Known as the "Oldest Pizza Maker" in Danvers, Sam & Joe's Restaurant is something of an institution to locals here on Danversport.
Started in 1956 by Sam Ciruolo and Joe Calitri and located on Water Street, directly across from where the tanneries once stood, Sam & Joe's began as a watering hole and nightly gathering spot for factory workers.
Nowadays, although the landscape has changed from one of industrial eyesore to posh residential condominiums, one thing hasn't: Sam & Joe's Pizza.
Locals swear by it, and after 55 years its reputation speaks for itself when on Friday and Saturday night you can't get an easy table, and the bar is packed. Regular patrons rave about "the sauce," which is a recipe traced back to Joe's father who hailed from Panni, Italy.
Specials include -- Monday night: Buy two pizzas and get a free cheese pizza; Tuesday night: Buy two pizzas and get a 1/4 fried chicken free.
Original thin crust pizzas are priced between $10.99-$13.99; more for additional specialty toppings. There is also a specialty pizza section of the menu with offerings like artichoke pizza, shrimp scampi pizza and The Stromboli, which is rolled and stuffed with tomatoes and meats. The pizzas are thin crust, cooked to perfection, and run between $13.99 and $16.99.
Sam & Joe's offers a full bar with flat screens to view sporting events. The menu is reasonably priced with most fried items ranging between $6 and $8, including mozzarella sticks, potato skins, and fried ravioli.
Entrees are priced between $12-$16 and are standard Italian fare, such as veal and eggplant parmigiana and chicken or shrimp cacciatore, as well as meat options like baked stuffed chicken and sirloin or turkey tips, and a wide selection of fried seafood. There are always house specials like scallops with artichokes and tomatoes and pasta with seafood sauce on the menu, with prices at $12-$16.
Sam & Joe's kitchens are open until midnight, unlike many establishments who stop serving food strictly at 10 p.m. With two dining room overlooking the scenic Danversport River, reasonable pricing and low key atmosphere, Sam & Joe's is a Danvers institution to to retire to after a busy week.