I can already hear the cries of blasphemy, but someone had to say it.
To preface my confession, I have cut my pizza patron teeth at my fair share of long-lined NY pizzerias: an hour for a slice at Artichoke, two hours at Di Fara. I’ve tapped my toes and watched the minutes pass at these joints, but it’s always been worth it.
That being said, I’ve never waited for three and a half hours for a mediocre pie unworthy of the myriad unwarranted praises showered upon a place like Sally’s.
Where do I begin? How about at 5:07 P.M., on Friday 11/27. The day after Thanksgiving. I arrived at Sally’s on Wooster St. just as its quaintly dated sign lit up over the 30-odd people in line outside. Minutes later, Sally’s had filled to capacity, leaving me just feet from the front door, inconveniently at the front window staring at the more fortunate diners in front of me.
And that’s where I stood without moving for the next two hours. In fact, the first pizza wasn’t even served until 55 minutes after the last available table was seated. I don’t care how small your oven is or that it’s the day after Thanksgiving- it takes three minutes tops for those pizzas to cook, so why do they average one pizza every ten minutes? I stared through the glass as the shorts-clad wait staff moseyed around and performed card tricks for bored patrons as my extremities slowly turned to ice.
(the shorts-clad, card-toting jerk-off)
My heart nearly skipped a beat when a booth for four cleared out- the perfect occupancy for my party, the next in line to be seated. The staff continued to lollygag for another 20 minutes before clearing the table and seating us. Almost simultaneously, a group of six locals shadily waiting outside the confines of the line bounded inside (in front of nearly 20 people) to grab a newly vacated booth. WTF?!
(Happy customers all eating pizza. Oh wait-)
Once seated, I ordered two beers and our pizzas immediately (one medium cheese, one medium ‘plain’ [no cheese] with half garlic). After about an hour of waiting, my party began to vent our frustration which was overheard by our waiter. He asked, “Where you folks from?” “New York,” I said. “I could tell you weren’t from around here,” he said as he coldly walked away. Eat me! Sorry I’m not complacent about waiting three hours for your pizza. What a dick.
Shortly thereafter, the local line-cutters got their four pizzas. 30 minutes later, ours arrived. While I will begrudgingly admit the pizza, especially the cheese-less plain, was better than Frank Pepe’s, it was mediocre at best. To be honest, I was so famished from waiting I can’t even fully trust my taste buds.
The icing on the cake of pizza disrespect was when our waiter assumed we didn’t want change on $60 for a $47 bill. I’m by no means frugal, but when a waiter doesn’t even offer to bring change I’m insulted. 30% tip? Get real, ass.
Overall, the visit was a constructive one: between this, an underwhelming experience at Pepe’s, and an offensively burned pizza from Modern, I feel safe in never returning to this pizza-forsaken town again (at least not to eat pizza). I also feel the stigma many non-New Yorkers face waiting in line with pizza snobs, but c'mon- I felt pissed on.
(Wooster St.: getting the hell out of there)
Sally’s deserves a slogan; let me suggest one: “After waiting four hours, anything is bound to taste great!”