Due to the multitude of readers’ suggestions on where to find decent Stratford Pizza following the publication of "A Slice of Stratford," I thought it would be a good idea to spotlight a reader-recommended restaurant left uncovered by the pizza hunt.
The place -- which happens to be Stratford's oldest pizzeria -- is Salerno’s Apizza.
The Salerno family have been making pies in Stratford since 1947. The pizza shop's phone number has not changed since that year. Salerno's even sells a pizza called "The 1947."
While the Salerno family has changed the name and location of the business since opening in the late 1940s, they have been at 1398 Barnum Ave. since 1970.
Walking into the eatery felt like being tossed back to the 1950s. Old-fashioned radios, cars and posters decorate the walls, transporting the patron to an era when the pizzeria ruled America.
It was very busy when I walked in.
Salerno’s, like many other pizza places in Stratford, does not sell anything by the slice. I ordered a small eggplant and bacon pie. I was not disappointed. My favorite aspect was the inclusion of bacon hidden underneath the eggplant. And these were no small slices but rather broad islands of eggplant floating on a very tranquil sea of cheese. The pizza was finely balanced and did not give me any trouble while eating it. The crust was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Salerno’s time-tested approach can be attributed to their ethics.
“Nothing is frozen. Everything is made fresh,” said general manager Francis Furey, a niece of original owner Bill Salerno. Furey has been working at Salerno’s since 1989, and was quick to point out the importance of the staff at Salerno’s. The service, I found, was exceptional. It was very efficient and friendly.
“We have wonderful people working for us,” said Furey. "Very good, hard-working people who are concerned about doing their jobs.”
Salerno’s is readying for their coming plum tomato pizza rush. They pride themselves as being the only restaurant around who offers it. Salerno’s is estimating they will sell three thousand plum tomato pizzas in three weeks.
What makes the pizza unique is that it is only offered during plum tomato season, which takes place from August 15 until the second week of September. They have already been getting calls from anxious customers eager to get a piece of the action.
“People start calling in for this pizza in June,” said employee Jeff Acevedo, who will soon be experiencing his third plum tomato pizza rush.
Salerno’s is open seven days a week for both lunch and dinner. For more information on their hand-tossed, old-fashioned pizza or for their hours, contact Salerno’s at 203.377.2436.