I took a walk down memory lane the other night and had a slice at Rosario's Pizza on the corner of Orchard and Stanton. When I lived in a cheap (that's right: cheap!) walk-up on Eldridge Street, I used to eat a lot of Rosario's pizza. It's wasn't ever good, but it was cheap and right down the block.
Rosario's was smack on Houston Street back there, a block down from Katz's Deli. (That's a picture of its old location above.) The rising rents caused it to clear out, but, unlike other LES businesses, it didn't disappear, but reopened a block to the south, commanding a corner no less.
My slice brought back taste memories. The pizza hadn't changed. It was doughy, greasy and had a fairly indistinct pizza flavor to it. Not the greatest slice in the world.
That notwithstanding, I think there are a number of reason to honor Rosario's and Sal Bartolomeo, the guy who runs it. Number one, it stuck around and didn't succumb to the onslaught of hip bars and restaurants. Two, it's cheap and fast, two things a New Yorker will need from time to time. Three, it's open very late and offers a ready antidote for the late-night carouser cursed with a churning belly full of booze. Four, it's utterly unpretentious, puts on no airs and makes no one feel unwelcome, which is more than I can say for many LES boites. Five, there should always be room in every NYC neighborhood for a basic slice joint. Six, it's been there since 1963, same owner throughout, so give it a little respect.