How 'Bout Them Knockers: Sal's Pizza

Each week in 'Knockers' we order from a different delivery restaurant, assessing their efficiency and keeping a running score.

Sal's Pizza
2525 Wycliff (Dallas)

Second location:
5700 Legacy (Plano)

Promised delivery time: 30 minutes
Actual delivery time: 27 minutes

Scoring Summary:
Real 'guy style' ordering (an economy of words): 52
No-nonsense, no-frills delivery: 25
Reputation points: 20
'Meat Lovers' pizza only Richard Simmons could love: -19
Sausage that looks far too much like rabbit droppings for comfort: -14
Still not a bad pizza: 10

Total Score: 74
(Sal's is the first to register a score for the 2010 season)

2009 Winner/Runner-up:
Izmir Market & Mediterranean Deli 98
Bangkok City 95

2008 Winner/Runner-up:
Yumi To Go 98
Sushi Zushi 90

Once upon a time many people considered Sal's to be one of the best pizza joints in Dallas.

But things have changed considerably since the early 'aughts.' When this city was a pizza wasteland, pies by Louie's, Campisi's and Sal's indeed stood out. Nowadays, however, the best you can say about these venerable locations is that they are reliable.

Or maybe that's no longer true, either.

Sal's built their reputation on New York style pizza. Even today, ordering a Neapolitan crust will likely get you nothing more than a New York pie with a well rounded edge. At least that's what arrived at my door yesterday.

No matter--I can appreciate pizza fusion.

Unfortunately, the effort is rather disappointing. The thin carpet of sauce carries a nice load of oregano and basil--dry yet still effective. And there's a wealth of garlic hidden somewhere showing first a sweet side, then revealing bitter claws. Decent so far.

But the crust--while displaying proper New York character--is dull. And the so-called 'meat lovers' pizza sports a mere smattering of ham, pepperoni and sausage, as if fitness buffoon Richard Simmons had stalked into the kitchen wagging his finger, shaming the staff into removing most of the good stuff.

C'mon, man.

Even worse, the sausage barely qualifies as meat. The ham is sweet and the pepperoni packs a nice, spicy kick. The sausage, however, resembles seasoned vegetable protein in flavor and rabbit droppings in appearance and texture.

Sal's wins quite a few points when it comes to delivery, though. The phone portion went something like this:

"What's the address?"

"What would you like?"

"Cash or credit?"

"Have it there in 30 minutes" Click.

Four questions, none of them requiring a phone number or other personal information. Not even an effort to suggestive sell (the old "anything else?" ploy). A little under half an hour later, a guy drops off the pizza with hardly a word other than a quick "thanks" for the tip.

Keep it up, Sal's. Adequate pizza and efficient delivery--with no unnecessary gabbing--will always win out in the end.