Every time that I think I have seen all of Berks County, this blog takes me somewhere new.
One place that I had never thrown into my GPS before this week is Mertztown. It’s a small “census-designated place” in eastern Berks County near Topton, almost at the Lehigh County border.
And I would never have a reason to go if not for one restaurant: Snuzzles.
Snuzzles’ address is Mertztown, but it’s much closer to Lyons, Bowers and Dryville. If you have no idea where those places are, just throw it in the GPS like I did.
I knew we had arrived when I saw the crowded parking lot along Lyons Road. There is no sign because, as the website says, “if you’re here, this was your destination, its not like you were driving by.”
The dining room is one of the largest in Berks County. There are dozens of tables and booths spread out on the tile floor. Oh, and there’s a second level with even more seating.
And there was still a wait for a table when we arrived. We were lucky though, grabbing the only table for two that was left, jumping the line of parties of three, four or more that were sitting in the waiting area.
The decor is minimalistic, leaving customers to admire the wooden tables, wooden booths and wood paneled walls.
It’s a stark contrast to the colorful menu – a veritable rainbow of fonts and clip art that is both enduring and cheesy.
Cheesy isn’t a bad way to go for a restaurant that specializes in pizza, Stromboli and sandwiches.
And that’s really the entirety of the menu, but it doesn’t begin to describe it. There are croissant sandwiches (including shrimp salad, a creation I have not come across before). Stromboli stuffings include the South of the Border with refried beans, salsa and cheddar. Oh, and there’s a clams casino pizza.
We went for a Stromboli and an order of fries (as an appetizer).
The fries are thick, steak-cut fries. And for fifty cents, you can add a dipping sauce. That’s good because the fries aren’t much on their own. Really, they don’t taste much different than the Ore-Ida steak fries you would find in the freezer section.
Julie was extremely glad to have her cheese sauce for dipping.
We were also very glad to have ordered the fries as an appetizer because dinner took a long time to arrive. We had been seated at about 6 p.m. Our Stromboli arrived around 7. (It seemed to only be Strombolis that were taking so long as sandwiches were brought to other tables much faster).
I don’t know if this is a normal wait time, but on this busy Saturday evening, an appetizer was necessary.
That said, the Stromboli was worth the wait. We went with the chick-otta: chicken, mozzarella, provolone, tomato sauce and ricotta with an extra sauce for dipping.
First, it’s huge. I’ve never seen a Stromboli so puffed in the center. It was hard to cut into because it was so hot from the oven, but once we got in, the cheese just started oozing out.
What really brings it all together is Snuzzles’ super pizza sauce (their name, not mine). It’s sweet with a bright herby flavor that brings out the best in the remaining ingredients. The chicken, especially, came to life with a bath in the red sauce.
Half of it came home with us. For curiosity’s sake, I weighed the bag with the Stromboli half and extra sauce inside: two pounds of food still remained.
And we only paid $25 for everything. That’s $25 cash because Snuzzles does not accept credit cards. Judging by the crowd during our visit, they clearly don’t have to.
Snuzzles is what you would call destination dining. Because if you’re going to the Mertztown area, you are probably going to Snuzzles.
A lot of people are already going there. And now I understand why.
145 Lyons Road
Mertztown, PA 19539