I went to Sbarro and finally tried their new pizza. They had a cardboard promo board up that stated they have a new New York pizza. Even though I knew about it I did play in the dark and asked about what they mean by new. She says that everything is fresh. Before they used canned sauce and pre-shredded cheese from a bag but now sauce is made with fresh tomatoes and they shred the cheese themselves. I knew all that but wanted to hear her say what it is. I said what kind of cheese, she said mozzarella and I asked if it was whole or part-skim and she said whole. I said what cheese did they use before that was pre-shredded and she said whole mozzarella but at a different Sbarro about a year ago they told me it was a "pizza cheese blend" which implies different types of cheese to make a blend but I'll believe her that the cheese now is one type and that is whole moz. I don't see them shredding different cheeses and putting it in a blend.
I asked how many inches is the pizza and she asked the chef and he said 17 inches but it looked suspiciously smaller like 16 inches but I was eyeballing it so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
So what's the verdict, better with the fresh stuff or the old way? Well, believe it or not the old way. I prefer the old sauce. I really did like their canned stuff before. People here at the pizza forum other than Bill (Chickenpharm) and me seem to not like their stuff. I do like their old sauce so much I'd buy cans from them on occasion. Their old sauce was just better but the new is not bad. I felt the old cheese had a different texture but I can't explain it.
I know they are making an attempt to change their image than just generic mall pizza but honestly I don't think the old pizza they had was bad at all and better than the new one. Would I eat there again, if I was at the mall and was hungry sure. Was their old pizza the best NY style pie? No, of course not, I thought that Luigi in San Diego was the best NY style I've had, followed by a tie between King of New York Pizza in Korean Town in LA and Mama's Brick Oven Pizza in Pasadena. Those were better than the old Sbarro pizza but I tell you the old Sbarro was good. The new one good but not as good.
I have to say that they always made their own dough in house and I think it is the same formula as the old one so that's the same. One thing they can do to improve is don't bake on the screen, let it rest on the actual oven floor. I mean if they want improvement to this new style that would be a great improvement. Maybe up the oven temp because the crust does not brown so much, maybe some charring but not too much of course. Maybe do something with the sauce, make it a bit more vibrant and put more on. I thought the old sauce was more vibrant tasting and it was in a can.
I am not knocking the new Sbarro but they need to do something more than just do what they did to "improve" it. I would like to try another slice to get a better feel for it, one slice of the new pie is not enough to come up with a conclusion but I have an idea of how it is compared to the old Sbarro.
Oh what they can do is they can offer coupons to encourage people to buy whole pies. Maybe a whole pizza for $15.50 or something as opposed to $18. That would get people to spend more than they normally do just on one or two pieces.