Daily Slice: Saggios in Albuquerque
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately. In this edition, we enter the uncharted territory of The Land of Enchantment. This marks the first New Mexican slice on Slice!
They call it "The Big Slice" at Saggio's in Albuquerque, a pizza spot across from the University of New Mexico that looks equal parts Roman bathhouse, sports bar, and comic book. (See: fountain; columns; mural in which the Beatles swim in the Rio Grande next to Albert Einstein in front of a 7-Eleven sign.)
For $3.39 it's a mighty slice indeed, although I saw others receiving slices a good bit bigger than mine, nowhere near supported by their paper plate. (Perhaps the cashier sized me up and didn't think I could eat as much pizza as the burly young men in front of me. Silly them.)
For a slice whose primary selling point is its size, it's nonetheless pretty tasty. The sauce was a little heavy on the dried herbs (hello, oregano!) and the ample cheese tasted more salty than anything else. But the crust was quite good—despite how thick the end crust was, it had a great crisp and was soft and stretchy in the middle, not hollow or, as I feared, undercooked. Maybe it wasn't as browned as it could have been, but it was nicely chewy and had a pleasant, breadlike flavor; I'd have eaten it on its own.
Best slice I've ever had? Nope. But given its split identity as a sports bar and its proximity to UNM, you can understand how Saggios stays in business. Truth be told, I'd probably annihilate one of these slices after a few drinks.