I was on my way from an errand and happened to notice a small pizza place. Like I happened to see a sign that said Sal-E-Boy’s Pizzeria and it was nearly hidden between two larger buildings. I thought I knew a lot of pizza places in town so I was shocked to see how this one escaped me. I figured they were a new place so I stop by. My shock increased when I found out they have been open over 30 years, according to the person at the counter. They don’t deliver and it is takeout only. Not really any space to sit inside eat, just seats there to sit if you want to wait for your pie.
I looked over the menu and decided to make my choice.
I hadn’t been there before so I decided to go with a classic cheese. If you can’t do a cheese pizza well, it’s not worth my time and energy to try anything else more complex that might just be masking the underlying flavor. So with that choice made, I placed my order and sat down to wait.
The pizza came out in the expected 10-15 minutes as there were no other orders and I was the only one there. I got my first look when he opened the box to show me.
I had an idea of what to expect since I had talked to him about what kind of pizza it was to begin with. I asked if it was thin like a New York slice and he said it wasn’t too thin but it wasn’t too thick and it was foldable. I didn’t want to just take a slice right there and eat it so I went to my car to sit and enjoy my first slice. He was right, it was thin.
But I think it was actually on the thinner side. It was droopy to start with and even folded (not in a picture) the very front part started dipping down. It had a hard time trying to keep its shape.
Of course it was piping hot and I made the same mistake I always do, and will probably continue to make, in taking a big bite and letting hot pizza sauce burn the roof of my mouth. The overall taste was okay. It probably could used some oregano, garlic, and salt to increase the flavor more. It was imperative for me to get the pizza home so I could add some green chile to it to really make the flavor pop out, or hide what was there. The cheese had a good flavor, the slice wasn’t too oily and the slice of the large pie was a good size. As I was nearing the end of the slice, the next trial was coming up. What did the crust really taste like? You don’t really taste the crust when you’re eating the slice because you’ve got the cheese and sauce flavors which really should be the flavors that you’re trying at that point.
Getting to the back of the crust I took my first bite. It was soft with a little crunchiness and it had a good flavor. That’s what I’m looking for. To get to the end of the slice and not want the end crust is just a bad thing. You don’t have to eat it but it must be good quality if you want to though. A bad end crust means the crust underneath the cheese and sauce is probably also not very good and could be taking away from the flavor. I put the rest of the pizza away in the fridge and waited for the next part of the test.
The next day I took it out for a meal and I reheated it. There are multiple ways of doing it. One way would be to put it on the cast iron griddle and cover it over a low heat to let it slowly work its way back up with a light toast on the bottom of the crust while allowing the cheese to get nice and hot. The alternate way would also be to put it in the toaster oven also on a lower heat to allow the slower heating process. The bottom crust doesn’t necessarily get as crispy but that’s not necessarily a bad thing either. I don’t list the microwave in the above options because that’s just wrong and you risk losing your rights to eat pizza.
The pizza passed this trial. It was still good for the next day. Like good lasagna and good Indian food, the flavor was not lost and the quality remained high. In many ways, the second day of these foods is actually better.
The place is a bit far from where I’m staying and as a take out only I probably wouldn’t just drive there just to get it. There are other places in town with better New York style slices. Comparing apples to oranges of this place to pizza places in general it was a great place. I’m talking about other places like Papa Johns, Dominoes, Pizza Nine and Pizza Hut. In a local apples to apples comparison to other places in town, it was pretty good but not one of the best. There are a few other places I can think of in town that I would go to first such as Giovannis, Marios and Ginos. Making an apples to apples comparison to a real New York slice, this slice falls more than I wanted to. If I’m in that part of town and I need a good pizza then that is where I’ll go as it would be the best choice at that point until/unless I find something better.