Whenever someone talks about pizza in Battle Creek, it’s always the same name that comes up….no, not Sir Pizza…I’ve had that in Lansing and I never could understand people’s fascination with it, but to each his own I guess. It’s good, just not craveable.
Anyway, I was stuck in Battle Creek pretty late on a Monday night and didn’t really have time for dinner. My job wrapped up not long after 11 and there’s not many choices left to eat except fast food. I was near downtown so I just put “restaurants” in to Google maps and started checking closing times. You have no idea how happy I was to see a pizza place open until midnight on a Monday.
Pizza Sam’s has been in Battle Creek for many years. It’s one of those places were adults who grew up eating there are now taking their kids. The surprisingly large freestanding restaurant is on Columbia Avenue in Emmett Township east of Main Street. There’s a large dining room for eat-in service, but when you enter there is a large order counter that looks in to the kitchen so you can watch the cooks make every pizza that goes through the place. The place looks a little dated, but you’re not coming to a place like this for the décor.
Pizza Sam’s doesn’t have a huge menu. They have excelled at pizza for so long that there’s really no reason to get crazy. They offer a few subs and the usual cheese bread type of sides, but that’s about it.
I had pizza the night before at Scooter’s Café & Pizzeria in Saugatuck, but that didn’t even bother me. I have been itching to get a chance to stop at Pizza Sam’s and this was my chance. I was going in for a pizza.
I looked at the specialty pizzas first, but decided just to keep it simple. I ordered a 14″ (medium) pizza. The base pricing comes with two toppings. I chose pepperoni and ground beef.
It was right before 11:00 when I put in the order so not exactly the busiest time of night for them. I was told it would only take about 10 minutes but it was going to be 15 to 20 before I could finish up my job and get there. I told him not to freak out if I didn’t get there right away to pick it up.
When I walked in, there were a couple of other people walking out with pizza boxes and 2-liters of pop so I wasn’t the only one who needed a late night meal.
My pizza was sitting on top of the oven all boxed up and waiting for me. The 14″ pizza, before tip, is a little over $11. They give a 5% discount for cash customers, but I didn’t have that much cash on me, so on the card it went.
I found out quickly there’s a reason a place like this stays in business for so long. The thing that jumped out at me straightaway was the sauce. It’s just slightly sweet and they put a pretty generous amount on the crust which still had some flour on it from the forming.
I like my pizzas a little on the “well-done” side and this one came out a little closer to that. It wasn’t burnt, but the crust had a nice crunch to it around the edges and the meats on top all had some “burnt ends.”
Pizza Sam’s is pretty tasty pizza. It’s not one of those pizzas that you’re going to drool over the memory of, but it is an incredibly tasty pizza and one you’ll talk fondly about to your kids some day. The great advantage to me is that they are open late. Working the odd shifts like I do, it’s hard to find food some days and I was so incredibly grateful that they stay open to at least midnight every night of the week.