RE: Sally's Pizza - New Haven
Yes Sally's can be torturous with the LONG waits and, let us say, not so attentive service, and many think it's not worth the hassle, but i am not one of them. I've been going to Sally's for 25 years, i'm still not a regular in their eyes, i still wait on the line, and i don't care- for me, pizza of that quality is SO worth it. Sally's is my favorite pizza in ny and new haven (i live right near difara's in brooklyn and go there all the time but still travel to New Haven to eat at Sal's as often as possible). but here are some tips to ensure a more pleasant, less torturous Sally's experience.
1. don't go when you are in a rush- pizza of this quality is made slowly with attention to detail by Sal Consiglio's family (his wife Flo runs the place and has for a long while, and there is much family in the back making pies and serving). and while other places have expanded, sally's has resisted changing or expanding at all and the quality has stayed top notch because of it (not to mention that incredible oven).
2. tactic A for a reasonably fast sally's hit- go at 4:15 and be the first person on the line- if you are standing right at the door, even if they are almost full up on reservations, usually the first group on the line sits down and orders in the first round. if you miss this first seating and are let's say 5th on the line, you will wait hours. and you know i mean hours.
3. go at 9:20 on any week night- sit right down and be eating pies in 20 minutes.
4. go the night before and walk inside to the counter at the back and make a reservation for the next night. reservations help a lot, though you may still wait quite a while for pizzas even with a res.
5. try calling between 2 and 4 pm- sometimes they answer the phone and you can get a reservation for that evening.
6. don't try and get over on them with some lame excuse/ploy to get a table- i always see people trying to cut the line, lie about who they know, or make any kind of play for a table faster than the line. they will scold you, mock you, and torture you and make you wait even longer. there is a long standing system at sal's where everyone pretty much waits a long time for pizzas regardless of who you are. i've been there with the absolute inside crew and though you can get a table faster sometimes if you are indeed a regular, the pizza still takes a while regardless. and it's WORTH THE WAIT.
and that is the ONLY reason that people put up with a wait this ridiculous. that's because Sally's is the BEST pizza around. period. when i was a youth, we would wait 3 hours in the snow for sally's and smile when we ate our pizzas knowing it was worth every second of the wait. the line has mellowed since then (this was in the 80's), but the wait is still worth it IMHO. there are very few other restaurants i would wait for in this world. but sal's is worth every second of that torture. hope that helps- best- frankbooth
p.s. i find that a long wait at a pizza place CAN indicate that it is a good pizza place. in brooklyn, Difara's is well worth the wait for just the same reasons- handmade pies made one at a time by a master! i am a serious regular at difara's and i regularly call my order in an hour early, show up and dom hasn't started my pies. it's only because i've been a serious regular there that he will quickly peel off my pies for me, but calling in advance at Difara's means virtually nothing. it's like a warning that you want a pie. people wait a very long time for that man to make each pie by hand (i mean he does all the prep work himself, he grates the cheese fresh for EACH PIE). he's an artist and everyone waits patiently because the rewards are great and vast! great art is often worth the wait (people camp out for concerts all the time, famous art exhibits, long lines for theater, so maybe think of it as the art of Pizza). sorry stop me i could go on and on about pizza.
good luck and be sure to try the Tuna, Anchovie w/ mozz pie at Sally's - no joke- a good friend of mine worked at sally's through our youth and his favorite pie at sal's was the Tuna Pie- i added the anchovies and the mozz (they usually make the tuna pie no mozz, but the mozz to me cuts the snark of the tuna/anchovie perfectly). enjoy FrankBooth