Straight From New York Pizza South

After receiving a pizza right out of the piping hot oven, running through the rain and into my car, I lifted the box top of my half vegetarian pizza and wondered if anyone ever starts eating the pizza before they make it home. I hope not, but the thought crossed my mind as the aroma of the perfectly baked pie permeated through my car. Driving and eating pizza is not something you should ever attempt. How can you operate your cell phone when your free hand is holding a folded slice? At the South Commercial Street location of Straight From New York Pizza there is no rush to make it home. There's plenty of tables to sit with family and friends and a counter stocked with the latest newspapers for anyone dining alone. Draft beer is only a couple of bucks and the music selection is a great mix of classic rock, commercial free. An open kitchen allows anyone to watch the chef toss the pizza dough before it's topped with fresh ingredients and carefully placed into the oven. After eating here and the downtown location for years now, I'm still in awe how their pizzas taste like real New York pizza. So many places will call themselves NY pizza but SFNY is the real deal. Slices are thin crust and the quality cheese is not stringy. We always order a half cheese for the kids and put my wife and I's favorite toppings on the other side. The one pictured here is her favorite, vegetarian with sausage. It's a bit heavy on the toppings. Be sure to grab a fork for this one. I like just plain pepperoni or the Brooklyn which is sausage, mushroom, olives and bell peppers. The other thing about SFNY is that after eating there, the craving for their pizza comes back after a day or so. Three days after this visit I found myself grabbing a slice of pepperoni at their downtown store. Now, there's word that SFNY is taking over the Lefty's location next to Momiji. Interestingly, the former owners of Lefty's owned SFNY at one time. Lefty's will be missed but I think this will work out for the best. The SFNY owners seem to have good business sense, they sponsor this blog and all, and they could probably open shop almost immediately. I wonder what they're going to do with that old Lefty's sign.

1095 Commercial St. SE


KandN said...

Great pictures! The exposed brick makes it look like one of our great old buildings downtown.

I don't even want to think about what your car would like if you succumbed to the temptation of the slice. :>O

Anonymous said...

Hello Eat Salem,

As one of the owners of SFNY Pizza I am humbled by your great review.

For anyone that is interested: Our recipe comes straight from New York (via Escape From New York in Portland, which is one of the most successful restaurants in the US). We buy the very, very best cheese, which is extremely expensive - - the same cheese used in 95% of New York slice shops. We only use the freshest local produce.

Our approach is that we are going to make the very best slice of pizza that we know how, no matter what the cost. With no exceptions.

We think we have the best employees anywhere. We can't say enough about them.

In the end, it is up to the customers to decide, but we put our best pie forward and let our customers decide.

Despite a short period of Lefty's ownership, we have owned and operated SFNY since 1986. One of the longest running restaurants in Salem.

Our acquisition of the new location further out south is in direct response to a very heavy demand for pies to-go which we have had trouble keeping up with - and lots of demand for delivery - which we are considering (but not right away!).

Come visit us out south --- hint: there is a coupon for a free slice (no strings attached) in the current issue of the Salem Monthly. We plan to be open Monday 10/20.

Michael Rice
SFNY Pizza

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info, michael! i've been a frequenter of SFNY for many years, and am a fan of your employees too (especially augustine -- the master in action in the first photo!). best pizza, best price. when we want to impress a client, we send a couple pies their way. rave reviews every time. i'm looking forward to your taking over of lefty's! more SFNY to go around!

Anonymous said...

Boy, those locations on Commercial are really close to each other. Hopefully, they'll get folks that know how to make the pizzas. I'm grateful for SFNY being in Salem. I find it interesting that SFNY's recipe has a connection to Escape in Portland. I've eaten at Escape many times, and I'm pleased to say, for whatever reason, Straight is superior.

Anonymous said...

does SFNY have a salad bar?

Anonymous said...

I love SFNY pizza and I love this particular venue. I have one small "gripe" however which I hope the owner will fix: We ate there last night. Last night and the last three times we have been there, we have not been able to order a beer because there is no staff at the restaurant who can legally pour. Last night, there were four or five staff present, but none could legally serve. This is a shame because SFNY has a fabulous beer selection available on tap . . . except it's not actually available much of the time due to lack of servers even at peak hours. Please, please fix this problem, SFNY owner, so we can continue to patronize your wonderful establishment.