[insert picture of exterior here. it was so hot out my phone was malfunctioning]
I've been patiently waiting for this place to open up since the closing of the infamous Gumby's. So when I saw the sign out front saying that it had opened, I was stoked. But it's been 100 degrees every fucking day and who wants to eat a hot slice of pizza when you've already sweated your balls down into ass-sweat covered raisins? I'm sorry about that awful mental imagery. Heat stroke and whiskey, blame them as well.
Through my various spies in town I learned that "Sal" is allegedly the brother of the dude that runs Uncle Vinny's in Carolina Beach. This gave me high hopes, since before learning this bit of intel I sort of assumed Brooklyn Sal's would be another shitty shop like Gumby's, just trying to steal the real Brooklyn Pizza's name along the way. Uncle Vinny's actually serves up a really good pie. It's not prototypical NY-street style stuff but you can tell they give many shits about the product they're selling in terms of ingredients and craftsmanship, and that goes a hell of a long way.
Brooklyn Sal's is not midtown Wilmington's answer to the opening of Uncle Vinny's in CB. Neither is Nino's, as I recently informed you. Midtown pizza is still dominated by Incredible, Nicola's and Pizzettas, with the potential nod to Luciano's which can be hit-or-miss.
The good news is that Brooklyn Sal's is a lot better than Gumby's was. Granted, that's not saying much, but their pizza is definitely not super bad. Plus, they just opened, so maybe they're still working on things. I'd wait a while and give them another try, but I learned my lesson from Nino's. Get it right or don't open up, motherfuckers.
It was kind of tough for me to distinguish the cheese from the sauce - probably because the sauce had a very strong flavor and the slice was a bit under-cheesed. I thought the cheese was okay but nothing to write home about (Hi mom). The sauce had a strange - though not offensive - taste. If I were a vegetarian, I would ask the cooks if the sauce was meat-based, because it definitely had a meaty flavor.
The crust kind of reminded me of a Papa Johns crust except thinner, drier and less greasy. It wasn't really that bad but it could have been a lot better. There are a few culprits one might blame but I'd pin the majority of the blame on what I suspect to be a too-low deck temperature on their pizza oven.
Overall, I would classify it as a strange cross between national American-style pizza chains and - interestingly - a Wilmington favorite, Brooklyn Pizza. It seems to falter in an attempt to satisfy both crowds, which is a shame. It may be the same trap Gumby's fell into: trying to please everyone and failing to please anyone. Well, except that strange fat man who sat next to me and tried to talk to me. He loved this shit.
It just seems to me that a good NY-style pizza is a cheap and easy thing to make and would be wildly popular in their location, yet they aren't quite hitting the mark. Just go minutes away in either direction to Pizzetta's, Nicolas or even motherfucking Scotto in the mall and skip this place entirely. Fuck it.
Also, who do you think you guys are, trying to throw the word Famous into your name?
There has never been a more substantial man in the history of mankind than Salamander Sal - Abe Lincoln
5 recircs out of a possible 8 recircs (lower is better)Brooklyn Sal's Famous Pizza - $2.50 + tax 1414 S. College Rd., Wilmington, NC 28403