Restaurant Review: Scoogi's

Flourtown Italian does the basics

                                             Address: 738 Bethlehem Pike, Flourtown PA, 19031 (6215-233-1063)

Rating: ★★★ (3) out of 5 stars
Italian Restaurant/Bar
Traditional Italian & American Cuisine
Conventional Italian restaurant dining room; dimly-lit bar containing a smaller dining area (with music and TVs)
Parking: Yes, lot parking
Service: Understaffed at times, yet eager to please
Price Range: $$
Unique Feature:  Vast menu, many vegetarian entrées offered, weekly events (drink specials, karaoke, murder mystery dinner, etc.)

Though I have traveled around much of the Plymouth-Whitemarsh area, never before had I journeyed to Flourtown. Within a few minutes of turning off of Joshua Rd, we were immediately surrounded by barns, cornfields, and an overall breathtaking rural view. After driving another 10 minutes on winding roads and over scenic bridges, we came upon an appealing restaurant smack-dab in the middle of Bethlehem Pike: Scoogi’s Classic Italian.

We arrived on a Sunday afternoon around 12:30pm, which was supposedly when they opened for business (according to the hostess on the phone beforehand). As we walked in, there was already a half-full bar, and the waitress seemed flustered as she told us to sit at the closest available two-person booth. After putting in our order for (and receiving) our drinks, we didn’t see the waitress/bartender for another 15 minutes. It isn’t very fair to blame her though, as she was clearly working to her potential and doing the job of at least two people. Fortunately, given Scoogi’s vast menu, 15 minutes was the perfect amount of time that needed to make up our minds on an appetizer and entrée.

For a starter, we agreed on the Mozzarella Sticks. Served piping hot about 10 minutes later, we were both impressed not only by the fresh breaded-coating, but also the mouth-watering mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce as well. As our lunch continued, our waitress tried her hardest to keep up with the flood of hungry customers, mentioning repeatedly to each newcomer, “I’ll be with you in a few minutes.” As I’ve already stated, understaffing was clearly to blame and not work ethic.

After sharing a few sodas during a wait of about 30 minutes, our meals were brought out together. My girlfriend decided on the Picasso Pizza Combo Salad, with which she was very satisfied. The meal itself was a large Greek salad full of ingredients including romaine lettuce, cucumbers, roasted peppers, feta cheese and more, with four small slices of White Pesto Pizza arranged on top. The pizza was simply delicious; the crust was thin and crispy, with the basil and bubbling cheese united as a perfect touch. The salad portion was more than enough to make her full, so she was able to wrap up the pizza as leftovers. The only disappointment of her meal occurred when her order was taken and she specifically requested no olives, yet her dish was swarming with them.

Though Scoogi’s is known for their Italian dishes, I thought I would try out one of their signature sandwiches: The Scooge. The sandwich was basically a classic Italian hoagie, but loaded with so many ingredients that I didn’t know where/how to begin. Topped with tomatoes, peppers and onions with a balsamic dressing, the Scooge was packed full of salami, capicolla, ham, provolone, prosciutto, and lettuce on a fresh long Italian roll. Served with crisp French Fries, I was barely able to finish half of the sandwich before tapping out and submitting towards leftovers. As for the sandwich, I thought that it was good, but just good…not great. Nothing really made it stand out from other hoagies, which I suppose could be a good thing, but I was hoping to be wowed.

After our waitress wrapped up the sizeable remainders of our meals, we sat and waited a few minutes for the check. When she returned with it, she included some chocolates as a nice gesture (something that never goes unnoticed). We paid the bill and drove back home, admiring the gorgeous landscape that we fell in love with during the drive to the restaurant. Overall, it was a pleasant experience at Scoogi’s Classic Italian; I can definitely see myself coming back for lunch, if not just for the relaxing and beautiful drive there.

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