We visited Twisted Pizza Kitchen & Pub, a sports bar and craft-pizza joint that opened in Towson in mid-December, on the night of the big Ravens-Steelers face-off. The narrow room, which stretches far back with a stone-slated bar, dark wood tables, and leather booths surrounded by exposed brick, offered a nice ambiance—a classier sports bar. The space filled up nicely as the game started, as there were plenty of TVs on which to watch it—18, in fact, with a line of seven behind the bar alone. And though the bar didn't fill up, the energy made up for it, with plays punctuated by crowd shouts (and the lone clapping of that one Roethlisberger fan).
We turned our attention away from the game and onto the menu. The standouts in our pub fare were the Duckpin Cheddar Bites ($7.95), which tasted like mozzarella sticks, but very good ones—with the added bonus of beer batter—and the pear and arugula flatbread pizza ($6.95), which was unique and impressive, with juicy pears and a flavorful crust. The pub’s non-flatbread pizza menu had traditional choices such as meat-lovers, Hawaiian, and margherita, but we expected more creativity from a place with pizza in its name. The half-and-half loaded veggie and white pizza ($15) was good, but didn’t wow us. Still, the flavor was pleasant and the veggies were fresh. And the service was friendly. The manager came over to answer our questions about what pairings we could do and happily obliged our high-maintenance request for a half-and-half pie. The chipotle grilled salmon wrap ($8.95) was also notable—a delicious salmon dish for a delicious price. The filet was juicy and rich, with spice from the sauce and red onions. It was served with julienne-cut fries, which were salty and crispy and, as our friends noted, didn’t even need ketchup. The recommended Twisted Mule ($7) cocktail, a “twisted” take on the classic Moscow Mule, had the sharp bite of ginger with a bold underlying sweetness. Despite having to share its location with a Days Inn, Twisted Pizza has character and a comfortable familiarity—like the bar patrons who waved goodbye to us, even though we didn’t say two words to them.