Salem’s Newest Pizza Venture Flies High

Posted: April 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Flying Saucer Pizza Co., Gulu-Gulu Cafe, Pizza | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Okay, here’s the thing. We’re going to tell you about a wonderful pizza place, but you have to promise not to go too often, or we’ll never be able to get a table. Do we have a deal?

We love pizza, and we’re perfectly happy with a pie that features good dough, tasty sauce, and melty cheese. But Salem’s Flying Saucer Pizza Company reminded us that this humble dish rises to an entirely new level with the right technique and ingredients.

Everything at Flying Saucer is high-quality, fresh, and delicious. There are a large number of creative combinations to choose from, or you can create your own from a long list of ingredients. These New York-style pies with delicious cheese and generous toppings really knocked our socks off.

We were lucky to snag a seat the night we visited, and the restaurant was so busy that we were told right off the bat it would be 40 minutes to get our pizza to the table. Ensuring honest expectations is commendable and we didn’t mind the wait, though we might suggest a few appetizer options aside from the breadsticks  to tide over hungry patrons.

We sipped wine and draft beer while munching the very tasty bread sticks. Then we tried the Morpheus (BBQ sauce, cheese, asparagus, roasted red peppers, black olives, green olives, scallions, BBQ chicken), Picard (cheese, potatoes, Canadian bacon, rosemary, chopped garlic, parmesan, olive oil), Quark (red sauce, cheese, hamburger, bacon, red onion, scallions), and Face of Boe (pesto, artichoke hearts, portobello mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, feta cheese, spinach). The latter is from the vegetarian section; there are two vegan pies as well. Prices for each pie ranged from $12 to $14 and easily fed three. The toppings were all fresh and plentiful, especially pleasing on pies like the Picard. We’d be hard pressed to name a favorite, but the no-sauce pizzas were a definite highlight for several in the group.

Given the ownership (the same folks who own the next-door Gulu Gulu Café), it was no surprise to see a huge selection of craft beers and meads. We were pleased to also see a nice wine selection, some good-looking salads, and some dessert offerings we’re looking forward to trying. Nutella, banana, and crushed coconut, anyone? Not to mention the highly amusing sci-fi décor, including the Dr. Who portrait wall and Star Trek’s Captain Picard in full Borg regalia.

We understand you’ll want to check the place out, and soon, but just be sure to leave a table open for us, okay?

Flying Saucer Pizza Company
118 Washington St, Salem
(978) 594-8189
www.flyingsaucerpizzacompany.com

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The Gulu-Gulu: Not Your Average Café

Posted: June 12th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Cafe, Casual/Pub Food, Gulu-Gulu Cafe, Salem | Tags: , , | No Comments »

I’ll be honest with you, when I first drove by Gulu-Gulu Café in Salem, I imagined it to be a coffee house hipster hangout populated entirely by the under-30 set. But the more I heard about it, the more I was intrigued, and looking at the events calendar made me realize this was more than just another trendy café. Any restaurant that shows the silent films of Buster Keaton during its weekly movie night is okay in my book.

So when I had a recent opportunity to meet up for a drink with local Salem blogger, Sarah Landry of Hot Pants for Shuffleboard, Gulu-Gulu was the spot. Despite the large room and high ceilings, there was a warm, almost cozy feeling, and the waitstaff, while definitely young and hip, were happy and helpful.

The room is casual and fun with funky furniture, a revolving showcase of local artists’ work on the walls, and a stage for live events. A long bar along one wall features towering blackboards listing drinks and specials. The patrons range from young to old and include individuals, families, and groups of friends.

We sat at the bar, and the luminous Ms. Landry ordered a sauvignon blanc ($6) and the JackMax’n Cheese, which is baked with cheddar, goat cheese, and roasted peppers and comes with a side salad ($7). I ordered the Argentinean malbec ($6) and the Cheese and Meat Coalition, your choice of any three served with toasted ciabatta bread ($8).

The cheese choices were fairly standard, lacking any blues or stinky cheeses, but there were a few interesting tastes, most notably the Czech-style marinated brie, which was delicious. The generous quantity of toasts accompanying the plate was a welcome sight, as restaurant cheese plates are notorious for skimping on the crackers or bread. The mac and cheese looked terrific, and Ms. Landry reported it was tasty, savory, and just a bit chewy around the edges.

Our small tastes were only the tip of the iceberg where the menu is concerned. It includes everything from snacks to meals, breakfast to dinner, coffee to cocktails. And the beer menu, for which Gulu Gulu is well known, is truly impressive. Inspired by the Prague café of the same name where the owners (Steve Feldmann and Marie Vaskova) met, there are plenty of Czech specialties on offer as well.

One begins to understand that Gulu-Gulu is more than a restaurant, serving as a meeting spot, entertainment venue, strong supporter of local arts, and the perfect place to interact with your community. Hearty food, live music, movies, and art are all good reasons to check it out. And who knows, maybe you’ll even get to hear someone play the didgeridoo—we did!

Gulu-Gulu Cafe
247 Essex St., Salem
(978) 740-8882
www.gulu-gulu.com

Gulu Gulu Cafe on Urbanspoon

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