May 29, 2008

New Haven Food Tour: Part 2 (Sally's Apizza)

Sally's sign
Sally's Apizza

"Sally's pizza is sooo good," insisted Charlie. "You just have to wait in line and endure crappy service to get it. ...Also, the inside of the restaurant is kind of gross."

Man, how could I not be excited to visit the legendary Sally's Apizza after hearing Charlie's description of its nonexistent charm? Actually, that is part of the excitement; for food to be so awesome that it's worth eating even if you're going to be served by people who give half a shit.

First hurdle: the line.

the line

Charlie, Lydia and I arrived at the restaurant later than we had planned, thus missing the first 5 p.m. seating. We took our place just a few feet away from the door (where my friend Jason soon joined us) and figured the wait wouldn't be too horrendous since we weren't that far back in line. I mean, surely nothing over an hour.


So, nearly one and a half hours later, we finally made that grand journey of a few feet to the front door. Right where all the delicious pizza fumes came wafting out. Taunting us. So close. So. Painfully. Close.


There appeared to be a few empty booths ready to be filled by our tired, pizza-ready bodies, but they were reserved for a large, yet-to-have-arrived party. We grumbled and wondered where this phantom party was and why they weren't getting their pizza on.


The service wasn't as curmudgeonly as I expected, but it was markedly nonchalant. Menus were tossed upon us by the seemingly one waiter running the whole restaurant. When he reappeared and paused at our table, we assumed this was with the intention of taking our order. Instead, he inexplicably heaved two more menus onto the already present pile of menus for some unknown reason, then made a dash towards the kitchen while quickly saying, "Be back in a flash." After the "flash" had been drawn out for a few minutes (although I had considered that time as experienced by most humans is slowed down by 1000% within the alternate dimension that is Sally's, thus qualifying our wait as a genuine "flash"), the waiter reappeared to take our orders, finally putting us back on track towards pizza bliss.


We passed the time by playing Fluxx, "the card game with ever-changing rules!" As the only Fluxx-n00b at the table, I mostly stared at my cards with confusion and hesitantly placed them on the table with even more confusion. Someday I aim to play a game of Fluxx with more grace than a gimpy one-legged duck, but until then, I am hopeless.

medium eggplant parm pizza

And then OH MY GOD, the pizza we had so patiently and somewhat frustratingly waited for had arrived, unceremoniously splodged in the center of a parchment paper-lined sheet pan in all its blistered, semi-lopsided glory, looking as though it had just rolled out of bed and hadn't gotten the chance to coif itself. Because of our intensely gurgling stomachs, we went for a medium eggplant parmigiana pizza instead of a small.

Mm, crust.

Helloooo puffy crust.

they stare as I finish taking my photo
The faces of pizza lust.

Charlie and Jason politely waited for me to take my photographs even though they wanted to rip the pizza (and maybe me) apart. What good friends I have.

A medium thickness crust?

The first bite, apart from being of a elevated temperature that skin cells respond to with death, told me that the pizza was worth the wait. As someone who prefers simple pizzas—the margherita may be my favorite—I was afraid that the fried breaded slices of eggplant would be too heavy and mess up the balance between the crust and the non-crust. However, the soft, chewy crust was just thick enough to stand up to the toppings, making for a harmonious marriage of bread, cheese, sauce, and fried eggplant slabs. It's the kind of marriage that doesn't exist these days—the one where everyone is happy and gets along with one another.

Ain't that a beaut?

I wouldn't say that the cheese, sauce, or eggplant necessarily stood out for being awesome; rather, there wasn't anything about each component that I would object to. They all came together because of the puffy, slightly crispy-based crust that sat underneath. What was it about this crust that I loved so much? It tasted like awesome. I mean, if it had nothing on it, if it were just a slab of flatbread, I'd still devour it. I could've sworn that it had slight touches of the warm toasted grainy flavor that I love so much, the kind that reminds me of a baguette de monge. Perhaps the long wait had twisted my perception—I can't rule out the possibility—but I really think that the crust was just exceptionally tasty. It's rare that I eat a pizza where the crust is easily my favorite part and I can imagine eating it even outside the context of a pizza.

I'd rather not have to wait one and a half hours again to eat at Sally's, but I can see why people do it. They're not crazy. Or...they're not that crazy. Dedicated roughly a twelfth of your day to getting awesome pizza is a perfectly acceptable class of craziness.

Next up: Pepe's and Louis' Lunch!


Sally's Apizza
237 Wooster St
New Haven, CT 06511

Posted by roboppy at 1:20 AM

Tags: Charlie, Connecticut, Jason, Lydia, New Haven, pizza, pizzeria, Sally's Apizza


Heh, I got mocked by my own family for making them wait to eat so I could take pictures!

That pizza looks AMAZING. Definitely worth the way. One thing I like about eggplant is how it seemingly melts and blends with other ingredients.

Posted by: Christina at May 29, 2008 3:10 AM [#]

So I read your blog a lot and haven't commented yet, but the presence of the beautiful eggplant-topped pizza prompted me to (I looove eggplant). I just wanted to mention that I really love the word "splodge," and that every time you use it, it puts a smile on my face. So keep it up :]

P.S. I'm a girl, just in case the name threw you.

Posted by: Tyler at May 29, 2008 9:11 AM [#]

Hell, I would have the face of lust if I was bestowed upon those lovely pies. I'm craving for pizza but I'm stuck at work right now. Wah. :(

On a side note, you've been tagged.

Posted by: Tina at May 29, 2008 10:23 AM [#]

Well, it does look good!

The local, legendary Pizzaria Bianco has waits like that. I've yet to have a pizza craving worth waiting 1-2 hours of my life, though. I could try their sandwich shop up the road, but it's a bit of a drive for lunch.

Posted by: Julie at May 29, 2008 12:40 PM [#]

screw your pictures, i'd be eating that picture faster than you could say "canon d20."

i'm trying to do a few salad and fruit-only days post-bbq. why am i reading food blogs? because i am a MASOCHIST.

Posted by: michelle @ TNS at May 29, 2008 2:03 PM [#]

I think you should use a qualifier (like "much") after "doesn't" in your sentence about how the bread, cheese, sauce, and eggplant slabs worked together.
Maybe they're all outside of your city, but there are still some marriages where everyone is happy and gets along...mine has been mostly that way for the past 25 years. I've seen your map (I like it a lot). You have readers all over!

Posted by: Jeanne at May 29, 2008 3:16 PM [#]

I really shouldn't come to your blog at this time of night. My mind is wanting THAT pizza so badly.

Anyhow, I'm not sure if you'll remember me among thousands of commentors since I have commented only once in your blog:)

But I just wanted to say your pictures just ROCK and make the food look 100 times more deli-sh!!!
Thanks for the great post!

Posted by: Bangsil at May 29, 2008 10:27 PM [#]


Tyler: Splodge is one of the best words ever. I must thank the packaging of Jammie Dodgers for that. :)

Tina: Time to make your way to....New Haven!

Ah, my site is where those kinds of questionnaire things die, but I will try to answer it in my next entry!

Julie: Ohhh doood, Pane Bianco makes the best sandwiches EVER. It's a better experience than Pizza Bianco cos you don't have to wait a million years. :D And it's laid back..just get your sandwich and eat it on the bench outside. And it's SO GOOD DID I SAY THAT OMGOMG the bread is so good. Okay yeah.

Michelle: Just eating fruit and salad? ..What? Huh. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

Jeanne: Oh, I can't add "much" cos then the sentence wouldn't be a hyperbole anymore. :D Admittedly, in my little world everyone's families are messed up, including mine. But not so bad. Could be worse. YEAH.

Bangsil: Yay hunger pangs! I make em!


Posted by: roboppy at May 30, 2008 12:01 AM [#]

Why are these restaurants called "Apizza" rather than "Pizza?" Just wondering.

Posted by: Dee at May 30, 2008 12:09 AM [#]

Nice eat !!.... I thought you guy are not gonna to go Pepe and Louis Lunch.

As a former resident of New Haven, I was excited to see you guy check out those places.

At Pepe, get Clam Pizza. Best of the best.

Check out Claire. It is a very wellknown vegetarian restaurant. The owner has written her own cookbook.

If you head back to NYC, off I 95 exit that has IKEA. Go to other side of the highway (the harbor side), you will find 2-3 Taco Trucks. They make mean tacos and mexican quick fix but dirt cheap.

And before leaving New Haven, go up to Savin Rock. You can see the whole city of New Haven. Just beautiful scene.

Posted by: PookandHouse at May 30, 2008 3:53 AM [#]

I have never come across such a delicious looking pizza in California. Why is that?

Posted by: christine at May 30, 2008 4:35 AM [#]

I like your definition of marriage, Robyn.

Posted by: Olivia at May 30, 2008 8:29 AM [#]

This is Charlie from the above adventure speaking

The difference between Sally's and Pizzeria Bianco, is that at Pizzeria Bianco, they give you time estimates so you have some idea as to when you will eat (they even let you leave and call back if the wait is really long), they have a wine bar with snacks to tide you over next door, and MOST IMPORTANTLY the pizza (not to mention the service) is even better than Sally's. I can say this with some authority as I ate there about 9 days after our New Haven pizzadventure.

Posted by: chasgoose at May 30, 2008 12:20 PM [#]

Yummy yum.. That's all I have to say.

Also, I'm a little confused about how these pizza places are both called APIZZA. Like, what does that mean? Is it a common thing? It just doesn't make any sense to me.. Educate me - please! :)

Posted by: Maja at May 30, 2008 2:13 PM [#]

RE: maja

Apizza is the term for New Haven style pizza. It probably descended from the way that Italian immigrants would say pizza, but now it usually specifically refers to New Haven style pizza.

Although, that designation is way more effective when you are NOT in New Haven. Many pizza places in New Haven use "apizza" when they serve crappy not-New Haven style pizza.

Posted by: chasgoose at May 30, 2008 4:18 PM [#]

Dee and Maja: Charlie explained the "apizza" name for you in the comments below, but there's also this wikipedia entry...wee!

PookandHouse: AHH I WANT TACO TRUCKS! Another time, perhaps. And I didn't know about Savin Rock. Thanks for the info!

Christine: California's a big state...I hope there's at least one place that makes pizza as delicious as this!


Charlie: Most places would have better service than Sally's. OH DEAR GOD. Well, at least it's funny bad, not uncomfortably bad.

Posted by: roboppy at May 30, 2008 11:39 PM [#]

"Gimpy, one-legged duck" is probably the BEST DESCRIPTION EVER. I nearly fell off my chair with laughter. For that, and the glorious pizza photos, I thank you. :)

Good luck with the move!
- S

Posted by: Steph at June 1, 2008 2:30 AM [#]

I love the food in New Haven! As an undergrad I really didn't realize how lucky I was to be surrounded by great restaurants that are reasonably priced and are all in walking distance.
If you visit New Haven again, you should try Pepe's Pizza down the street and compare if you like Sally's better. Also BAR has great pizza. And there's great Malaysian, Indian, Thai, Italian, Cuban, and New American.
Louis' is supposedly the place where the hamburger was created (but some people disagree).

Posted by: Patty at June 2, 2008 6:21 PM [#]

Steph: YAY I love making people lose their balance!

The move went well! But now I am very sore.

Patty: Pepe's and Louis'! Those are comin up next. And when I go back to New Haven, I shall try Bar. :D And...I loves me some Cuban food..ahhh.

Posted by: roboppy at June 3, 2008 1:52 AM [#]

you forgot to have Foxon Park Birch Beer with your pizza! it is a local favorite and a must with every pizza. in addition, you left out going down the street to Pepe's for the best clam pizza (another local favorite), then on to Libby's for italian ice and italian pastry for dessert. also good is Lucibello's which has italian ice only in the summer and awesome italian pastry. new haven truly has some of the best italian food--most definitely piza--in the country, cooked by many amalphi decendents.

Posted by: jan at September 14, 2008 4:22 PM [#]

Jan: I went to Pepe's after Sally's, don't worry. Clam pizza, birch beer and all. ;) And I went to Libby's on a later date.

Posted by: roboppy at September 14, 2008 6:55 PM [#]

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previous entries

» 03/19/14: Taipei 2011, Day 5: Mussels, Fried Oysters, and Extreme Soft Serve in Danshui

» 03/09/14: Taipei 2011, Day 4: Keelung River Bikeway, TAS, Beef "Pie," and Din Tai Fung

» 02/14/14: Behold French Fry-Stuffed Fat Sandwiches From RU Hungry in New Brunswick, NJ

» 01/27/14: Taipei 2011, Day 3: Taipei 101 Food Court and Dim Sum Dinner

» 01/15/14: Hong Kong Recap: Favorite Bites, Sweets, People, Etc.

» 12/02/13: Taipei 2011, Day 2: Shaved Ice Two Ways, 7-Eleven, Shilin Night Market, Etc.

» 11/05/13: My Favorite Places to Bring Tourists on the Lower East Side

» 10/23/13: How I Made My BMO (Adventure Time) Costume

» 10/20/13: Taipei 2011, Day 1: Fried Crullers, Bear Head Doughnuts, Scallion Pancakes, Etc.

» 08/19/13: Indessert, My New Favorite Dessert Shop Serving Tong Sui in Chinatown

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