Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Nice vibe—good pizza! Now, I wasn't all that excited about paying $3.75 for a slice. Really! In my opinion, that's a little steep. Having grown up in New York, I know that corner pizza parlors are very reasonable and are very likely to taste WAY better than any highfalutin, sorry excuse for a pizza joint. However, I must say I've spent $3.75 in much worse ways and I wasn't disappointed with my slice at all.
I couldn't resist ordering the "Cleopatra Jones." I've seen a Blaxploitation film or two in my past and Cleopatra Jones was filled with attitude, so a pizza named after her had to come correct. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! It did! It was delicious. In fact, during my brief visit, that was the most-ordered pizza. Cleopatra Jones wasn't much of a crossover during her time on film, but she was bridging all kind of gaps at Two Boots.
One of the most noticeable things about the "Cleopatra Jones," besides the huge splatterings of sweet Italian Sausage (yum), mozzarella, roasted yellow peppers, roasted red peppers and red onions, was the thin cornmeal crust with a dusting of cornmeal on the bottom. Have you seen Cleopatra Jones? That chick was fierce and gritty—like her namesake cornmeal crusted pizza. "I'll have a $3.75 Cleopatra Jones to go please!"
While I was there a fresh "Grandma Bess" was coming out of the oven and the manager was so kind to let me sample a slice of this Sicilian-style pizza pie. According to the manager, it seems "Grandma Bess" is on the "most popular" list as well. The "Grandma Bess" pizza was an entirely different trip. I'm not Italian, but I'm sure some Italian grandmother would be proud to put her stamp of approval on this fresh herb-sprinkled pizza. Fresh basil crowns the Grandma Bess, but if I had to name the standout attraction, it would be the organic San Marzano plum tomatoes, which are widely considered by chefs to be the best sauce tomatoes. There is a such a fresh tomato taste that exudes from the Grandma Bess, along with the garlic, fresh basil, mozzarella, parmigiano and olive oil—Grandma Bess gives you a little taste of Grandma's homemade Italian cooking.
Other pizzas on the menu pay homage to the entertainment industry, via music, television, and films. There's "The Bird" in homage to jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker—it's a buffalo wing topped pizza. Then there's "The Newman." That's right you Seinfeld lovers . . . you're favorite mailman gets his own pizza topped Soppresata (a fatty Italian pork salami) and sweet Italian Sausage on a white pie. The "Tony Clifton" has wild mushrooms, vidalia onions, sweet red pepper pesto and mozzarella and then there's the "Mr. Pink." Quentin Tarantino fans know this one! The movie Reservoir Dogs introduced the character Mr. Pink, and his Two Boots pizza incarnation has marinated chicken, plum tomatoes, along with fresh garlic and mozzarella.
The other part to the Two Boots story comes from the dirty south. Remember earlier when we hit on that indie filmmaker fascination for all things New Orleans? Insert that fascination here. New Orleans makes it mark on the menu with offerings like the Rosemary Chicken Po' Boy, Blackened Catfish Po' Boy, and Homemade Jambalaya served with Cajun garlic bread.
Two Boots is definitely worth a trip. It would be a great place to hang out with friends and the decor would surely intrigue the wandering eyes of children. However, two words can sum up the reason to check this place out. Wait for it! Are you ready? Here it is... good eats!
Website: Two Boots-Baltimore
Atmosphere: Funky, eclectic, urban and other hip adjectives
Price: A little pricey for a slice of pizza, but the fresh ingredients make it reasonable.