Behind a very unassuming store front, in back of a 7-Eleven off Algonquin Road, you’ll find a beehive of pizza activity. On a Friday night, I counted three adults, and a dozen teenagers (not including delivery dudes), making, baking pizzas, sandwiches, answering the phone, taking orders, waiting on walk-in customers at the counter.
After thirty years in the pizza business at a couple of different locations in Chicago, Sal packed up his family and moved to Algonquin. He purchased a local operating pizza delivery biz in 1996, rejigged the operation, put in his family recipes, and the rest is history, as they say. Sal’s is frequently listed on every “best” and “favorite” list published in the Northwest suburbs.
As I have been grazing my way through area pies, I had yet to try Sal’s, and I had the opportunity last night. Not sure if they delivered to my side of the tracks, I called in an order and was told it would be ready in 20-25 minutes. Westbound traffic crossing the river at the end of the day is horrific under the best of circumstances, so I wasn’t worried about dawdling on my way over there.
I was surprised to arrive to a full parking lot, and an even fuller 8X8 waiting/pick up room, crammed with customers picking up pizzas, sandwiches, pasta , chicken dinners, and food of that ilk.
I had ordered a large sausage pie and an Italian beef/sausage combo sandwich with fries. An enthusiastic teen (or six) asked if they could help me, I told them my name, order, they told me how much, and money changed hands. They said there running a bit behind, and it would be a few minutes.
It was more than a few, but no matter, I am happy they are prospering, and they (unnecessarily) comped me a six pack of soda for the “inconvenience.” I didn’t really feel inconvenienced, but most every woman I have ever been involved with has told me I get “this look” when I reach a certain level of impatience. I’m not sure what it looks like, and it’s involuntarily. I understand that “things” happen in a small business.
In any case, food in my paws, along with free soda, motored home to dig into my pie.
Wow. Really. Wow.
This being Chicago, you have a pizza place on practically every corner (right next to the hot dog/beef shop), and that’s not even including the national chains.
Sal’s deserves all the accolades its receives. And your business.
With a flaky, chewy thin crust, flavorful sauce, and handsome sized pieces of hand-pulled Italian sausage, and a very generous serving of real cheese, this is a great pizza.
As you know, I think the true test of a good pizza is how it works out for breakfast the next morning, having sat on the counter all night, and Sal’s passes with flying colors.
Good job, folks. I’ll be back. Here’s Sal’s menu.