Sunday, February 5, 2012

Celebrating National Cheese Lover's Day at Salvadore's

Date: Friday, January 20th, 2012
Location: 3623 Dixie Highway Elsmere, KY
Ranking in Cincinnati magazine 2011: 49

We apparently didn’t learn our lesson the first time, and again ran into GPS hell trying to reach our second destination, Salvadore’s Pizzeria in Elsmere, KY.  Dixie Highway is long and easy to find, but we weren’t sure which direction we needed to head on that road to find Salvadore’s. This time, at least, Robyn was smart enough to jot down the address on a post-it note.  The fact that she left this on her kitchen counter was a bit problematic, but the actual act of handwriting the note did allow her to remember the address.  Yes – already off to a better start than our trip to Mt. Adams! 

Though my GPS refused to pick up any signal, in the end, this one wasn’t hard to spot, sitting right on Dixie Highway and only a few minutes off of the exit.  Salvadore’s offers a parking lot for its patrons, though we found it full when we arrived around 7:15 on a Friday evening.  We (probably illegally) parked in a hardware store lot right across a side street, and quickly crossed into the warmth of the restaurant.

Be warned: here, too, you order your pizza right at the counter, as soon as you walk in.  We stepped to the side and took our time, not wanting to be brash and rushed in this very important decision.  After opting against a specialty pizza, we took advantage of a coupon offered in the menu that the hostess/cashier handed us for reference:  $11.99 for a large, 3 topping pizza.  Sold.

*Note: These menus/coupons seem to be readily available to customers, and you don’t even have to tear it out – just tell your cashier you’d like to use one!

We decided on three solid topping choices:  pepperoni, mushrooms, and green peppers.  We are both a fan of the classic pepperoni and mushroom pizza, and thought we’d add the green peppers to make us feel healthier.  Also, we needed to make up for the serious lack of green peppers spotting our King of the Hill at Mt. Adams Pizza & Deli last weekend.  We placed our order, filled our cups at a self-serve fountain soda stand, and seated ourselves at a round table decked in a cute tablecloth adorned with old-fashioned advertisements.  Salvadore's is very family-friendly, and many families had gathered there for dinner that evening, despite the impending doom of an ice storm moving into the tri-state area.  As a bonus, you can watch them in the background of the open kitchen area, crafting your pies right before your eyes.

It didn’t take long for our pizza to arrive.  A nice server delivered our pizza, steaming hot on the standard thin metal pan.  She confirmed the number in our party (yes, only two of us for this large pizza), and handed over two paper plates.  The pizza was warm, obviously just out of the oven, so we let it sit a few moments so as not to burn the tops of our mouths and scar our pizza-hunting ambitions.  After taking some of the pictures inserted into this blog post, we each grabbed a piece and had at it.  Yum.  Salvadore’s pizza is melty and greasy – mind you, this is not in a bad way.  It was a sea of cheesy goodness, with some quality items floating on top. The pepperoni was very flavorful, with a robust and almost smoky taste.  The mushrooms were fresh and chopped into large, quality pieces.  The green peppers were plentiful and cooked just right – not rubbery, and not raw.  We were both happy with our selection. 

Salvadore’s definitely doesn’t skimp on the cheese or the sauce.  As aforementioned, the toppings sit atop a bed of melted cheese; when you lift out an individual slice, this makes it semi-difficult to detach it from the rest of the pie. Robyn thought the cheese was chewy, but not rubbery, and in good quantity. The sauce was abundant, as well.  I found that, together, the cheesiness and sauciness worked well together, and perhaps dictated a strong flavor that was only accented by the meat and vegetables.  According to their website, Salvadore’s has been catering to the area since 1972 (though formerly by a different name).  Perhaps an old family recipe, tried, adjusted, and improved throughout the years, is behind this tasty sauce. 

Truth be T, the crust was probably the least notable aspect of this pizza.  It should be noted that, though we appreciate an abundance of cheese, sauce, and flavor, this surely affects the framework of the pizza.  This one was sort of floppy and hard to hold by the slice, at least until you were a few bites in.  It’s fine to eat your pizza with a fork, but sometimes you just want to grab it and lead it to your mouth by hand.  The thinness of the crust doesn’t really allow this, unless you want an avalanche of hot toppings in your lap.  (I really like thin pizza, but for those that don't, this observation may be an important one to note).  In its defense, we were somewhat impressed when we examined and found little sign of the greasiness and moistness of its above layers shining through to the bottom of the pizza.  At least the crust is built well to contain this.  However, the crust rimming the circumference was unremarkable; it was just kind of there.  A few of these ending pieces were sacrificed in order to indulge in another slice. 

Though we did knock out a fair amount, this time we were left with two pieces apiece to bring home in little takeout boxes.  Thank goodness we each got two – I mean, who has a use for just one slice of pizza?  I think the rule in general is that you always need at least two.  We packed up our leftovers, refilled our drinks, and headed out into the cold with our bellies much fuller than they were upon their introduction to Salvadore’s Pizzeria. 

This is only our second pizza-reviewing adventure.  In just these two trips, we have seen how very different pizza can be from place to place.  We liked both, but for different reasons and in different ways.  Is it true – is pizza just pizza?  Is it all good??  I guess we will find out as we truck along.  Next stop: Roc-a-fellas.

Salvadore's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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