I thought this wouldn't be a problem, figuring that I'd put that ol' salt shaker on the top pantry shelf in the back, close the door and that would be that, right?
Not by a long shot. In the first place, sodium shows up in more places than just table salt. It is in a lot of the food you buy of your supermarket shelves; the sodium doesn't have to be in table salt, either. Sodium derivatives can show up as preservatives like sodium benzoate. Your can also find sodium in flavor enhancers; monosodium glutamate for example.
Needless to say, I've become very familiar with the the nutrition info that is listed on the outside of the packaging. Naturally, with my new-found health-based vigilance, just where I could dine with my friends in the dine-around bunch and still watch my sodium intake would require some homework on my part.
It was the Dieter who came to our collective rescue, by suggesting that if we all have supper at Simm’s Pizzeria over in Boones Creek we would all be pleasantly surprised.
Simm's Pizzeria is not quite the last storefront to the left in the Food City shopping center in Boones Creek. From the outside, the place could be almost nondescript, that is, if you ignore the big banner displaying the daily specials, and the outdoor patio tables topped with festive red and white umbrellas. The sidewalk in front of the restaurant is well-kept, though the glass in the front door could do with a good cleaning. Being part of a shopping center, there is plenty of parking available, all within steps of Simm's front door.
Once inside Simm's Pizzeria, the first thing you see is the takeout/order counter and another display showing the daily specials. The dining room begins on your left and runs front to back almost the entire length of the storefront. The uni-sex restroom is just around the corner at the back. There are six tables each with seating for four, and a single table that seats six that is toward the rear. The dining room is kept clean and well swept, though with only one server involved, it may take a moment or two for your table to be ready for you, especially when the lunch or supper rush is on.
(Philly Steak Sandwich)
Our server, Taylor, was very friendly and efficient in getting our drinks orders filled promptly and properly. He was quite helpful, telling the Carnivore that, yes, if he was looking for a meal that he could call his own (as in "no sharing with anyone else") our meat-eating friend should order a Simm's Pizzeria version of the Philly cheese steak sandwich ($7.95). The Carnivore took Taylor's advice. Now, everything on Simm's menu is cooked to order; because our table was right near the door to the kitchen, the dine-around bunch and I were treated to 10 minutes of salivating bliss while the Carnivore's Philly Cheese Steak sandwich was being prepared. At the end of that 10 minutes the Carnivore was rewarded with Simm's take on an aromatic, savory Philly Cheese Steak sure to delight any citizen of the City of Brotherly Love. One of their hoagie buns is layered with a sizable quantity of coarsely chopped, well-seasoned beefsteak. Grilled with chopped green peppers and purple onions. it then gets a good handful of freshly-shredded mozzarella cheese sprinkled on top, is baked in Simm's pizza oven until toasty, and served with the mozzarella blanket still bubbling away. The Carnivore was most pleased with the results of Taylor's suggestion; he was the only one to enjoy the full taste and aroma of Simm's Pizzeria's Philly Cheese Steak. The rest of us never got so much as a morsel.
(Large Half 'n Half Pizza)
The Dieter, Retiree and my dining partner got their heads together and ordered one of Simm's 16-inch made-to-order pizzas. There was a good-natured argument over what toppings were to be used. The Retiree wanted a topping of broccoli and grilled chicken while the Dieter wanted her favorite, one of Simm's "Margarita" (correctly "Margherita") pizzas. My dining partner, playing the role of Minerva, told the other ladies to order the pizza with half broccoli and grilled chicken and the other half Margarita style ($21.95). This was no problem for the Simm's kitchen to produce, the only tricky part was making sure the right toppings got paired up with the correct sauces; Alfredo-style white sauce for the chicken, broccoli and ricotta cheese, and the marinara red sauce for the Margarita's fresh sliced Roma tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese and the torn fresh basil. The pizza was so large that everyone, (even the Carnivore) got a taste or two from each half, and all of us were very pleased with the result.
My conversation with our server Taylor concerned my sodium intake; he told me that Simm's pizza dough had no overabundance of table salt. The majority of the sodium in the dough could be found in the preservatives, mostly as bleaching and color fixing agents. When I told Taylor that I still had my appetite ready for something "pizza," but with as little sodium as possible, he suggested I try one of the Simm's Pizzeria "Crustless Pizzas" ($8.45). This clever dish takes the toppings and sauces you'd find spread all over the pizza dough and folds them together in a baking pan. My choices were savory sliced meatballs, fresh ricotta cheese then some fresh-sliced mushrooms and also chopped tomatoes and onions. With a topping of shredded cheese, (mozzarella in this case) my crustless pizza was baked until everything was molten and bubbling. It was then served to this very appreciative diner, who then shared it around the table. There was a shaker full of grated parmesan cheese on the table that I usually used. However, with my new sodium awareness, the dine-around bunch had some while I sat there being philosophical about my new lifestyle changes. I did enjoy my crustless pizza very much, and thanked Taylor for his good advice.
I was surprised and pleased about how easy it was for Simm's Pizzeria to accommodate my new sodium awareness.They helped me make menu choices that kept my sodium intake low, and then our server, Taylor, made sure I was not inadvertently exposed to more sodium in the other diners' choices than was necessary. My taking smaller bites from each of the other diners' plates apparently will be the "new norm" for my taking part in the dine-around bunch's sharing our meals around the table. Simm's Pizzeria is very friendly and very professional. They know how to listen carefully and work with you to make sure your dining experience is not only healthy but enjoyable as well. Who knew that eating smart could taste so good?
4307 N. Roan St,. Suite No. 2
Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Fri - Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sun 5-9 p.m.
Available on Facebook and social media
Credit cards accepted