Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill is a mainstay in Southern California and has been since 1989 when Sam Ladeki opened the first of its 18 restaurants. For the past 24 years, they continue to engage their patrons with a long list of what they call “Healthy Global Cuisine,” diverse dishes that are created using local, organic, and nutritionally balanced ingredients wherever possible. All of their dishes are prepared without butter or artificial trans fat, and they have tons of vegetarian and gluten-free food options. Sammy’s is perhaps most famous for their wood fired pizzas, but their diverse menu has a ton of other fantastic dishes to highlight.
The Chinese Chicken Salad was a mixture of grilled chicken breast, napa cabbage, bok choy, carrots, bell peppers, sesame seeds, cilantro, scallions, crispy noodles, and Mandarin oranges topped with Soy Asian dressing. This is one of the most flavorful salads I’ve had in a long time. I highly recommend it. The Red Quinoa Salad is mixed with beets, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, scallions and almonds over a bed of arugula and topped with Citrus Chilli vinaigrette. It’s vegan friendly and gluten-free, so it’s a great option if you are looking for a dish that is both healthy and nutritious.
Made with tomatoes, burrata, basil pesto, and house made tomato sauce, the Burrata & Pesto Pizza is light and delicious, and a great vegetarian option. If you want to make a healthier pizza, you can request it to be made with Gluten-Free or Whole Wheat Crust, or you can ask for Non-fat Mozzarella Cheese or Daiya Vegan Cheese.
The Gluten-Free Pasta
Next up, was the Brown Rice Penne. I’m Italian and I’ve been a glutton for pasta my whole life, so I’m not really interested in trying substitutes for the good stuff, however, this dish made with a beef tomato sauce and gluten-free pasta, was surprisingly tasty. I happily ate some and even took the leftovers home.
The Best Dish
My favorite dish was the Shrimp & Grits. Made with the Spanish chorizo, swiss chard, and smoke provolone, it’s delicious AND gluten-free. I love grits, but they can be tricky. They are generally pretty bland, so it takes just the right ingredients to make them taste like something you actually want to order off a menu and pay for. Chorizo happens to be the perfect addition.
Sammy’s is well known for their messy sundae dessert, but since I’ve already enjoyed quite a few of those, I tried the Salted Carmel Pudding this time. This was my favorite part of the meal, and I don’t say that lightly. I am an appetizer person. If I have to choose between appetizers or desserts, 9 times out of 10, I go with the cheese fries over the cheesecake. This was an exception. It was delicious, light, and flavorful, and the portion was pretty generous, so like the Messy Sundae, it’s great for sharing.