The Final Slice: An Ode to Hometown Pizza


Dan Ziebarth reminds everyone never to forget the places near and dear. (Courtesy of Facebook)

By Daniel Ziebarth

Welcome to the final edition of “The Slice Shop.”

I am writing this piece with tears in my eyes thinking about the months of great pizza I’ve been able to experience and share.

This column has been dedicated to the slice shops of our neighborhood: the amazing, the not-so-amazing and everything in between. From walking into the shops for the first time to chatting up the folks behind the counter to taking that first bite, finding new and exciting local spots has been outstanding. I truly believe one of the best ways to understand the culture of a neighborhood is through food, and the slice shops around Fordham are some of the most friendly and unique places out there.

With this column coming to an end, I wanted to make my final piece a little different. Instead of giving another review of a local shop, I wanted to use my last Slice Shop article to tell you about a special joint. It is near and dear to my heart, located right around where I grew up.I’m from the great state of Wisconsin, and I grew up right outside of the city of Madison. I spent years working in another city right outside of Madison called Sun Prairie.

My mom also worked there for years while I was growing up and I spent a lot of time there, both by myself and with family and friends.
Not only is Sun Prairie special to me for these connections, but for another reason: they have the best pizza I’ve ever had.

Salvatore’s Tomato Pies is a new-ish place in Sun Prairie, having been around for about eight years now. When the place opened up, it immediately became a big deal. It began with the crazy idea of using locally-sourced ingredients from Wisconsin farmers and food producers to make great pizza. And guess what? The pizza was great.

Sal’s makes cool pies that I have not seen anywhere else. They have the classic tomato pie not only but special pies too, like the “Woodsman” with sauteed mushrooms, leek, chive and truffle oil atop a local cheese called Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Another is the “Terrance’s Favorite,” with sausage, peppers, caramelized onion and goat cheese. My personal favorite is the one and only Figgie Piggie, topped with figs, bacon, blue cheese, arugula and spicy honey. Best pizza ever — I’m telling you.

Sal’s is special to me, of course, for the delicious pizza they create. But it’s more than that. I have had countless meals there with friends and family. I have had dates there. I have eaten there with co-workers to relax after work. Sal’s is the type of hometown place that makes you feel good the moment you walk in and is meant to be a place where you share good food with good people.

I think we all have a hometown restaurant, cafe, coffee shop, bar or slice shop that holds a special place in our hearts.
In honor of “The Slice Shop,” never forget the places that make you smile.