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Mar 14, 2008 07:41 AM

Pizza and Beer in BWI/Glen Burnie/Pasadena

I miss my college dive bar with cheap beer by the pitcher and decent pizza. My friends (in Pasadena) and I (near BWI) want to get together on the occasional Friday night to eat some good pizza and drink a beer or two in a very casual atmosphere. Mama Lucia's on Dorsey Road is the closest we've found so far, but the beer is by the bottle and the pizza doesn't knock my socks off (but it's not bad). Any recommendations? Casual restaurants that serve beer are in the running just as much as cheap bars that happen to have decent pizza. Preferably somewhere that we'd feel comfortable lingering for a while.

( definition of good pizza mostly centers on a crust that is both crispy and chewy)

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  1. Maybe try Bella Napoli in Pasadena.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Annapolis07

      I've been there and enjoyed it, but that's not quite what I'm going for here...

      Just to give some more background: My old dive bar that I miss was an absolute hole in the wall ( was pretty much a long hallway with a bar on one side, booths on the other and a food window in the back) populated with older gentlemen playing checkers and chess during the day and rowdy college students by night. It smelled funny, the floor was gritty, the bathroom door didn't stay closed, the pizza was ordered through a window in the very back and they had $3 pitchers every monday night. While I may have outgrown the funny smell and broken bathroom door, I really miss watching the old guys play chess while having an early pizza and beer dinner. That should give you a better picture of the kind of place I'm hoping for.

      1. re: wawajb

        Ok, well a dive bar with passable pizza should not be too hard to find in the Burnie. I fact, I think Bamboo Bernie's in Pasadena makes what they bill as fresh dough pizza. I have never tried it myself. I get roped into going to the place once in a while becasue a friend of a friend is in the band that performs Thursday nights. No old men playing checkers, but a colorful crowd to be sure.

        1. re: Annapolis07

          well...I'm being a pain here i know. I'd like more than passable. My dive bar (which is in pittsburgh) is occasionally said to have a sleeper contestant for one of the top pizza's in the city. I can't speak to that since there's a whole lot of pizza in PGH that I've never tried, but it is pretty darn good even when you're sober.

          So...I guess my real question is...any bars in the area with suprisingly good pizza?

          1. re: wawajb

            You are not being a pain, you just know what you want. Sorry I can't honestly think of a single place that would fit the bill for you. Good pizza is hard enough to find in MD, much less in the BWI/Burnie/Pasadena area. Throw in the appropriate atmosphere and you have a real needle in a haystack delimma. I feel you pain, Mama lucia is not that great and not really a good hang out place either. Maybe someone will chime in. if you head into Baltimore I am sure it will open up a few more choices.

    2. I come from the south 'burbs of Chicago, and I think I understand what you're looking for - the sort of place that one might hang out after a rough week at work, or go with "the team" after a game (probably with a bunch of people from the other team), put some Stones, Skynyrd or Springsteen on the jukebox, get some good beer and better pizza at reasonable prices, and kick back with a room full of people doing the same thing.

      If you find such a place, LET ME KNOW!!!!!

      The problem is that Maryland just doesn't seem to have a real culture of pizza. The closest I've come to the sort of place I think you're looking for would be Joe Squared up in Baltimore, but it's a bit more punk/jazz than rock and roll, to use a musical analogy.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Warthog

        Why is this beginning to sound like an episode of the Drew Carey Show?

        1. re: baltoellen

          Why does this sound like the Drew Carey Show? Because almost all good comedy is based on riffing off of common experience, and at least some of the things shown on that show were real parts of the culture in many areas, especially in the industrial Midwest. Some of us laughed all the harder because we *know* those characters in real life - we grew up with them!

          Think of it in reverse. Imagine going to the Chicago area and trying to explain the ritual and culture of going to a crab shack and getting a bushel of crabs and a couple of pitchers of beer on a hot summer night. You'd be waxing nostalgic about butcher paper on the tables and the cheap little wooden mallets, or whether "real" crab eaters use a pocket knife instead, and your new Chicagoland friends would be looking at you like you'd grown an extra eyeball.

          1. re: Warthog

            My question was sort of rhetorical, and meant to be a little joke. But, I do like your explanation of explaining crab house ritual in the industrial midwest., a place I may add, where I've spent loads of time with working-class folks.

        2. re: Warthog

          Back in the late 70's, early 80's, places like Shakey's and Pappy's kind of filled that role.

          1. re: Hal Laurent

            Shakey's was preferred on Saturday afternoons for "Buncha Lunch" while on a break from working on cars with the guys. Buncha Lunch was a ludicrously cheap, marginally edible, pizza buffet, with 1950's NASCAR films shown on the wall as a "bonus".

            Seriously, though, Shakey's and Pappy's were the bottom feeders. One only went there because there was no local place that had decent pizza, and in almost every neighborhood, there was. The chains like Shakey's thrived more on the kids parties and gatherings of people who wanted a loud, fun place, but didn't really care if the pizza was any good.

            The kind of place the O.P. is talking about would seem like a local tavern, or neighborhood restaurant, except they would be rather serious about their pizza. In my old neighborhood, one could get very vigorous (bordering on violent) arguments about whether one was a fan of Aurelio's or Sanfratello's, though the softball league I was in prefered a little dive (since closed) called "Jeanie-O's", because the beer was cheaper, and after the first few, nobody cared about the pizza quality, which was once described as "Take the pizza box, spread with ketchup, add cheese, and bake. This will taste better than the pizza that came in the box!"

            I know it may all sound strange, but this was an integral part of life for those of a certain age in that era.

          2. re: Warthog

            Warthog...that is *exactly* what I'm looking for. And if you're saying it ain't here, that pretty much sounds the death knell for my hopes of regular pizza and beer fridays.

            Besides Jim's Hideaway mentioned below, any suggestions for a place that almost fits the bill, but happens to serve something other than pizza? A killer cheeseburger would be almost as satisfying...

            1. re: wawajb

              A few more places I thought of, unfortunately, they are in Baltimore rather that the G.B./P/S.P. corridor.

              1) Luca's Cafe in Locust Point - good pizza and sandwiches, and it's got the right balance between "bar that happens to serve food" and "restaurant that happens to serve beer"

              2) Thirsty Dog Pub - Cross Street. Good pizza, good beer specials. The only potential downsides are parking in that area on a busy night (and most nights are busy), and the interior space may not be as wide open as you'd like (though I've not seen the upstairs).

              A *possible* in Glen Burnie is the place in that little strip mall on 2 that's between the Food Lion complex and the Honey Bee Diner. I think it's called the Fireside Inn? I don't know if they have pizza, and if so, I've not tried it, but the space and the vibe may be in the ballpark of what you're looking for, if memory serves. Take that rec with a little grain of salt, though - I've not been there in a long time, and my memory may be off or it the place itself may have evolved to something other than what I remember.

              Now, for a little philosophizing on this problem. It seems to me that you and I both come from places where this sort of "pizza and beer joint" genre is common - you recognized my description right away, and I knew what you were talking about. We find ourselves in an area that doesn't have that sort of place or the behavior patterns where people hang out at such places. In other words, there's two parts to the equation - the right sort of bar/restaurant, and the crowd to fill it.

              I offer for your consideration the proposition that what needs to happen is to scout out the right sort of place, and become a regular and *build* the culture/atmosphere at that one place. As you said, the food doesn't have to be pizza, anything not too fancy and not too expensive would work. A Mexican place with great tacos could substitute nicely for a pizza joint.

              I don't know if this is just you, or if you have a softball team or other "crew" who might be joining you. In either case, the point is the same. Even a place like a Bill Bateman's Bistro, which seems a little too slick and too sterile at the start could be molded to fit the need, given the right set of regulars, especially if those regulars then actively spread the word.

              So, if you find the place you think you want to "take over" or "make over", so to speak, please post! I'd be happy to make it one of my hang-outs, too. And maybe, bit by bit, we can build that sort of relationship between a "regular crowd" and a restaurant/bar that you and I both remember from our respective backgrounds.

              I should also note that you might want to explore the fine Baltimore tradition of "bars that serve surprisingly good food". There's lots of them, and you'll see many mentioned on this board. It's not quite the same as the sort of "beer and pizza" place you're searching for, but it's an interesting culture to explore anyway. And you might find it to be viable substitute.

              Good hunting!

              1. re: Warthog

                Thirsty Dog opened up a second location in Columbia off of Dobbin Road in the shopping cneter with the Frisco Burrito and the Mongolian Grill so that might be a little more convient than Baltimore and certainly easier to park.

          3. When I first read this thread I was thinking that Warthog needed to chime in on this, because if any one would know the kind of place you were looking for, it would be him.

            Since he has chimed in, it's probably a good bet that what you are looking for doesn't exist here. It's too bad, because it sounds like the kind of place i would love.

            1. Been awhile, and I ain't so sure bout the pizza but there was a place just of Rte175 and Rte 32, behind the firehouse called Jim's Hideaway, use to go there for a few beers after work, bar food was passable and the atmosphere was just what you're looking for

              1. SOPRANOS! Sopranos Sopranos Sopranos Sopranos Sopranos. Definitely the best pizza in Glen Burnie and the general area. Great crust, great sauce, very fresh toppings, creative topping combos. Never ate in, so I can't vouch for that aspect, but delivery was quick and tasty. I moved an hour away a year ago but still have it in my phone, just in case.


                3 Replies
                1. re: Scriever

                  Where is Sopranos? I'm not having any luck finding info with a web search.

                  1. re: Warthog

                    I just died a little. Called Sopranos and Pizza Mart answered. I told the kid I thought I'd dialed Sopranos; he said "sorry" and hung up on me. What gives?

                    Don't know if they're any good, but the shop is on Aquahart Road.

                    1. re: Scriever

                      Anyone else been? this place is near my office and I am wondering if it is a good space for lunch, or just take out.