, Salvatore's provided large quantities of food for a more than reasonable price; Morgan and my bill was only around $15, all food and drinks included. For those looking for a more affordable meal than the standard by-the-beach fare, Salvatore's is more than close enough to be worth the drive. I'd be a little hesitant to try their seafood again, but finding a slice of New York pizza in the heart of Maryland was like heaven on earth.
Score (out of 10): 9
Location: 9935 Stephen Decatur Highway, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone Number: (410) 213-7070