Concord: Sal’s Pizza

Sal's Pizza Concord NH BuffaQ PizzaThe skinny: We don’t typically review chain pizza places here at A Slice of New Hampshire, but we make the occasional exception. In the case of Sal’s Pizza, a bunch of recommendations from Twitter, as well as the pizzeria’s Granite State roots, were enough to sway us. It also helps that we’ve been here plenty of times.

Sal’s Pizza opened its first location in 1990 in southern New Hampshire – Salem, to be exact. So while the “from Boston’s North End” thing might be more in spirit, Sal’s definitely brought a whole new kind of pizza to the 603 area code.

With 12 Sal’s locations throughout the state, it’s easy to drop in for one of its famous huge slices. We’ve each made the mistake the first time we were there and ordered two slices, only to walk away with half of an almost-20-inch pizza.

Pizzas at Sal’s in Concord — where we visited for the latest review — come in 12 inches ($7.99) and 19 inches ($11.99). Toppings add $1.25-$2.25 to the price, and they include standard choices such as bacon, roasted red peppers, tomato and even pulled pork.

At this particular Sal’s location, there are more than a dozen specialty pies to choose from. Some pizzas here include the Quattro Formaggio ($10.99/$17.49), with feta, romano and two types of mozzarella; Sal’s Special ($11.49/$17.99), covered with mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, eggplant and black olives; and even the Lasagna ($10.49/$16.49).

Sal’s slices are what attract the crowds, and they start at $3.49 each.

Thanks to Twitter followers @NBDems, @BrianChabot, @LaniVoivod, @solivernh, @ETNHEditor and @VictoriaVBesien for the suggestion!

Review: On this particular visit to Sal’s, we did something we hadn’t done before: order an entire pizza. We chose a large Buffa-Q pizza ($17.99), which included buffalo chicken, barbecue sauce and bleu cheese. As you might have guessed, this was a messy pizza.

We both love spicy barbecue sauce, so we were hoping this would introduce us to a new combination of hot and sweet. Instead, the buffalo definitely overshadowed the barbecue. Deidre was disappointed to not pick up the sweet barbecue, but she liked how hot the buffalo was. Andrew was surprised that the flavors of the sauces were still fairly defined, despite the mix.

The shredded chicken itself was marinated in buffalo sauce, which added to the high temps. Each bite had multiple pieces of hot chicken.

The cheese was plentiful, as the entire pie was blanketed in cheesy goodness. Andrew thought the cheese balanced the sweet and spicy sauces nicely. The bleu cheese probably also helped balance out the sauce, but it was a bit hard to notice it among many stronger flavors.

Sal’s signature crust was big and doughy, with just a little crunch around the end. And Sal’s slices are pretty big, so you either need to eat them with a fork, or use the old foldover technique. Combined with everything atop each slice, this was quite the heavy pizza.

The one thing that really stuck out on the cold pizza was the barbecue sauce. The chicken wasn’t nearly as hot as it had been, and the cheese tasted a bit less creamy. Still, it made for a flavorful, filling lunch the day after.

Rating: Deidre: 3 / Andrew: 3.5 = 6.5/10 slices

Sal’s Pizza
80 Storrs St., Concord
226-0297, www.sals-pizza.com

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