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Sal's Pizza, Mamaroneck

j
JGsped Jul 3, 2008 05:40 PM

I'd seen several recommendations for Sal's, here and elsewhere, so decided to give it a try.

I was pretty sure I had made a good choice as soon as we got there. It was in the middle of a really hard thunderstorm, but the line stretched out the door, with many more customers squeezing in to pick up to-go orders that had been phoned in.

Most of the people in line were just ordering a slice, but there were three of us and we were hungry, so we ordered a whole pepperioni pizza. They offer only one size: huge (18 inches, I think). It was as good as it was large, although anyone wanting to quibble might note that it was more than slightly greasy.

The thick Sicilian pizza seemed to be a popular choice, but we went with the traditional New York thin crust.

Sal's is obviously the choice of the locals. There are four or five other pizzarias within a block or two. None of the others had more than a handful of customers as nearly as I could tell.

  1. k
    King Vulture Jul 5, 2008 09:27 PM

    I don't get Sal's. Sometimes when I get the pizza urge I go to Sal's but only by default. I live in Nassau County and work in Purchase and I can think of 10 pizza joints within 10-15 minutes of where I live - led by Umberto's and Cugini's - that would blow away anything I have tried in Westchester. Westchester is a pizza wasteland.

    12 Replies
    1. re: King Vulture
      d
      dolores Jul 6, 2008 02:49 AM

      King Vulture, compared to Pepe's, you're correct.

      Have you tried Racanelli's, in Rye Ridge? Their Neapolitan pie was 'kinda' close to what a true pie should be.

      1. re: dolores
        roxlet Aug 17, 2008 06:31 AM

        Dolores, we tried Racanelli's in Rye Ridge at your suggestion, but I have to say that we were disappointed. They clearly are going for a classic Neapolitan pie, and I was so excited when ours came out. I ordered the Margharita, which is the true test of a pizzaiola's art, and although it was tasty, it was really rather bland. Not bad, but I wouldn't make a special trip.

        1. re: roxlet
          d
          dolores Aug 18, 2008 04:20 AM

          Sorry to hear that, roxlet.

          Sadly, a good restaurant in Westchester one day doesn't guarantee a good restaurant the next day.

          After the patheticness of Sal's, I will seemingly have to drive to New Haven for good pizza.

          1. re: dolores
            roxlet Aug 18, 2008 05:20 AM

            Well, I just read someone's post about the new place in Scarsdale, so maybe we'll give that a whirl. It's a lot closer than New Haven!

            1. re: roxlet
              d
              dolores Aug 18, 2008 05:25 AM

              That's true, roxlet.

              Although I've never had good luck finding places in Scarsdale! Time to get out the GPS.

              1. re: dolores
                roxlet Aug 18, 2008 06:19 AM

                The post said it was by the train station, which shouldn't be too difficult to find, though there is this area that's BEHIND where you'd think it would be, so maybe it's there. I may be in the area today, and if I am, I'll report on the exact area of the train station it's near...

                1. re: roxlet
                  d
                  dolores Aug 18, 2008 06:45 AM

                  Thanks roxlet. I had to persevere just to find Lulu's, but it was worth it.

                  1. re: dolores
                    roxlet Aug 18, 2008 12:45 PM

                    If you're not familiar with Scarsdale, All'Antica is, as I had thought, in the back of the train station, not in the part that faces Zachy's. What you do is follow the signs for the Bronx River Parkway South, and make a right turn, hugging the brick building that has the CVS (this would be if you were coming down Popham Road as from Rt. 22 or past Zachy's going towards Popham). The pizzeria is behind the CVS in a mini shopping plaza.
                    My son and I had a slice there this afternoon, and I thought that it was pretty good, but I am really reserving judgement until I can have a Margarita. They only serve those by the pie, so we had a slice with chicken, which is what my son had ordered at Rye Ridge. I felt that it was superior to the Racanelli's pizza since it seemed to have a bit more zip, and I wasn't reaching for the hot pepper to give it some flavor. Worth trying, I think, and if you do try it, I would be interested in your thoughts.

                    1. re: roxlet
                      d
                      dolores Aug 18, 2008 01:11 PM

                      Thanks, roxlet, I think I know where it is.

                2. re: dolores
                  MikiLovesSugar Aug 18, 2008 10:16 AM

                  Try All' Antica!! Its in the drop off circle of the Scarsdale Metro North train station!

              2. re: dolores
                j
                jwg Sep 4, 2008 07:53 AM

                We enjoyed All' Antica on Tuesday night. We ordered two pies, one for the children and one for the adults,and took home one piece shy of a whole pie. The children enjoyed the meatballs with xtra chees, and we enjoyed the sausage/roasted red peppers/fennel. Very thin crust. Salad was very good also. We'll definitely be back. It's perfect for meeting "Daddy at the Train" for supper. I only wish that they had a few more tables!

          2. re: King Vulture
            r
            RawTunaFan Jul 7, 2008 06:59 AM

            I also don't get the hype about Sals. Maybe its because I was spoiled and grew up in Brooklyn.

          3. g
            gbm Jul 6, 2008 02:09 PM

            Pizzas are a very personal topic. Some like them crispy, some like fluffy dough. In Mamaroneck, there are Sal's families and other pizza place families - and the two don't mix. I married into a Sal's family and in ten years have not even sampled another local pizza place. We live out of town and eat all sorts of pizza anywhere else, but nothing is like Sal's. I'm a convert.

            2 Replies
            1. re: gbm
              d
              dolores Jul 7, 2008 07:39 AM

              Ah. So, gbm, perhaps you can explain why Sal's Sicilian slice is a shadow of its former self?

              1. re: dolores
                s
                Scotty100 Jul 7, 2008 12:56 PM

                I tried Sal's once...wasn't impressed. New York style...came out very greasy, toppings flavorless and not fresh and the crust very soggy. I don't think their ovens are hot enough for a pie that large...imo it is about 4 tiers below a Pepe's pie...

            2. a
              Avalondaughter Jul 9, 2008 10:17 AM

              Since no one is speaking up for it, I will.

              I think Sal's is stil great. Everyone loves to say that Sal's isn't what it used to be, but the lines still go out the door. Sometimes when they're super-busy the pizza can be a bit limp, but otherwise it tastes great to me. Is it greasy? I don't know. It's good grease.

              1. r
                rochellefoodie Jul 9, 2008 11:44 AM

                i love pizza and for me i have a taste for different pizzas at different times... Sal's remains a sometime favorite- especially a regular slice when they are busy and the chesse -sauce and dough are melting together...
                one of my new favorites is "Pi" on north avenue by iona college( new rochelle)... they have an awesome crispy-thin crust pie with great cheese and slightly spicy sauce... your best best is to eat there before the crust loses its crisp...
                in pelham the sausage slice at pelham pizza- blows me away.
                i could go onand on
                enjoy!

                7 Replies
                1. re: rochellefoodie
                  momof3 Jul 10, 2008 06:40 PM

                  I waited on line (out the door at 6ish) tonight with my kids. They are obsessed with the sicilian and I love it too. I think it might be the familiar that I love about it. I grew up craving Sal's and still find it consistant and very indicative of my teenage westchester pizza experiences. The sauce is delicious, cheese is spot on, and the crust thick and crispy (albeit greasy). If I want health food style pizza I will make it myself at home. I'm on the Sal's love side of this on going debate.

                  1. re: momof3
                    d
                    dolores Jul 11, 2008 03:00 AM

                    momof3, is the crust on the Sicilian as thick as it used to be again?

                    Last I was there, it was no thicker than a good regular slice, only crisper.

                    If they're back to their historical generous Sicilian, I'll have to try it again.

                    1. re: dolores
                      momof3 Jul 13, 2008 04:49 PM

                      Yes, thick crust just the same as I always remembered it. Greasy, cheesy, great sauce and just plain good :)

                      1. re: momof3
                        d
                        dhammer53 Jul 21, 2008 09:49 PM

                        Sal's in very good for Westchester. I don't know how someone upthread can compare Sal's to Racanellis? <eek>

                        Recently, I've been lucky enough to enjoy a slice or 2 at DiFara's and L&B in Brooklyn; and, Gino's on Cross Bay Blvd in Queens. Sal's doesn't hold a candle to 'real' pizza.

                        1. re: dhammer53
                          d
                          dolores Jul 22, 2008 03:12 AM

                          I did that. And I stand by it, Racanelli was very good.

                          Thanks, momof3, I'll have to try out Sal's again. Perhaps his Sicilian dough just didn't rise the day I was there.

                          1. re: dolores
                            s
                            squasher1114 Jul 23, 2008 09:38 AM

                            I agree with momof3 -- you have to give it another try. Every time I have been there, it's been great -- especially the Sicilian, which is my favorite there.

                        2. re: momof3
                          l
                          laylag Aug 1, 2008 01:25 PM

                          To me that's not good news. I actually much prefer Sal's sicilian when the dough is not too think and has some crisp around the edges.

                  2. r
                    rubygreta Jul 23, 2008 12:42 PM

                    There are better regular slices out there. But I have not found a pizza joint anywhere that can make a slice of Sicilian that approaches the quality of Sal's.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: rubygreta
                      r
                      raider Jul 24, 2008 06:23 AM

                      had two sicilian slices from sals last nite. excellent!

                      1. re: raider
                        d
                        dolores Jul 24, 2008 07:11 AM

                        raider, were they thin, or were they thick?

                        1. re: dolores
                          r
                          raider Jul 24, 2008 10:43 AM

                          very thick.

                    2. e
                      erikzen Aug 1, 2008 10:46 AM

                      I had to reply to this Sal's thread. I have been going to Sal's since the late 1970s when I was in high school. I now go there almost every week with my wife and kids.

                      Is it the best pizza I've ever had? Probably not. But it is pretty consistent in that I've never had a bad slice. There are times however when the pizza is better than others, especially the Sicilian. When the Sicilian is "on" the crust is thick and crunchy and not too greasy. The sauce is fresh tasting and the cheeze oozes. There have been times when I've gotten a piece that just wasn't up to standards but you have to remember that this is fresh, hand made food, subject to the vageries of the available ingredients, the person making the pie and even the weather.

                      As for their regular slices, they are decent. I think that Sal's uses good quality ingredients throughout so nothing they make is bad. There isn't much to set the regular pie apart from other good quality slices but how much can you do with a slice of regular pizza before it morphs into something else that isn't really pizza? To get a really good regular slice at Sal's you need to order a whole pie and ask them to make it well done. This ensures that the crust is crisp and tasty.

                      As for the toppings, admittedly some of their toppings are mediocre at best. I don't know of too many local pizzerias that don't use canned mushrooms for example. (I'm sure someone here will point one out to me.) But honestly to me pizza doesn't need toppings to be good and for the most part I think it's better without toppings. To those that might complain about a pepperoni pizza being greasy, what do you expect? I am not a big fan of pepperoni pizza myself. The quality of the pepperoni is not what I get from my favorite Italian specialty store and it just oozes with extra grease. Still, I can't say that it tastes bad. Some of their toppings are not bad though. The use fresh broccoli and their meatballs are more than passable and I'm sure they're made on premises.

                      Some of Sal's other dishes are pretty good too. Their calzone is the best I've ever had. The shell seems to somehow be fried as opposed to every other calzone I've ever eaten that is completely baked. This gives the dough a whole new texture. True, it is also the smallest calzone I may have seen but so much more delicious. Although I don't like topping on my pizza, a calzone with meatballs or broccoli, with tomato sauce on the side is something to be savored.

                      I've tried their pasta fagioli soup, which is very good; gnocchi, which can be satisfying but a bit bland (same thing for the cavatelli); veal and peppers which is flavorful and filling but a bit salty; as well as their chicken cutlet parmigian - decent but not the best. Considering the prices, I think it represents very good value. The sauce is always fresh tasting and not too salty like so many other pizzerias.

                      As for the line, yes it frequently stretches out the door, or snakes back inside. It can be intimidating but it moves quickly and at least half of the patrons must be taking out because, as I said I'm there every week, and I have never had to wait for a table. With the expansion into the space next door, seating is even easier. (The gelato they serve in the expanded area is very good, but it is WAY too expensive - $3.50 for one small cup.)

                      The bottom line is that Sal's is a local pizzeria, not a gourmet restaurant. It is not the world's greatest pizza unless you get that magical Sicilian slice prepared during the harmonic convergence. It is always good, it's good value, and it's a fun place to go. It is a part of my life since being a teenager and I would miss going there if it were to close.

                      It is not a place for food snobs, gourmands, or trendoids. It's a place to bring the kids and get a decent slice.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: erikzen
                        d
                        dolores Aug 2, 2008 10:48 AM

                        Nope, they're two for two, and it can't be a coincidence both times.

                        Crust on the Sicilian was maybe half an inch, nothing like the excellent fat doughy crust of years gone by. Tasty, crunchy, greasy, but thin.

                        Oh well, it was nice knowing you, Sal's.

                        1. re: dolores
                          momof3 Aug 2, 2008 02:39 PM

                          that's good news to me dolores. One less person on line next time I bring my kids to get their favorite pizza.

                          1. re: dolores
                            s
                            Scott_R Aug 2, 2008 08:18 PM

                            To me, thin crust is a selling point while "doughy" is a condemnation.

                            1. re: Scott_R
                              d
                              dolores Aug 3, 2008 04:46 AM

                              Thank you, momof3 and Scott R.

                              1. re: dolores
                                d
                                dolores Aug 3, 2008 12:50 PM

                                Brought half my teeny tiny thin slice to my mother.

                                She too was aghast at how far Sal's had fallen. She remembers when a Sicilian slice was made like a Sicilian slice ought to be made.

                                Oh well.

                        2. r
                          rich51 Aug 3, 2008 01:53 PM

                          what sal's is is a good neighborhood pizzeria of thirty years ago, while most places have gone way down, sal's is still close to what it was, which makes it good in comparison to others, but just ok really, having said that has anyone tried jimmies further down mamaroneck ave, across from a&p. i like it,it is more of a greek style bready crust, but well seasoned with herbs,not your typical ny slice so be warned but a nice change

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: rich51
                            a
                            anchovy Aug 17, 2008 04:18 PM

                            All I would like to add is that the lines that form are created by the staff on purpose. I was inside yesterday behind 4 patrons and it took 10 minutes to get my order in, however I was able to watch the act behind the counter. I won't bore with the details but is was quite obvious. If they chose to be efficient there would never be a line in this place.

                            1. re: anchovy
                              d
                              dolores Aug 18, 2008 04:18 AM

                              Good point, anchovy. After the second try (and last), I'm done with their preternaturally thin Sicilian pizza.

                              Shame on them.

                            2. re: rich51
                              p
                              peterwcramp Sep 4, 2008 10:40 AM

                              rich51,

                              I like Jimmy's too. It's a dingy place but the pizza is certainly tasty. It's kind of more of a pan pizza, but has thin, flavorful crust. I fear that most of the taste comes from buttering the pans they are cooked in. Although I am not certain.

                              1. re: peterwcramp
                                l
                                laylag Sep 4, 2008 02:48 PM

                                Surprising to hear any comments on Jimmys. I thought it was a front for some other 'business'. I've never seen anyone go in or out and it always has the look of a place that's either not what it seems, looks closed or is/will soon be going out of business.

                                1. re: laylag
                                  momof3 Sep 4, 2008 05:47 PM

                                  oh my gosh laylag, my thoughts exactly! I drive by 2x a day and I've never seen anyone eating there. And the prices posted on the front windows are outrageous. Something like $5.00 for a medium pie! I still don' t think the one good review's gonna get me to check it out myself. I'll stick to Sal's and broadway ( in wp).
                                  Have you or anyone tried the pizza place on the post rd across from Mamaroneck HS? I work right over there and ordered from them once and I thought it was terrible.

                                  1. re: momof3
                                    r
                                    rafi Sep 5, 2008 07:42 AM

                                    lol you westchester ladies are funny.

                                    jimmy's is run by some harmless super-old guy and you're making up crime stories? :-)

                                    that said, i dont plan to go back. food, service, decor were all lacking in my opinion.

                                    1. re: rafi
                                      l
                                      laylag Sep 6, 2008 12:38 PM

                                      Okay rafi - what's the deal then with that little bakery on the triangle at the curve of Mamaroneck Ave and Old White Plains Road/Mamaroneck Road? Forget what it's called but also a storefront with no products and no customers but still there presumably paying rent to someone.

                                      And what makes you think the super-old guy is harmless?? : )

                                    2. re: momof3
                                      l
                                      laylag Sep 6, 2008 12:35 PM

                                      Momof3 you're talking about Village Pizza and Pasta. We had a few good deliveries on pasta and okay pizza when we first moved here three years ago. Then stopped ordering from there for no specific reason. Then about a year ago ordered some stuff and it was truly abominable. So horrid that my husband who is usually more likely to write off one or two bad experiences vowed never, ever, ever again and we haven't and won't. Stay away.

                                      1. re: laylag
                                        momof3 Sep 6, 2008 04:41 PM

                                        yes, that's the place. I totally agree with your husband and I will stay away. Thanks for the confirmation. We should go into jimmy's and see if we can indeed score actual 'pizza' ;)

                                        1. re: momof3
                                          l
                                          laylag Sep 8, 2008 01:07 PM

                                          lol!

                                          1. re: momof3
                                            p
                                            peterwcramp Sep 9, 2008 05:00 PM

                                            "Clean" is not a word I'd use to describe Jimmy's. And it is a total dive, admittedly. But no one can deny that sometimes the road side carts and Ma and Pa shops produce some really tasty food. . .

                                            It's greasy, has some good crust and a sweet sauce. Like the poster above said, it's decent for a change of pace if you are a real pizza eater. If you only have pizza once a month or less, you won't be missing much by driving by, just like you all have!

                                            With that said, my favorite pizza in the Mamaroneck area is Sunrise in Rye.

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