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Johnny’s Pizza & Pub
Written By: Jenny Samuels
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Johnny’s Pizza & Pub
Johnny’s Pizza & Pub
What’s on special at Johnny’s Pizza & Pub? Mike!
Johnny’s Pizza & Pub
The staff at Johnny’s Pizza & Pub prides itself on top-notch customer service.
    “This is a true pizza pub,” I said to my favorite dining partner, Kristi Kruger, before we walked into the door at Johnny’s Pizza & Pub on 56th Street & Coastal Highway. The cool air and sophisticated interior—including oak tabletops and stained glass details—make the establishment a refreshing reprieve from hot summer temperatures. Plus, 37 imports and microbrews, and ice-cold beer flowing through glycol draft lines, are just a few of many frosty beverages on the menu at the full-service bar. At least one seasonal Evolution microbrew is always on tap. This week, we helped polish off the Evo Primal Fear selection to make room for the Summer Session. Add to this winning recipe a plethora of flat-screen televisions, live entertainment on weekends, and a state-of-the-art sound system, and you get the perfect pub atmosphere at an ideal midtown location.
    Owned and operated by a local legend, Johnny’s Pizza & Pub celebrates its one-year anniversary on Friday, June 3. After breaking sales records Memorial Day Weekend, the friendly staff at the venue is eager to serve.
    Wings, subs, and pub food are all on the menu, but Johnny’s Gourmet Specialty Pizzas keep the locals coming back for more. In fact, Kristi and I noticed staff from many neighboring businesses chowing down on happy hour specials. “You need to try the Neptune Pizza,” said one familiar face. Head bartender, Mike, who greeted us by name as soon as we walked through the door, recommends the Shrimp Scampi Pizza. Made with garlic butter sauce, shrimp, old bay seasoning, white onions, and mozzarella & cheddar cheeses, the Shrimp Scampi Pizza is a winner. Kristi and I made ourselves comfortable at the dark oak bar in front of Mike, where he treated us to his undivided attention for the duration of our meal.
    We agreed to order and share the Thai Chicken Pizza and Neptune’s Seafood Feast Pizza. Both pies are not your typical corner store pizza. The Thai Chicken Pizza is an alluring blend of sesame ginger sauce, grilled all-white chicken breast cuts, carrots, green onions, roasted salty peanuts, and mozzarella & cheddar cheeses. Paying tribute to the wonderful state of Maryland, the Neptune’s Seafood Feast Pizza features garlic butter, shrimp, old bay seasoning, white onions, Maryland blue crab meat, and mozzarella & cheddar cheeses—all baked to a crispy golden brown at 500 degrees. A big fan of Thai food, I was most impressed with the Thai Chicken Pizza. After remaining quiet for several minutes while we slowly devoured our pies, Kristi finally muttered the words, “Big Crab Chunks,” between mouthfuls of the Neptune’s Pizza. Seafood lovers should also consider Johnny’s Blue Crab Pizza—crab imperial sauce, old bay seasoning, lump crabmeat, and cheddar & mozzarella cheeses, brushed with butter.
    Available in 10”, 12”, or 14-inch pies, other specialty pizzas on the menu at Johnny’s Pizza & Pub include Hawaiian, White Pizza, The Works, Meat Lovers, and Breakfast Pizza. For veggie lovers, the Barefoot Britney includes mushrooms, sweet white onions, green peppers, green & black olives, and diced tomatoes. I highly recommend the Mediterranean Chicken Pizza, which is a concoction of white pesto sauce, cheddar & mozzarella cheese, all-white grilled chicken breasts, red onions, green & black olives, and feta cheese.
    If you love wings, Mike also suggests the Buffalo Chicken Pizza—mild buffalo sauce, chicken breasts, cheese, carrots, and ranch dressing. Another lip-smacking temptation is Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza—smoky honey BBQ sauce, all-white chicken breast cuts, pineapple chunks, red onions, and cheddar & mozzarella cheeses. What else is good? The Jamaican Jerk Chicken includes spicy sweet orange Caribbean sauce, grilled chicken breast cuts, Jamaican jerk seasoning, clove honey, onions, green peppers, banana peppers, and smoked bacon. You can also build your own pizza, selecting from the best meat, vegetable, fruit, nut, and cheese toppings.
    In addition to specialty pizza, Johnny’s Pizza & Pub is locally celebrated for its Jumbo Buffalo Wings. Mike treated Kristi and me to an order of Garlic Parmesan and Honey Teriyaki wings. Crispy and doused in sauce, these wings are “bangin!” I particularly loved the shredded Parmesan topping that generously covered the Garlic wings. And, the Honey Teriyaki wings were literally swimming in finger-licking-good sauce. Other buffalo wing flavors include Glazed Honey BBQ, Spicy BBQ, Spicy Teriyaki, Cajun Teriyaki, Cajun Old Bay, Thai Peanut, and Jamaican Jerk & Honey. Just tell your server whichever is your preference—mild, medium, or hot. Boneless Wings are also available in orders of 10 or 20 pieces.
    Johnny’s Pizza & Pub also serves up an array of submarines, including Philly Cheese Steak, Super Italian Cold Cut, Chicken Parmesan, Meatball & Cheese, Smoked Turkey, and more. The Harvest Turkey Sub sounds delicious—smoked turkey breast, hot stuffing, and cool cranberry sauce. Breadsticks, Burgers, and Hot Pastrami with Swiss are just a few Pub Food menu options. Order the Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake to sample the award-winning crab cake recipe from the Crisfield Seafood Festival. Or, I triple-dog dare you to try the Irish Triple Dog—three grilled all-beef hot dogs on a steamed 8-inch sub roll. For health fanatics, Johnny’s also offers an extensive Garden Fresh Salads menu, including Garden, Caesar, Tropical, Chef, Grilled Chicken Caesar, Buffalo Chicken, Greek, and many more options.
    A father to four children, Johnny is a 30-year resident in Ocean City, who is extremely active in the local community and charities. A former lifeguard, he supports our city’s beach patrol and wishes to make Johnny’s Pizza & Pub a hangout for lifeguards. Bartender Mike is mulling the idea of hosting a Pizza Cookoff for local pizzerias to compete. On Friday, June 3, check out local musician Josh Pryor at 8 p.m. Beginning June 13, local musician Randy Lee Ashcraft will showcase his talent and bring the party to Johnny’s Pizza & Pub every Monday night.
    Stop into Johnny’s Pizza & Pub on 56th Street today to pick up a take-out menu with specials and coupons inside. A separate store adjacent to the restaurant caters to take-out orders and delivers to all of Ocean City—from the Inlet to the Delaware state line. Call 410-723-5600 or 410-524-PIZZA to place your order. Johnny’s is open every day, year round, from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m, and until 4 a.m. on weekends for the after-bar crowd of pizza lovers.
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