Sal's Pizza Pasta Cafe has a great looking exterior. It's really a beautiful place, and you can tell there is a lot of love and devotion here. And a lot of care. Upon walking inside, the place is warm and homey. It feels good in there, and it feels like the people care. Then me and Martin noticed this newspaper clipping pasted to the wall:
It's an article about famous national villain George W Bush visiting New York City in the wake of September 11th, and it contains the following circled portion:
Among those who strongly felt Bush ought to come back to New York more regularly were the owners of Sal's pizza shop on Broome Street, which prepared the firehouse luncheon.And then we looked around and noticed that the same article was photocopied and posted over every single table!
"If he came back a couple more times it would do wonders for the city," said Pete Arnone, a relative of the owners and the guy who keeps the books at Sal's. "His presence is saying, 'It's safe. We need to stimulate business.' If he starts coming back then a lot of other people will start coming back."
Business at Sal's, which dropped 70 percent in the week after the attacks, was back to its normal level yesterday, Arnone said.
The man who made the five presidential pizzas yesterday was Francesco Triolo. "An FBI agent was watching me the whole time I was doing it," he said, still beaming with pride later in the day. "He was a very nice guy, but he didn't let his eyes off for a minute. It was the first time I made pizzas under surveillance."
I don't really like that too much, to be honest. When I think of George Bush and pizza, I prefer the guy who ran into a pizza place and called him a "murderous, Zionist piece of shit," a few years ago. (Presuming, of course, that that guy wasn't an anti-Semite. Not that everyone who thinks a Zionist political stance is problematic is anti-Semitic, but the lines are blurry enough that I felt the need to disclaim.) There is something that totally unsettled me and made me feel a little bit like I was supping with the enemy or whatever.
But then I was just like, "you know, fuck it." Like, the other day I noticed a sign at my mailbox place that said, "TEA: TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY" and that shit is patently stupid, but I'm not gonna stop getting my mail there and I'm not going to stop thinking that the couple who run the place are nice people just because they disagree with me. I think this is an easy thing that most people grasp when they are really young, that you can disagree with people about something but they can still be okay people. But I have been REALLY PUNK for a long time, and as many people know, punx are a small and insular culture who are wary of outsiders, which is why so many of them feel comfortable living in Hassidic neighborhoods.
I can say with 100% honesty, that growing up in the punk scene and investing my whole self in it, at the expense of everything else in my life, at a very young age, netted me so many positive experiences, a loving and supportive community, and a self of self-assurance in my abilities that many people I know who didn't come out of punk rock lack. That shit is awesome! I think it also led me to make a ton of really poor decisions and to believe in a bunch of total crap because it seemed cool. Remember CrimethINC? That shit is fucked on so many levels!
Ugh, anyway, I guess my point is that even though this place had newspaper articles that mentioned GW Bush in it, it didn't bother me that much, even though I felt like it should bother me. Whatever, maybe I will elaborate on this another time, it's late.
This slice had the same audible crunch of Ray's, without any of the disappointment. They use quality ingredients here at Sal's, and they know how to make a good slice. Apparently this place has been here under the same ownership since the late 70s, so maybe they still make pizza with care and skill like they used to. There was plenty of grease and great ratios. The bottom had this burnt flavor that requires the most delicate skill to achieve and the crust tasted delicious and had an excellent texture. All in all, despite my possible political indignation, this was a great slice and maybe the last decent pizzeria in Little Italy.
Sal's - $2.50
369 Broome St (Elizabeth & Mott)
New York, NY 10012