We came to Salerno’s the wrong time of day, noon. You can eat lunch here, and a very good lunch indeed; but if you are looking for the white pizza that Salerno’s fans uphold as Old Forge’s best – a double-cruster with a blend of several cheeses between the layers, you have to come at suppertime.
Still, lunch was excellent. We got a red pizza, which the bartender assured us was sized just right for two. “I can knock off eight or nine slices myself,” he said. The pie we got was a broad rectangle (Most Old Forge pizzas have squared corners; they are not circles). It was cut into twelve slices, each of them 2x4-inches and a good inch thick. We wound up taking half of that pizza in a box to munch along the road.
The Old Forge style crust is light and airy, very American in character as opposed to Mediterranean; the tomato sauce on top has a pleasant tang; and the cheese tastes like a blend of Italian and American varieties. It’s easy-to-eat pizza, uncomplicated and ingenuous.
Beyond pizza in this neighborhood tavern, the menu includes sausage and peppers, chicken Parmesan sub sandwiches, and pasta i fagiole. Many customers take their food at the bar, where they can knock back draft beers and watch the wall-mounted TV.
"Many of the best Old Forge Pizzas are rectangular."
"This is the reason for everyone to go to Salerno's: the fusilli. Each piece of pasta is hand-rolled, then curled on a thin wire. Very labor intensive. The excellent sauce has a hint of sausage. You will pay $12.50 for this dish, but it is well worth it. This should be on every Roadfooder's "Bucket List.""
"While it looks like it has thick 'Sicilian style' crust, Old Forge pizza is different. The bready part is feathery crisp without the rigorous chew of traditional Italian pies."
"Here's more proof of our theory that some of the best local specialties in the Mid-Atlantic states are served in bars and taverns. "
"There is a dining room in back, but we much prefer eating in the bar, either at the bar or in a nearby booth. Here you can watch people sip beers and see what's on TV. A few minutes before noon, these denizens were watching 'The View.'"