Published in

New Haven's Pizza Temples: Worth the Wait?

Tuesday's earthquake did not open up any yawning crevasse along the East Coast. But it cracked open the schedule at the New Haven Open. Play was suspended for two hours, pushing back the start of the evening matches and allowing us the chance to go get pizza at Sally's Apizza.

Have you ever been to Sally's, on Wooster Street, or its rival, Frank Pepe, down the street? They're both known for having the best pizza in New Haven, and, consequently, for having extremely long waits for it.

We thought Tuesday was going to be an exception. The line at Sally's had about eight or 10 people in it when we arrived. We figured that would mean a half hour wait. Just a half hour! We could still make it back to the tennis center at Yale University in time for world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki's match, the first one of the delayed night session.

Well. We didn't plan for the family of 12 that showed up, whispering among themselves about "reservations." There were furtive dashes into and out of the store by some confident-looking men with tans and an air of authority about them.

We got a coveted booth in a half hour, as we estimated, right across the narrow restaurant from the party of 12, seated minutes before us. What we didn't estimate was that that party was to take over the pizza ovens' output for the NEXT HOUR.

The waiter proceeded to deliver ten large pies, every five minutes, to the hungry horde across the way. One right after the other. My husband finally mentioned to the waiter, half-joking, "Did you accidentally give them our pizza?"

There are no appetizers at Sally's. Nothing but pizza. That's what makes them great. They do one thing, and they do it really well, and they have been doing it, over and over and over again, since 1938. 

But it means you're ready to eat the pizza, AND the tray it came on, by the time it arrives.

We were in line by 7:20 P.M...seated around 7:40 P.M...and our pizza was tossed onto our table, finally, unceremoniously, at 8:50 P.M.

We ate like wolves. And each bite made me a little less peeved about the wait, and the Hungry Horde, and our bad luck. As I wiped my fingers off with a napkin for the final time, I actually had forgotten all about it. That's the way Sally's works, and stays in business, all these years.

We missed Caroline Wozniacki, but did get to see one more match before calling it a day (and a night) at the New Haven Open.

Worth it, every bit(e).