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Sbarro Pizza prepares to file for bankruptcy

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  1. I remember hitting their mom & pop store in Dyker Heights way back when. It was pretty good and certainly different than the Sbarro we all know and love today.

    1. What killed me about Sbarro was that fresh pasta IS fast food! Most types are done in 3-5 minutes; add sauce (which can be pre-prepared) and/or cheese, season, and you're done!

      But Sbarro kept the noodles in warm water, losing flavor and texture, leaving a mushy, tasteless mess!

      I'm sure it had its fans, but AFAIC, good riddance.

      1. This doesn't necessarily mean they're closing down. They're reorganizing their debts. Likely this will keep them around.

        1. It hurt that the article brought up Fudd's...

          Anyway, since they had the 2nd worst pizza I've had in the past 365, I've no sympathy.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ediblover

            Ok, second worst? Name names!

            My luck with Sbarro apparently has been better than some of you. In the world of chains, I rank Sbarro far, far from the bottom. That may be damning with faint praise, but just sayin.... 8<D

            1. re: Bob W

              The worst (possibly lifetime, but I may have to eat at a Little Caesar's to verify) was from a local chain (Long Island), "Albert's."

              I walked in and (though dimly lit) it was a ho-hum local joint. Saw some by-the-slice pies out, but I believe in giving places their best shot, so I order a fresh pie. First warning sign was a big thud; the sound of a very large can of tomato sauce being placed on the counter. It was labeled "Albert's." Well, maybe they're a good operation/chain that have good food folks up top (I'm naive). Second, and really the final, warning sign was the pan.

              A pan. As in what Pizza Hut uses for their pizza. Now, I'm not a PH hater. If someone wants to go to one, I'm okay with that, as long as we don't get a pizza. I've a decent amount of respect for their wings and baked pastas. But, a pan pizza... I'm sure there are places in Chicago that rocks them, but there isn't much hope here in the northeast.

              Getting back to Albert's, of course the cheese and sauce was bad. The only flavors either one had squeaked "cheap." I had hopes, but expected that. The crust, oh the crust, I just never anticipated something so awful. Take some heavy, stale bread, brush it heavily with oil, and you have the crust at Albert's pizza. I'm not talking about good oil, or heavenly butter, but the bad greasy type of oil that sticks in your mouth. I was okay with the bad sauce and cheese. But, a doughy, crusty, and greasy crust made the thing inedible.

              It was the only time in recent memory that I couldn't finish a pizza. What really got me was that Albert's actually has 10 or so locations (from what I recall seeing on their box). It's something that should've stopped at the first location. Its survival and growth is really my first (and only needed) evidence that people here don't know good pizza from bad.

              1. re: Bob W

                By far the worst chain pizza I've had is Cici's. Not only is the pizza they serve lousy as assembled, the chain's format (buffet style kept under heat lamps) only serves to enhance that lousiness.

            2. Boy - what a blast from the past!

              I haven't seen or heard of Sbarro's since over 15 years ago when I lived on Long Island, NY. Think I ate at one ONCE, & that was it - lol!! With all the wonderful Italian restaurants & pizza joints on Long Island, I'm surprised it took this long for Sbarro's to have to file for bankruptcy.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Breezychow

                Sbarro's is a national chain, not just in Long Island.

                  1. re: Naco

                    Sbarro isn't in direct competition with any wonderful Italian restaurants, though. That's not their niche. Compared to most mall and airport offerings it's not that bad. It's certainly a step up from Great Steak and Potato. Convenience plays greatly into any success they have had.

                    1. re: Fibber McGee

                      I just thought it was funny that someone thought that the situation on Long Island was necessarily that prevailing in the rest of the country.

              2. I have a soft spot for Sbarro's .... it brings back fond memories of mall food court hangouts when I was in high school.

                9 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  yes ..me too...
                  hanging at the mall playing video games till the mall closed..
                  then hitting the other arcade that stayed open late...

                  i remember the lasagna being ok...
                  and a slice was ok..

                  i tried the lasagna recently and it was horrible....nothing like i remember..

                  1. re: srsone

                    Actually, the Sbarros at airports are amazingly quite good.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      havent been at any airport locations lately...
                      just tried the one at our local mall...

                      i try to avoid flying lately...
                      its waaaaay to annoying..
                      id rather drive the 12 hours...

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I was stuck in the Atlanta airport over night once last fall, and God bless that Sbarros. They were supposed to close at 11pm, but when it became clear that a couple hundred people were spending the night in the terminal, the manager decided to stay open through the night until the regular breakfast spots opened. Having access to pizza at 2am made the ordeal slightly more bearable.

                        1. re: mpjmph

                          sbarros was the only thing open in atlanta airport?

                          1. re: srsone

                            Sbarros, Seattle's Best Coffee, and a news stand. None of the restaurants in the ATL terminals are open 24/7. Most close at 10pm, a few at 11pm. It didn't really become clear that people were going to be stranded until around 10:30pm (and I didn't know I was spending the night until 1am), so all the other places had already closed up for the night.

                            1. re: mpjmph

                              That's always irked me.

                              Why don't airport restaurants open later than 10 pm. local time? There aren't even vending machines around when shops shutter for the night.

                              1. re: mpjmph

                                i would think as being the major hub for the region and as busy as it is...
                                there would be stuff open 24/7...
                                but only having gone thru it during the day...a few times...
                                and now i would rather drive to atlanta from here than fly..

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        My only soft spot for Sbarro's pizza is the crust. As in it's a doughy, soft mess.

                        Mr Taster

                      3. The problem is to me, that the food just sits in those pans..unattended.
                        It begins to look unappetizing after awhile. The teens working there do nothing to "freshen up" the dishes..by just stirring them occasionaly.
                        It is also quite expensive for a slice if I remember.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rochfood

                          Many of their locations are in enclosed malls, which have been struggling for a long time as traffic decreases. Not surprising really.

                        2. LOL. I think of an episode of "The Office" where the Mike (Steve Carrell) hits New York and in true mockumentary style turns to the camera and talks about how the first thing he does when he hits the Big Apple is go to Sbarro's. (There is one in Times Square)

                          My sympathies to the mall rats who remember Sbarro's at food Courts. As mentioned, there are enought good Italian places around why go to .... well now, why go to Olive Garden?

                          1. They are pretty good compared to most food court offerings. I don't go to the mall but back during the Stone Age when I did the pizza was expensive but often it was the lesser of all evils.

                            1. Am I crazy or misremembering, or did Sbarro used to have rectangular shaped pizzas?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Remembering Rocky Rococo perhaps? Definitely not Sbarro.

                                1. re: ferret

                                  No, not Rocky Rococo ... I'm probably just losing my mind.