Category Archives: Fried

Little Italy Isn’t Dead: Sal’s Little Italy

Periodically, there’s an article about how Little Italy is dead or dying. Yes, it’s more of a tourist destination and less of a neighborhood where Italian people live. There are still some Italians there, and there are Italian-American-owned businesses there. A recent article in the New York Times made me want to write a series on Little Italy Isn’t Dead and feature some of the businesses there.

Sal’s Little Italy

Sal’s Pizza opened in Little Italy in 1977. In 1982, Neapolitan immigrants Carmela and Antonio Triolo bought it and the family still owns it today. The star here is the fried calzone–how calzones should be made.

And this is one of the best pizzas in the city. Sal’s also has a full menu of appetizers, pastas, sandwiches and entrees, including specialties like Italian sausage and broccoli rabe.

San Gennaro Festival 2012

The San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy kicked off this past week.

Mulberry Street

This is the 86th year of the feast that celebrates the patron saint of Naples.  September 19 is the feast day of San Gennaro, and there will be a Mass at Most Precious Blood church followed by a procession down Mulberry Street.

Most Precious Blood church

Foods that are traditional at Italian festivals include fried dough called zeppole, served with powdered sugar.  My grandma would make zeppole on St. Joseph’s Day.

Other Italian festival favorites include sausage and pepper sandwiches, clams, and fried calamari:

sausage and peppers

shucking clams

There are a lot of other Italian foods available at the festival, including Italian cookies and pastries, gelato, and pizza as well as fair foods like fried Oreos and funnel cakes.

Italian cookies

St. Joseph’s Day sfinge and sfogliatelle

fresh-cut torrone

struffoli (a Christmas treat)

North Carolina State Fair


I didn’t try the chocolate bacon at the state fair, but it is appropriate that the state known for its pork would have something like this. 


A made-from-scratch ham biscuit from the ladies at the Apex Lions Club.


I did have fried mozzarella sticks, which were delicious.

cheese curds

Continuing with the fried cheese, cheddar curds.  Good too.


More fried–this time dough.  Wish the fair had some zeppoles, but an elephant ear was the closest I could find.  Yum!


Fried Oreos.  Nothing special even though they look great.


Fried veggies were yummy, especially with ranch dip.

pecan pie

Fried pecan pie, very good, something any pecan pie lover would love.

frying pie

This pic is of the pie being fried.

ice cream

A fair favorite of mine, R&R’s homemade vanilla ice cream.  Much better than NC State’s, which is fairly mediocre.

ice cream maker

Ice cream being churned using vintage John Deere engines.


More of the pig theme–a Miss Debbie’s Specialty apple with chocolate and bacon. 


Here’s another named after Homer Simpson with a little doughnut on top.


A key lime pie one that I actually bought.


A first-prize winning lovely cake shaped like a Valentine’s Day heart.