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Oct 2, 2007 01:08 PM

Sal's Pizza in Lawrence- I was SOOOO Wrong

I have posted replies to reviews of Sal's Pizza. I had only been to the one on rte 125 in North Andover- across from the JR High, and was not at all impressed. Well, my boss just brought a back a slice ( how they can even call it one slice is beyond me!) from the Lawrence shop. So, so good. The crust was thin and crunchy. Perfect. I only ate half- the rest is for lunch tomorrow. The half I enjoyed was fresh tomato, garlic and broccoli and cheese- no sauce. The other half has eggplant. I want to make a formal apology for any post where I was critical of Sals. It was that good! I almost have to wonder if the pizza parlor in North Andover is run by the same people.

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  1. I don't think you were wrong in the past.
    The location in Lawrence is now called Salvatores Italian Restaurant, and is run by Sal's, and has the best pizza (along with the S. Boston Salvatroes) of any of the other locations that I've visited.
    Most of the other locations, and I'm not sure exactly which ones are franchises and the quality varies in my opinion at each location. As many times as I've stopped by the N. Andover location for a slice, I've never been thrilled.
    Regardless of the location, the slices are huge and the price is cheap. I just wish they could control the quality better at some of the other locations.
    I only visit the Lawrence location now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Infomaniac

      Thanks for the info. I could never understand the good reviews, as my experience was so different. The pizza from yesterday was in a box labelled Salvatores, and did list Boston and Lawrence as locations. Will stick to this location from now on.

      1. re: Infomaniac

        Sal's recently opened up a store in Middleton and the food is very good. The service, however, is abysmal. I had my 2 young sons in there one night and the crew behind the counter was loudly yucking it up, throwing f-bombs all over the place. They also almost sent me out of there with someone else's order that night and just seemed really disorganized. At least my boys really liked their calzones, one a steak and cheese and one spinach and cheese. They were good sized and reasonably priced too. I may give them another shot based on that but really don't appreciate the way the staff treats their clientle. BTW, I sent an e-mail to the corporate website with this very info and got no response so, apparently, they don't care.

      2. We go to 2 fairly regularly - Tewksbury and Chelmsford - which is actually right by the Lowell line. They're not necessarily good, just the best of the lot. We periodically get Strombolli's in Billerica and good ol' Papa Gino (which I have to say is much more consistent, from location to location, than Sal's). But if you're looking for the "old Boston style", NOT Greek, there's not much of a choice in the burbs these days.

        Sal's is best right out of the oven - eaten at the restaurant. Any time at all in the box, and it's mushy. If I'm doing take out, I'll stick to Strombolli's which seems to tolerate the box better - maybe they crisp up in the brick oven better and hold their crispness longer - maybe they use less oily ingredients overall and it doesn't soak into the bread quickly. But I do like Sal's sauce. Some of the other locals just put way too much sugar in the sauce, so even if their crust is ok, I can't stand the final product - applies to Brando's and to both Jimmy's locations in Lowell. Everybody else has the puffy Greek crust - what's this, an English muffin or a pizza? I do have to ask the guy in Tewksbury to cook it a bit longer than normal - I never have that problem in Chelmsford. I'm glad the Dominoes went out of business in Tewksbury - shows we have some taste, after all!

        1 Reply
        1. re: applehome

          You are right about the pizza right from the oven- that is why I was a bit surprised that the pizza crust was still crusty and crunchy when I got it- though I guess sals is on 114 in Laerence, and our office is on 114 in N Andove, so it is not much of a trip!I did not eat the piece at lunch today, broght it home and foze it, as we do not have a toaster oven in work, and I could not bear to heat it up in the microwave. Will pop it in the convection oven and see how ;it is.
          I often order my pizzas well done- when eating at the shop- but somtimes when ordering to go, I get it half cooked. I preheat the oven as I am picking up the pie, and pop it into the oven to finish when I get home.
          And I also agree about the greek pizza- if I want an english muffin pizza, I will make it myself.

        2. i don't hate their pizza but don't love it
          but i will say this about locations being or tasting diff (for better or worse)
          it's all in the cook/cooking, like if one places oven is 15-20 degrees hotter than the other,or the cook presses out the dough a millimeter or 2 thicker or thinner,or leaves it in the oven 1-2 min longer at one place than the other these differences though small do make a BIG difference

          1. I have been to the location in Lawrence and the new one on the Boston Waterfront. I loved the pizza at the Lawrence location, and ended up ordering a pasta dish in town that really was quite good. Seems like the Salvatore's locations are definitely making sure their quality control is maintained...wonder why they dont do the same w/Sal's?

            5 Replies
            1. re: chowciao

              I've just started going to Sal's in Marlborough, MA...over the last month or so. I've made three appearances there. It's large, bright, and clean. The staff is very friendly and efficient. As has been said, the pizza is best out of the oven. I like their fresh-filled cannolis.

              1. re: Joshua B

                Is it in the plaza next to Price Chopper?

                  1. re: Joshua B

                    My folks and I ate lunch at Sal's on Saturday. We're still not used to every table in the large room being so clean. The staff is friendly and fast, and always working hard whether it's behind the counter or cleaning the restaurant.

                1. re: Joshua B

                  I tried it again, for me there's way too much crust around the pizza, it just wasteland with nothing on it.

              2. i'm pretty sure that all Sal's ('cept the SeaPort and Lawrence) are independently owned and operated. it's a franchise, and a pretty good one.

                8 Replies
                1. re: ScubaSteve

                  This may explain my disappointing post, I've been to N. Andover and one other, but not Lawence, both were just bad. I may have to adventure to Lawrence next time I'm in the area. I'll also give honorable mention to Tripoli's and Orzo (yes they make a pretty good pizza at the bar). Thanks for the update.

                  1. re: treb

                    The Sal's in North Andover has pizza made by an ever-changing crew of high school kids so it is very inconsistant. I would imagine that Salvatore's employs full time cooks who have better skills.

                  2. re: ScubaSteve

                    the chain is one guy and i have been to 3 with diff results at diff times at all 3
                    it's the cook one cook will leave it in the oven 1-3 min more or less than the other even at the same location and it changes the whole pizza
                    just like bianca's on revere beach there was this older guy with a 50's DA hair cut that made them if he was there you knew your pizza was going to be perfect, but when the younger guys were there it was a crap-shoot (never really bad but not great)
                    beyond ingredients you got to have the touch don't matter where

                    1. re: foodperv

                      i think i'm going to disagree here. i know the owner of the Haverhill Sals and i know another guy who owns two of them. i also attended a franchise expo a few years back and they had a booth there selling the franchises.

                      but i do agree strongly that if the staff ain't got the skills the pizza will suffer. badly.

                      1. re: ScubaSteve

                        then it must be a mix some fran. some corp the reason i say this is because on that show food by/for dummies ( oops i mean the phantom gourmet ) the guys has been on several times

                        1. re: foodperv

                          i saw that epileptic-isode this past weekend. Sal (the original dude) still owns a few of the original Sals AND he's the force behind Salvatores, both in Lawrence and the Seaport.

                          1. re: ScubaSteve

                            Love Salvatores in Lawrence. Pizza was wonderful. Agree with other posters on the north Andover location- pizza was hoerrible!

                            1. re: macca

                              See this is the problem with multiple locations and expansion, i.e. the Regina's syndrome, no consistency. I tried it twice at two different locations, and it was aweful. Unfortunatley, they were the wrong locations. I only go to the original Regina's (I've learned) and I will try Sals in Lawrence next time I'm commuting through.