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As you pass by and at first glance, you might think that Sami’s is just a convenience store. Once upon a time, it was. But it’s so much more.

As you walk inside, you might be impressed with the beautiful tiles, the open kitchen and food prep areas and touches of modern design. In the redesign, hints of the restaurant’s former life remain; a counter build-in for candy on one side; build-in glass coolers with assorted refreshments on the other.

It’s a design that somehow embraces the past and points toward the future while serving the present efficiently and brilliantly.

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You’d think the cozy space would limit the menu offerings, but you’d be wrong. Appetizers (ranging from $5.99 to $12.99) run the gamut from garlic knots to jumbo shrimp, chicken wings and nachos. There’s also salad and soup options to get things started ($8.99 to $13.99).  

The homemade pastas ($15.99 to $18.99) includes gnocchi, cavatelli and jumbo ravioli, along with more traditional offerings.    

There’s also burgers, gyro’s, kebabs, calzones, Stromboli and a host of pizzas; hot and cold subs ($8.99 to $12.99), an assortment of tacos and tamales, quesadillas and burritos and English-style fish and chips. Whew!

For our meal, we ordered two things to share.

First up, the white pizza (medium $18.99, XL $20.99) is made with your choice of fresh spinach or broccoli, roasted garlic, ricotta and mozzarella cheese. We picked the spinach.

Our second choice was the Philly cheese steak ($12.99): shaved sirloin steak, grilled green peppers and onions, mushrooms and your choice of cheese served on Sami’s signature bread.     

The pizza was amazing – a nice thin crispy crust; islands of delicious ricotta, and a generous layer of mozzarella covering some tasty, fresh spinach. I must admit, I overindulged.

The star of the sandwich was Sami’s signature bread. So fresh and tasty. There was plenty of lean sirloin; I would have maybe like a few more peppers and onions (but I’m probably in the minority).

Whether you’re looking to dine in or carry out, Sami’s has something for everyone. And judging by our experience, you won’t be disappointed. It should be called Sami’s Pizza & Pasta and So Much More.  

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

More: Looking for a place to eat on Marco Island?

If you go

Sami's Pizza & Grill

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