The Decline and Fall of Rosario's?

March 01, 2004 New correspondent Darren F. emails: "It's common knowledge among a few people that Rosario's [Orchard @ Stanton] has completely slipped in quality the past few months. It's pretty shocking considering what a mainstay of great pizza they've been, but I personally have had about 8 bad slices in the past few weeks, and I've heard a lot of anecdotal evidence that says other people have as well. It's all different kinds of pizza at all different timesónot just the last pizza of the night at 5am. The cheese seems cheaper and oilier, and the crust is not the normally crispy and crunchy high quality we're used to. The sauce was also dry and skimpy. One night it was so bad it was inedible and seemed closer in quality to the bagel store pizza (which you must know how bad it is). They were also closed on a recent Saturday night at 4 which was very early for Rosario's. Sal looks fine and healthy, so what's the deal??" As longtime fans of Rosario's, we throw the question out to our listening audience. Any clues?

Comments about this post (14 so far... Post yours below)

l totally agree. Although l've been a fan of Rosario's for years, l ended my patronage a few months ago after seeing a cockroach running around the display area. Come on Sal!

Posted by: kevin at March 1, 2004 12:48 PM

rosario's was always mediocre, at best.

Posted by: mb at March 1, 2004 02:23 PM

mb is right. sica's on rivington is much better, especially when if you ask for "crispy"

Posted by: mike at March 1, 2004 09:47 PM

Well, there was really only one slice to get at Rosario's: the Sophia, with fresh tomatoes and mozz. Everything else was pretty average.

Guess I'll just have to eat lahmacuns and adana kebabs at Bereket instead.

Posted by: MG at March 2, 2004 11:05 AM

I agree: Rosario's was never the best pizza in the city. However, it is now TERRIBLE. Despite what you might have thought of it before, it has taken a major turn for the worse. For me, it was always good for a slice when I needed a slice -- but now I find it completely inedible. It tastes like pizza you get when you're stuck at a trade show at the Javitt's center or something.

Posted by: MissB at March 2, 2004 12:12 PM

i never really liked rosario's - i usually puked after eating it. mostly on those standing in front of arlene's :)

Posted by: toby at March 12, 2004 05:56 PM

Why even bother with Rosario's? Just make the walk to Two Boots.

Rosario's has always been terrible. It always will be.

Posted by: Khara at March 18, 2004 12:09 PM

rosario work's 16 hr days as he watches drunkards eat and puke all night long. give sal a break. when your apartment is sweltering in the summer because you have no air conditioning, sal will invite you in to enjoy his AC and he won't expect you to buy food. do we need people like him in the neighborhood, or angelina's who has raised the price of coffee three times in the last year? nothing got better about that place either.

Posted by: leafprincess at March 18, 2004 01:46 PM

Though i really do respect Sal. The guy lives in the joint, works hard and is always really nice. Too bad his pizza just ain't any good.

Posted by: bk at March 24, 2004 04:06 PM

Khara's suggestion is to go to Two Boots?! I guess you could go there if you like your pizza with half a pound of CORN MEAL stuck to the bottom. It's like eating 20 grit sandpaper. Rosario's has gone downhill recently but at least it's pizza.

Posted by: Lou at March 24, 2004 06:20 PM

Ha! Brilliant observation re: 2 Boots.

As far as Rosario's goes, y'all are getting the wrong thing. Get a ROLLINI with SAUCE ON THE TOP, my friends. Not the cheeseburger pizza (borf) or the Rusticana or whatever the hell pizza trend they try to bite.

I love Rosario's and those guys in there are amazing, considering the pretentious, horrendous clientele they must suffer day in & day out. God bless 'em.

Posted by: Colleen at March 25, 2004 04:37 PM

Oh, BTW -- Angelina's doing terribly. Dino (right-wing ex-cop guy who works most mornings) said that the construction across the street caused a terrible hit in their street traffic and they were really struggling to keep it afloat. Do a good deed and order a Blue Velvet Cake. They're goddamn delicious and they deserve a little support. They're nice hardworking people, those 3. So if they're hiking coffee prices -- just remember it's because they're trying to get by. God help the small businesses.

Posted by: Colleen at March 25, 2004 04:41 PM

Rosarios on Houston was really good thin crust, kinda sweet & salty and only $1.35 for the longest time. He went through what sounded like some dark months after they forced him out of there but at least he stopped saying "SAL VWEREY TIEWED.." for a bit. We do try to support the new place but it's a real crap shoot & hasn't been the same for years. Rollinis are consistent at least.

Posted by: Kate at April 18, 2004 10:24 PM

I've been buying pizza from Sal since late 1980, beginning just a few nights before John Lennon was killed (which I learned about via a very greasy black & white TV that sat on the counter at the original Rosario's on Houston). Anyway, I haven't had a slice from Sal since last fall, I think. It's possible that he might have bought a bad batch of oil, flour, or both oil and flour, but it's nothing he would have done on purpose. Someone else mentioned a roach--big deal, and I can about guarantee that roaches would be found at some time in nearly every eatery in New York. I'll have to drop by and check out the quality, though, and slap Sal around if he's let it slip.

Posted by: dabrooklyn at April 19, 2004 06:10 PM