“Are you having trouble stocking Pepsi, too?” I asked, joking with the wise cracking New Yorker about his trouble keeping dough and just about everything else in stock at his new pizzeria, Salamone’s Pizza.
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To help meet the high demand for his pizza, he hired a chef, Victor Mitchell. That brings his total employees to seven, which was more than he thought he’d need by now.
“We were completely caught off guard with the responses, and we’re so grateful for it. It just made us hire more people more quickly, which is the happy face there,” said Salamone about the lines out the door since the first hour he opened.
He ran out of dough daily for the first two weeks, to the chagrin of demanding diners. Readers sent ranging from cranky to heartfelt.
“The owner had been saving a slice of cheese for his parents who are visiting for the soft opening, and he gave it to us so we would each have a slice. We super-appreciated it,” said Miller.
“I went on top of the pizza oven and grabbed a box of slices I was saving for my parents, who came out of town from New York, who were here to see me open the shop. I said, ‘Here, you can pick any of your slices.’ They were so grateful for that.”
This is Salamone’s first restaurant. The avid home chef comes from a Sicilian family that takes its food seriously. Salamone and his wife, Dr. Rebecca Brickman, a partner at Pacific Podiatry Group, have three children and live in Tacoma.
Dining room: Like its Tully’s predecessor, the compact, two-story dining room is built for quick service. Seating for 30.
The protocol: New York slice shop etiquette rules here. Order at the counter. Pick from a few styles of pizza sliced and ready to go on the counter. The shop is simple, like a real New York slice fast-service pizza joint. Slices are served on utilitarian white paper plates, and cans of soda are self serve by the register.
Whole pies: Made-to-order whole pies also can be ordered. Call ahead.
Two cheese slices and a can of soda are $6.35 weekdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Whole pies start at $18.95 for cheese, $21.95 for white, with toppings $1 to $2 each for the build-your-own option. Serve-yourself cans of soda in the cooler by the register.
New: With demand leveling this week, he’s added new pies to the menu, all themed after New York neighborhoods. The Spanish Harlem has pepperoni, jalapenos and onions. The Chelsea is a white pie with ricotta, black olives, artichokes and pepperoni. The Grammercy is a white pie with ricotta, spinach, artichoke hearts and garlic. The vegetarian Village comes next.
The lowdown: The crust yielded chewy resistance at the center, the slice was sturdy enough to stand up to a fold-and-hold and the crust crackled at first bite. Pies are baked in a typical deck oven.
Red sauce is made from crushed California-grown tomatoes.The white slices come New York style with a smear of ricotta and mozzarella. Pepperoni slices held just enough pepperoni to yield the expected slick of grease.
Timing: Lines have been long, true, but even with a line to the door, my dine-in visit was 27 minutes start to finish.
Delivery: Coming soon.
Where: 24 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma
Info: 253-444-2646, salamonespizzeria.com
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily